Pathfinder for Communities: Selecting Tools for CED

Funded through the Rural and Co-operatives Secretariat Community Development Program

This is a $400,000 project taking place between October 2010 to June 2012. The Rural and Co-operatives Secretariat Community Development Program is funding approximately 50 percent of the project while the Rural Development Institute is the principal organization.

The purpose of this project is to help communities make better decisions in choosing CED Tools and improve the effectiveness of development efforts. To achieve its goal of supporting more effective CED, the project proposes to develop a decision-making framework, the Pathways Matrix, which communities can use to identify the CED tools that are right for their specific situation or context. The project will conduct initial tool scans and inventories across the CED spectrum and will then focus on the economic development pillar of CED in this first stage of development for the Pathways Matrix.

The project will begin with a research phase to develop the Pathways Matrix. This first phase will run October 2010 to March 2011. The RDI research team will conduct the research in this phase and will be in ongoing consultation with community and stakeholder representatives to guide and inform the research. The main components of the matrix and the research activities will be:

  1. Develop a CED Tool Taxonomy that inventories and categorizes CED tools
  2. Develop a CED Readiness Index that helps identify the current capacity and state of community

Once the matrix and its component parts are developed, communities will test, review and revise the tools to improve their applicability and effectiveness for communities. This phase will be an iterative one, going through the testing and revision process with three clusters of communities, continually enhancing the Pathways Matrix and its component elements; the taxonomy and the readiness assessment. This phase will begin April 2011 and end 9-12 months later depending on the participating communities.

The final phase of the project will focus on the transfer and mobilization of the project knowledge and results. The knowledge mobilization for this project will occur within organizations as well as across the province and country. The tools inventory and Pathways Matrix will help organizations better utilize and apply the tools within their tool kits. In addition, the project team will be working with stakeholders, participating communities and expert advisors to share the results and research products as broadly as possible. Activities in this phase include research reports, project workshops and a Regional Forum. This phase will begin January 2012 and run until June 2012.

For more information contact:

Dr. Bill Ashton, Director
Rural Development Institute, Brandon University

Wayne Kelly, Research Manager
Rural Development Institute, Brandon University
Ph: 204-571-8515