Areas of Expertise

Community Transformation and Renewal

The CDI has an established track record of working with communities to realize the potential of people and economies. Our approach to community transformation and renewal is based on our extensive experience working in non-metropolitan communities, and draws upon best practices and proven results from community, economic, and regional development examples from around the world.

We bring together local and First Nations government, community organizations, industry and business to create partnerships and strategies that take advantage of development opportunities for mutual long-term benefit.

Our work has resulted in communities and industry working in partnership to build economic advantage, increase community capacity, and prepare people to be successful in the new global economy.

Our approach includes:

  • Providing research and information for sound decision making.
  • Facilitating partnerships between communities, industry, businesses, government, and researchers that support mutual long-term benefit.
  • Taking action by helping the partnerships develop strategies and track implementation.
  • Creating change through advising community leaders, government and industry on policy and program development that will support and strengthen communities and economies.

Representative projects:

District of Tumbler Ridge Sustainability Plan

District of Clearwater Age-Friendly Needs Assessment Project

Tools for Communities - Guide to Studying Poverty and Homelessness in Small Municipalities


Global economic transformation, and its impact on rural and small town communities, is complex. It is important to understand the diverse and myriad factors that come into play in order to gain insight into the options for moving forward.

CDI research provides access to practical information, insights, and knowledge to assist communities, government, industry, business, and the non-profit sector.

Our approach includes:

  • Community and organizational needs assessments: determining housing needs, seniors needs, library needs, organizational needs
  • Primary quantitative research: developing community profiles, conducting community surveys
  • Primary qualitative research: conducting focus groups, interviews, public forums and open houses
  • Academic and non-academic literature reviews:  gathering information to inform understanding and decision making

Representative projects:

Fort St. John Community Indicators Program

Northern BC Housing Study

Senior's Needs Projects


The CDI provides academic and professional development programs and courses, and community education opportunities, that help develop knowledge, expertise, and leadership capacity in community and economic development.

We support a variety of education activities – as host, facilitator, and contributor – and are also committed to sharing the results of our work to provide access to community and economic development information and learning opportunities.

Our approach includes:

  • Conferences: delivering conference presentations; hosting conferences on a variety of topics
  • Workshops: designing and delivering customized workshops to meet the specific needs of organizations; organizing and hosting community workshops open to the public
  • Speaker events: hosting a bi-annual free public lecture through the CDI Community Speaker Series

Representative projects:

Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation Annual Conference

CDI Community Speaker Series

Career Training Available in Northern BC 

Dialogues and Policy Discussions

The CDI is working to create a platform for dialogue for northern British Columbia: where knowledge is shared and information is exchanged; where networks and relationships can be built; and where the challenges and issues the region faces can be tackled. In the context of today’s global and rapidly shifting environment, the need for this platform is greater than ever, and an integrated, comprehensive, and proactive approach to the development of policies, programs, and strategies is required.

Our approach includes:

  • Incorporating the interests of government, communities, and industry
  • Enabling and encouraging different groups to come together as partners, working collaboratively to build new understanding and new ways forward
  • Actively engaging key government, community, and industry stakeholders, both individually and in multi-sectoral dialogue
  • Initiating dialogue to increase understanding, foster collaboration, and build partnerships that will enhance synergies and increase impact