University of Guelph Partners in Rural Policy Learning Commons

Posted on Friday, September 12th, 2014

Written by John Devlin

The University of Guelph is a partner in the $2.5 million Rural Policy Learning Commons (RPLC) a 7-year project to identify and analyze policy options relevant to rural and northern places; evaluate these options in the context of national and international policy innovations, and build leadership capacity among rural and northern researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners.

The partnership, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, was announced on August 27th by the Honourable Ed Holder, Canadian Minister of State (Science and Technology). The announcement was made at Brandon University which will serve as the home for the partnership with its administrative centre at Brandon’s Rural Development Institute.

The partnership currently involves 33 institutions from North America and Europe including the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS); Canadian Rural Health Research Society; Canadian Rural Research Network; Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation; Centre de rechereche sur le développement territorial; Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement; Concordia University; Dalhousie University; Lakehead University Centre for Northern Studies; Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives; The Harris Centre, Memorial University; SafetyNet; Corner Brook Centre; Rural Ontario Institute; Rural Secretariat of Newfoundland; Selkirk College Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute; Simon Fraser University, Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD); Solidarité Rurale du Québec; Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Chaire Desjardins en développement des petites collectivités; University of Northern British Columbia, Community Development Institute; University of Saskatchewan, International Centre of Northern Governance and Development; Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit; Inverness College UHI, Scotland; Newcastle University, UK; Oregon State University, USA; Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) (USA); Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico; Universita di Bologna, Italy; and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain.

The RPLC will focus on four themes: human capital and migration, natural resource development; governance; and rural infrastructure and services. Partnership activities will include: research projects; exchanges; international learning institutes; policy workshops; conferences; distance learning activities; publications; and social media (webinars, video clips, blogs).

The University of Guelph is represented in the partnership by Belinda Leach, Research Chair in Rural Gender Studies and member of the Sociology and Anthropology faculty and by John Devlin from the School for Environmental Design and Rural Development who serves as the RPLC Lead for the Natural Resources Development Theme Team.

For more information visit the RPLC web site:
Or contact John Devlin:

Launch of the Rural Policy Learning Commons
Launch of the Rural Policy Learning Commons, Brandon, 27 August 2014.  Photo:  RPLC

Photo of John Devlin'
John Devlin

Photo of Belinda Leach
Belinda Leach
Sociology and Anthropology, UofG


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