Lissel Hernandez-Gongora has worked as a researcher and practitioner in rural development for the past 12 years. She is currently a Mitacs Elevate Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph, in partnership with the Rural Ontario Institute. Lissel has a PhD in Rural Studies from the University of Guelph, where she conducted research assessing the quality of governance in a climate change mitigation mechanism in the forest sector. Her work experience as an official of the state and municipal governments in Quintana Roo (Mexico) includes developing rural policy, managing programs for sustainable use of natural resources and promoting capacity development in rural communities.
Lissel's postdoctoral fellowship is funded by the Mitacs Elevate program in partnership with the Rural Ontario Institute.
As part of my postdoctoral fellowship, I have been working on several rural policy and rural development projects such as:
- The provincial-territorial-federal meetings are a series of facilitated discussions where government ministries responsible for rural development share perspectives on rural development, policies, programs, and priorities. I have participated in the organization and reporting of two meetings that were held in June and September 2020. There is an upcoming meeting in November to discuss rural recovery from Covid-19.
- The rural policy priorities Delphi study will identify the key priorities needed based on the expertise of government representatives, rural centres, rural development organizations, and researchers. The outcome of this research will facilitate public policy dialogue about the future of rural development public policy. The field work for this research will start in the following weeks.
- The Rural Rebound Initiative in partnership with ROI, where I am collecting, curating and sharing stories of innovation from rural organizations, local governments, businesses and citizens across rural Ontario. Some of these stories were selected to develop case studies which are virtual interviews with the stakeholders involved in the project/initiative where they talk about the details, reflections and learnings. The purpose of this Initiative is to promote peer-to-peer learning.