Engagement: Coordinating Efforts of the Public, Private, and Philanthropic Sectors

By engaging people from traditionally different sectors in a broader community conversation, rural leaders can identify efforts that have similar purposes and through collaboration maximize the usage of scare resources to affect greater positive change for the community. RUEDI recognizes that for change to be effective for Indiana’s rural economy it will require the mobilization of organizations across the State. RUEDI is an active and crucial  member of the statewide initiatives put forth by the Indiana Rural Roundtable and collaborates with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE).

 Learn By Doing

Because rural communities suffer disproportionately from the out migration of youth, “brain drain”, RUEDI believes that by exposing Indiana State University students to the real-time environment of rural communities, it builds a better overall understanding of  both the personal and professional opportunities within a rural setting. RUEDI’s Community Builders Program allows students to make discoveries and experiment with rural life, gaining first hand knowledge.

Research:  Informing Stakeholders and Benchmarking Success

To ensure that reliable data is collected to first inform stakeholders of important issues that exist and for which decisions need to be made and then to provide a reliable and consistent resource to measure the effect of activities taken, RUEDI analyzes a number of data resources and developed the Indiana Rural Community Index a compilation of demographic, economic and quality of life indicators at the community level for rural communities across the State of Indiana. Economic Overviews were also prepared collectively for 72 Indiana Rural Counties, the West Central Indiana Region and each of its 6 counties: Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo.