ABOUT THE NRE
What is the NRE?
The New Rural Economy project was an 11-year initiative of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation under the title Understanding the New Rural Economy: Options and Choices (NRE). It began in 1997 with support from CRRF, university researchers, the Federal Government, and 32 systematically chosen rural and remote communities from all parts of Canada. In 1998, The Japanese Institute for Rural Revitalization in the 21st Century became a partner and established working relationships with two communities in Japan.
The NRE was a collaborative undertaking bringing together rural people, researchers, policy-analysts, the business community, and government agencies at all levels to identify and address vital rural issues. It was conducted at the national and regional levels with historical and statistical data analysis, and at the local level with case studies involving community and household surveys.
In 2000, the NRE research team received three-year funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to examine social cohesion in rural Canada. This new stage (NRE2) included an education component integrated with the research. Rural citizens and researchers collaborated to conduct research, interpret the results, and take appropriate action. Policy makers benefited from scientifically collected and analyzed data to inform and direct their decisions. During this stage, both the NRE and CRRF partnered with the newly formed Rural Secretariat of the federal government on several workshops, conferences, and research projects.
The final stage of the NRE project (NRE3) was supported by a major grant from SSHRC under their Initiative on the New Economy program (INE). Entitled Building Rural Capacity in the New Economy, NRE3 provided support from 2002 until the end of the NRE project in 2008.
Over its lifetime, the NRE Project has prepared many documents related to its organization, data collection instruments, and data sets. This methodology section includes many of these documents as well as links to the various data sets produced.
These materials will be useful to researchers, students, community people, and policy analysts. Wherever possible we have made them freely available. A few of the data sets require the potential user to fill out a simple form regrding their position, interest, and objectives for the examination and use of the materials. This is requested to preserve related agreements with third parties (including the field sites with who we collaborated). Documents such as interviewer instructions and research design materials are typically open for examination without the form.
We expect these materials will be used for research and education objectives only. As outlined in the copyright statement, commercial uses are forbidden. Check out the copyright statement on the “About” page: https://www.concordia.ca/artsci/sociology-anthropology/research/nre/about.html.
Organization and Governance-related
SSHRC Social Cohesion Grant Application, 2000
This document includes selected sections from the Grant Application to SSHRC. It was successful for a three-year $594,600 grant. PI: Bill Reimer
SSHRC Building Rural Capacity in the New Economy Application, 2002
This document includes selected sections from the Grant Application to SSHRC. It was successful for our 7-year $3,000,000 grant. PI: Bill Reimer
Research and Data collection-related
Canadian Longitudinal CSD database (access to the data requires a researcher registration form)
This data set includes all the Census Subdivision (CSD) data collected by Statistics Canada from 1986 to 2016 (both rural and urban). They are all special tabulations based on 2006 CSD boundaries. As a result, they allow longitudinal analysis without the yearly changes created by municipality and urban redefinitions. The data are prepared in SPSS format and instructions for their use are provided.
Municipal Finance Data (access to the data requires a researcher registration form)
These data were selected from Census Canada data on municipal finance information for 2001. They are prepared for SPSS use. The link include includes a Codebook and Glossary.
NRE Site Profiles 1998 (access to the data requires a researcher registration form)
Profiles for the NRE field sites were prepared in 1998, then updated in 2000, and 2003. The data include narratives as well as more structured information about the characteristics of the field site (e.g. field research logs, respondent-generated maps of their community boundaries, site history descriptions, availability of services, economic fortunes, resource base and amenities, demographic and social changes). The datafile is prepared for SPSS analysis. The workbook information is provided in English and French.
NRE Site Profile Update, 1999 (access to the data requires a researcher registration form)
The NRE site profiles were updated in 1999 with information regarding the voluntary sector. The data are prepared for SPSS analysis. The instrument is provided in English and French.
NRE Site Profile Update, 2000 (access to the data requires a researcher registration form)
The NRE site profiles were updated in 1999 with information regarding the role of small businesses and entrepreneurship. The data are prepared for SPSS analysis. The instrument is provided in English and French.
NRE Household Survey, 2001 (access to the data requires a researcher registration form)
A systematic random survey of households was conducted in the NRE field sites. Topics included were Information about the household composition, major changes in the households and how they coped with them, use of the internet, services used in their community, participation in the community, skills and resources shared with others, the financial situation of the household, and their thoughts about the future. A handbook is also provided that was used by interviewers. The data are prepared for SPSS analysis. The instrument and handbook are provided in English and French. Our sections regarding major changes and how they dealt with them was replicated by Statistics Canada in their 2008 General Social Survey (GSS22: Social Networks, Sections 3 and 4). This allows the comparison of these issues as provided in the NRE field sites with a sample of more than 20,000 Canadians from both urban and rural areas. An example of this analysis can be found in the following document.
Reimer, Bill (2011) “Social Exclusion through Lack of Access to Social Support in Rural Areas” Pp 152-160 in Social Statistics, Poverty and Social Exclusion: perspectives Québébecoises, Canadiennes et internationals, Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal.
The NRE project was organized into four major themes—with teams of researchers who specialized in each topic. A Central Team, working out of NRE Headquarters located at Concordia University in Montréal, coordinated the activities of the entire project, as well as conducted research of a broader nature.