About RDI

Brandon University has been a cornerstone of the City of Brandon and southwestern Manitoba for over a century. Throughout this time, Brandon University has maintained its foundation as a rurally-based university with strong national and international links.

Brandon University established the Rural Development Institute (RDI) in 1989 as an academic research center and a leading source of information on issues affecting rural communities in Western Canada and beyond.

RDI functions as a not-for-profit research and development organization designed to promote, facilitate, coordinate, initiate and conduct multi-disciplinary academic and applied research on rural issues. Fosters community development and resiliency through research and information sharing on issues and opportunities unique to rural, remote and northern communities. RDI provides an interface between academic research efforts and the community by acting as a conduit of rural research information and by facilitating community involvement in rural development. Projects are characterized by cooperative and collaborative efforts of multi-stakeholders.

Our Mandate

  • Applied Research
  • Knowledge Dissemination
  • Learning

RDI establishes new partnerships; conducts multi-disciplinary research; promotes the development of new community projects; shares findings, and nurtures new generations of rural researchers among students, community members and rural stakeholders.

RDI has diverse research affiliations, and multiple community and government linkages related to its rural development mandate. RDI disseminates knowledge and information to a variety of constituents and stakeholders and makes research information and results widely available to the public either in printed form or by means of public lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences, webinars, and social media.

Five Strategic Research Directions

To respond to rural trends, challenges and opportunities, the needs of various stakeholders and the necessity to sustain a viable organisation, RDI is committed to pursuing five strategic research directions:

  • Rural Immigration
  • Regional Economic Development
  • Governance and Capacity Building
  • Rural Infrastructure Services
  • Rural Innovation