What if communities had an alternative source of funds to facilitate service delivery? Could these funds compensate for the challenges confronted related to large distances and low densities? Would the chronic challenges of service-withdrawal from the abdication of provincial and federal governments be overcome? How would access to alternative funding change the dynamics of rural sustainability, if at all? These are the questions Dr. Ryan Gibson’s recent publication explores in the edited book “Service Provision and Rural Sustainability: Infrastructure and Innovation”.

The new book examines how outdated infrastructure can be renewed and the delivery of services can be supported in rural communities in the 21st century. Drawing upon contributors from five Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, this book describes innovative service delivery and community infrastructure models that are appropriate to the contemporary rural and resource-dependent regions of developed economies. The examples show that an entrepreneurial approach to service delivery and infrastructure provision by local organizations and governments is needed. Critical economic and community development supports are crucial to assist creative and innovative sets of solutions that work for small communities. The book argue that community development foundations for resilient rural and small town communities and regions must be co-constructed and co-delivered in partnership by both local and senior government actors, in terms of both policy and committed resources.

Dr. Gibson’s chapter, co-authored with Joshua Barrett (Memorial University), explores the central question of whether philanthropic organizations can provide stability of service provision in rural communities. The chapter focuses on philanthropic organizations who take on service provision responsibilities in their communities to ensure access to programs and sustaining a high quality of life, often after governments have discontinued their support. Through the lens of case studies in Manitoba and New Brunswick it becomes clear that philanthropic organizations are increasingly becoming engaged in service delivery to rural communities and regions.

The new book was published by Routlege. Full details of the new publication can be found at https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781351054034.