The Rural Development Institute (RDI), at Selkirk College, is a regional research centre with a mandate to support decision-making by Columbia Basin-Boundary communities through the provision of information, applied research and outreach and extension support. The RDI is funded by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) through an 8-year partnership agreement which began in 2011. Selkirk College supports the operation of the institute through its infrastructure and specific capabilities, including the Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development (RIC) who serves as the RDI Lead Researcher.
Selkirk College and CBT recognize that there are collective and mutual benefits to collaboration between CBT’s State of the Basin Initiative, Selkirk College’s Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development and the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC). Each of these have complementary mandates, capacities and resources which serve to support and promote evidence-based planning and decision-making and informed citizen engagement in the Columbia Basin Boundary region.
The RDI supports:
- the collection and use of economic, social, cultural and environmental indicator research;
- provides ongoing analysis of related trends and connects indicators to plans and planning processes;
- supports the efforts of economic development groups through the provision of relevant and timely research and best practice tools and processes;
- engages in applied rural revitalization research in partnership with regional, provincial and national networks;
- assists in regional economic diversification through the promotion of innovation and knowledge transfer;
- supports informed decision-making through ongoing research based on regional priorities; and
- builds capacity through collaborative working partnerships with existing organizations, networks and experts.