Roland Rajah

Lowy Institute Lead Economist; Director, Indo-Pacific Development Centre
Areas of expertise

International economic policy; Asia Pacific economies; macroeconomics; economic development; aid and development finance; globalisation; geo-economics.  

Roland Rajah
Biography
Publications
News and media

Roland Rajah is Director of the Indo-Pacific Development Centre, a dedicated policy research centre within the Lowy Institute. The Centre is committed to producing fresh policy insights and ideas on the most pressing economic development challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region — principally focusing on the emerging and developing economies of Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and South Asia. He also serves as the Lowy Institute’s Lead Economist, a position he has held since joining the Institute in 2017.

Roland directs the overall work program of the Indo-Pacific Development Centre across its key thematic pillars of post-Covid growth and development, globalisation and regional integration, climate change and development, technology and digital economy, aid and development finance, and geoeconomics. The Centre also houses the Lowy Institute Pacific Aid Map project, which provides the world’s most comprehensive data tracking of all official aid and other development finance flows to the Pacific Islands.

A development economist by background, Roland has extensive experience working across both emerging Asia and the small island developing states of the Pacific. He has previously worked for the Asian Development Bank, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Roland holds a master’s degree in economics from the Australian National University, where he was awarded the Helen Hughes Prize in International and Development Economics. He also serves on the board of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, one of Southeast Asia’s leading independent policy research think tanks.

A multilateral bank for the Indo-Pacific?
A multilateral bank for the Indo-Pacific?
The region needs a dedicated bank that enhances economic security in the pursuit of climate and development goals.
Go big or go home: Australia should invest at scale in Southeast Asia’s energy transition
Go big or go home: Australia should invest at scale in Southeast Asia’s energy transition
The Paris Agreement will not succeed if the bid for net zero in Southeast Asia fails.
Global poverty is still a massive problem – no matter how you count it
Global poverty is still a massive problem – no matter how you count it
Progress is at risk unless the world redoubles efforts at poverty eradication.
Cambodia at a critical juncture in its development journey
Commentary
Cambodia at a critical juncture in its development journey
This commentary was originally published by the Cambodia Development Resource Institute. 
De-risking developing country debt
De-risking developing country debt
Debt suspension clauses should be rolled out by Western lenders, including Australia.
Pacific Aid Map 2023 - Key Findings Report
Reports
Pacific Aid Map 2023 - Key Findings Report
The annual Pacific Aid Map — launched by the Lowy Institute in 2018 — is an analytical tool designed to improve aid and development effectiveness in the Pacific Islands region. It…
2023 Pacific Aid Map
Interactives
2023 Pacific Aid Map
Australia is the Pacific's largest development partner in our sixth annual interactive, mapping every aid project in the Pacific from 2008–2021 as the region faces new development…
Top