2nd Rural Research Workshop: Policy and Research in Community Investment

Continuing the theme of relating policy to research, and vice versa, the second national Rural Research Workshop (RRW) "Policy and Research in Community Investment" will focus on the complex relationships between policy and research as they relate to the practice of rural community investment.

This workshop will critically explore the three-way interrelationships between policy, research and development practice. How do they relate to each other? What lessons have we learned from these experiences? How can we improve the connectivity between these three? How can a positive interrelationship be crafted to enhance the creativity and effectiveness of rural community investment?

This participatory workshop will also address the challenges facing public policy for municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governments, community-based and other organizations, the co-operatives sector, as well as the private sector. The research challenges for academe, practitioners, non-government organizations, and others will also be explored.

Our goal is to connect practice (e.g. local economic development, youth recreation services, elder health) to the design of public policy at all levels of government, and connect the policy making process and content to research and practice. At the Workshop, we hope to present a wide range of related challenges and opportunities. We will also ensure that the findings of both research and front-line practice inform each other, and inform policy.

Community (re)investment has to be understood in its complete context which, today, involves several complex interrelated streams. These include: the implications of globalization; evolving systems of governance; the challenges of place-based approaches to development; the rediscovery of the role and relevance of the social economy; the role of innovation, learning and knowledge mobilization; transformative development; capacity development; and changes in our demographic profiles. Papers and posters addressing these and other related topics, attending to the policy/research/practice dynamic, will be presented and displayed.

The design of policy and research must inform our investment in rural communities, and they in turn must be informed by development practice. What are the challenges, lessons, and opportunities here, be they theoretical, conceptual, practical, or other?