Alberta Rural Development Network: Challenges and Principles

Founded in 2009, Alberta Rural Development Network came into practice to establish a sustainable network that empowers Canadian rural communities. About nine Albertan colleges and universities are working together with this Non-Profit Organization with the sole purpose of supporting and improve rural development.

The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) gets funded by many organizations, including the Rural Alberta Development Fund (RADF), which assists this network in conducting researches on the information with the help of deep connections that it has from across all regions of this province.

So far, the journey of ARDN has been highly successful. In fact, ARDN has played a key and decisive role in helping various communities across the community of rural Alberta. ARDN helped these communities by allowing them to gain access to proper education, jobs, and other things via Campus Alberta Institutions, industry, and different other organizations too.

Homelessness, Affordable Housing, Substance Use Awareness, and Creating Rural Connections are the four key areas that ARDN focuses on. Narrowing these objectives has catered ARDN to create tools, resources, and new methods that have helped the rural communities to overcome many hardships and realities, which sometimes get unseen by many government campaigns in many remote rural areas.

The Challenges

Affordable housing and homelessness were the biggest challenges facing the rural community of Alberta. The sole purpose of making this network was to prevent these two challenges to stop as sustainable development and improper housing are the critical backbone of any society.

To overcome such challenges, the Homelessness Partnering Strategy’s Rural and Remote Homelessness funding stream was started, which was administrated by ARDN. So far, Drayton Valley, Fort Macleod, Cochrane, and Chestermere were among the many projects that ARDN took under its wings and have successfully made the lives of people living in these projects better.

The Principles

ARDN focuses on four core principles that assisted this network in creating rural connections. These are:

  • Research
  • Education
  • Collaboration
  • Networking

These core principles allowed ARDN to achieve and follow its mission, which is to create a model of rural community development via the collaborations through many institutions in research and learning.

ARDN will continue working to improve and dignify the living conditions of the families that live there and with actions such as the adaptation of roads, the rehabilitation of the electricity grid, the establishment of the service of Post office and continue and maintain the cleaning of plots and debris, as well as the study and implementation of viable options to facilitate public transport within Alberta.

Facilitate access to housing, boost the sector, promote affordable rent, promote rehabilitation, expand access to public housing or relocation of the most disadvantaged as well as their social integration and fight against the occupation of both public and private house, are some of the primary lines of action which will be implemented throughout 2020.

William Votaw

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