Governments across Canada struggle develop and implement robust, flexible, and effective rural policies and programs to meet the ever-changing contexts of rural communities. Critical to understanding how policymakers are addressing this challenge as they design, implement and/or evaluate rural policy and programming is examining if and how they use research evidence – and what kind of evidence – they use to inform this process.

As a sub-component of the ‘Making a Difference? Measuring Outcomes of Provincial Rural Policies and Program’ research initiative, University of Guelph researchers Dr. Ryan Gibson, Libro Professor in Regional Economic Development, and Ashleigh Weeden, a PhD Student at in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, will be interviewing provincial policy makers from across Canada this summer to investigate the relationships between academic research and the public policy process for rural policy decision-makers.

This research will directly contribute to improving rural development public policy in Ontario by providing critical information about current challenges to and opportunities for more effective knowledge mobilization in designing, implementing, and evaluating successful rural development policies and programs. This research initiative is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) under the OMAFRA-University of Guelph Research Partnership Program.

To learn more, please visit www.ruraldev.ca/making-a-difference or contact:
Dr. Ryan Gibson, Libro Professor in Regional Economic Development
School of Environmental Design & Rural Development, University of Guelph
gibsonr@uoguelph.ca
519.824.4120 x 56785

Ashleigh Weeden, PhD Student
School of Environmental Design & Rural Development, University of Guelph
weedens@uogelph.ca