Rural Community Development
Rural community development is a topic that transcends the many ways countries are grouped into different categories. The need to provide opportunities to rural communities is present in places as different as the United States, the People's Republic of China, Ecuador, and Gabon. Yet, we can take away many lessons from other policy emphases from this institute on how these challenges will present themselves differently to each country.
Clearly, though, books such as "The Bottom Billion" by Paul Collier, "Strangers in Their Own Land" by Arlie Hochschild, and the "Poor Half Billion in South Asia" by Ejaz Ghani are telling us something important. We must deal with how to generate sustainable rural economic prosperity.
Areas of Research:
This is an interesting and relatively new area of research. Social entrepreneurs are uniquely position to facilitate community development given the nature of their business operations. As such, we look at how to foster and encourage social entrepreneurs to become engaged in rural communities and to build broad networks so as to build areas of opportunity across smaller towns and cities. This includes research on government programs, public-private partnerships, and the role of IOs in facilitating these entities.
This topic can be studied from a diverse set of disciplines ranging from sociology to economics and public administration to architecture. There are many perspectives on what makes for good community development and our goal is to focus on new research that demonstrates how to build sustainable economies, particularly in rural areas. This may be looking at the circular economy or it may involve understanding transformations happening in a community as the result of some shock.