Rural communities throughout Nova Scotia are encountering substantive changes to local economies, government structures, and service provisions. These changes are happening at an increasingly rapid frequency and often involve increasing engagement of local actors. The ability of local actors to collectively respond influences a community’s vibrancy.

Vibrancy can be defined as “the condition of a rural community, which is characterized by active involvement and the creative, dynamic interaction of people from different generations and groups, with the capacity to act jointly and to create common interests and objectives ”(Rural Alliances, 2014). Local leaders and community-based organizations are critical actors to respond to the changes confronting rural communities.

Utilizing the Rural Vibrancy Measuring Index, this study will focus on the role of civil society organizations (CSOs). Within rural communities CSOs consist of voluntary and non-profit organizations, both incorporated and non-incorporated entities. Researcher in the European Union have implemented the Rural Vibrancy Measuring Index in a number of sub-national units, such as South Kerry, Ireland (O’Keeffe, 2014).

Researcher will examine the mandate, financial stability, and human resources capacities of rural CSOs in Yarmouth County. The results of this study will provide useful insights into vibrancy among civil society organisations, which in turn can be utilized to support future developments, policies, and programs in rural communities.