In today’s rapidly changing society, communities in the Columbia Basin face increasing challenges surrounding quality of life and well-being issues. It is even more important that residents and community leaders have the most up to date and reliable information necessary to make informed decisions about the future of their communities.
Columbia Basin Trust and Selkirk College established the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) in order to promote and support informed planning and decision-making in the Columbia Basin Boundary region through the provision of information and applied research. The RDI region was broadened beyond the Basin to include Boundary communities where Selkirk College operates.The establishment of the RDI brought together the assets of CBT’s State of the Basin Initiative and Selkirk College’s Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development. The State of the Basin Initiative launched in 2008 with the first Basin-wide indicator report and website. Selkirk College’s Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development has been a hub for data collection and research and analysis related to the regional economy since 2006. The work of the RDI will bring together the assets of these two initiatives to create a sustained resource.
The RDI is a regional centre of excellence in applied research and information provision focused on strengthening sustainability in rural communities in the Columbia Basin Boundary region. The RDI’s research areas include:
- State of the Basin – an indicator and monitoring program developed to collect, analyze and report on information for the purpose of providing an up-to-date picture of the well-being of the Basin and an understanding of trends over time. This research is framed by economic, social, cultural and environmental pillars of sustainability;
- Regional Rural Revitalization – piloting best practice tools and processes in partnership with Columbia Basin Boundary organizations to support regional economic development; and
- Innovation & Knowledge Transfer – research in partnership with Columbia Basin Boundary organizations to support innovation and knowledge transfer to businesses.