The purpose of this applied research project is to better understand how local assets can be linked and leveraged to attract and retain new residents, workers, and investors. This research is positioned to advance regional efforts related to workforce attraction, business investment, regional marketing, and the desire expressed by communities to better understand how they can use community assets as an attraction and retention tool. The project was recommended by the RDI Regional Advisory Committee and feedback was provided by CBT staff. The Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) recognized the opportunity to tie this asset-based work to the State of the Basin initiative. It is anticipated that the resulting local level asset suites will inform both the State of the Basin assets portfolio on the Digital Basin and the emerging asset-based strategies identified by individual communities and the region as a whole.
Phase 1: Project Scoping Meeting
A small working group of community stakeholders will come together to identify project goals and desired outcomes. The working group will review the principles and possibilities of Asset-Based Rural Development (ABRD), what has been achieved in the community related to assets and community development, the target audience the community may be focussing on, and a discussion regarding a core suite of assets that: a) best position the community to understand the rural development climate, and b) create a baseline from which to measure progress against identified rural development goals (if applicable). Phase 2 and 3 will be scoped at this meeting, including an identification of required resource requirements. The outcomes of the meeting are a draft Collaborative Research MOU and details required to create both a research and knowledge mobilization plan.
Phase 2: Data Collection and Analysis
The Community Lead will work with the research team at the RDI to collect and analyze the prioritized data. A Co-Op student will be available to provide data collection support to the pilot community. Training for community-based researchers is also available as needed. RDI will produce an Asset-Based Rural Development report, which will include baseline indicators to be used to measure performance against identified community development goals (if applicable).
Phase 3: Knowledge Mobilization
The report will be released and knowledge will be mobilized according to the knowledge mobilization plan that was scoped during Phase 1. Knowledge mobilization activities could include, but are not limited to, a press release, a webinar to share key findings, a community workshop to tie together research, planning, and future action.
* Phase 1 pilot communities include: Canal Flats, East Shore Kootenay Lake, New Denver and Lower Columbia To learn more about Asset-Based Rural Development please access the Knowledge Briefs below:
 It is recommended a cross-section of 6-8 community members including a local government representative form the working group.