Roland Rajah

Lowy Institute Lead Economist; Director, Indo-Pacific Development Centre
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.

Southeast Asia Aid Map 2024 - Key Findings Report
Reports
Southeast Asia Aid Map 2024 - Key Findings Report
The Southeast Asia Aid Map — launched by the Lowy Institute in 2023 — is a comprehensive database tracking official development finance (ODF) flows in Southeast Asia.This 2024 Key…
Southeast Asia Aid Map 2024
Interactives
Southeast Asia Aid Map 2024
The second edition of the Southeast Asia Aid Map, encompassing the period from 2015 to 2022, includes comprehensive data on more than 120,000 projects carried out by 107…
Southeast Asia after the shocks: Economic growth, but not as we know it
Southeast Asia after the shocks: Economic growth, but not as we know it
New Lowy Institute research shows the pandemic and Ukraine war have taken a toll, while the benefits from supply chains shifting out of China have so far been limited.
Constrained Recovery: Global Shocks and Emerging Southeast Asia
Data Snapshot
Constrained Recovery: Global Shocks and Emerging Southeast Asia
How growth and development in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam have been reshaped by the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
What do Biden’s big new China tariffs mean for global development?
What do Biden’s big new China tariffs mean for global development?
Downsides abound but there’s also a path where developing nations benefit.
Replenishing the Asian Development Bank in the Pacific
Replenishing the Asian Development Bank in the Pacific
A strong replenishment of the bank’s grant financing arm would serve the Pacific well.
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.
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