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ROI working on new rural area CSA pilot test project

ROI working on new rural area CSA pilot test project

The ROI will work with four Ontario rural communities on a CSA pilot test of a new standard.

By Andrew Joseph,; Photo by Jane Sorensen on Unsplash

The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) has a new project that builds on its own work in the field of rural data, but helps out a partner.

The ROI is conducting a pilot test of the Canadian Standards Association’s (CSA) new standard: CSA R113:22 Indicators for rural community well-being, services, and quality of life. ROI is working with four rural communities to create a pilot wellbeing dashboard to display selected CSA indicators and related data.

“The Community Wellbeing dashboard will enable stakeholders to understand key measures of rural wellbeing. Communities can use the dashboard to make evidence-based decisions and assess the impact of policy changes, new programs, or ongoing initiatives,” explained Danielle Letang, Data Analyst with the ROI.

The goal of the Community Wellbeing project is for communities to use the dashboard to assess and interpret their wellbeing within their local rural context.

The standard includes a set of indicators to identify and measure quality of life and wellbeing in rural communities. The CSA indicators provide a standardized approach to assess wellbeing using readily available data sources, common definitions and methods, and a rural focus. The standard will enable communities to establish a baseline, measure progress over time and compare themselves to similar rural communities across Canada.

“Rural Ontario communities stand to benefit from a practical, applied service that allows benchmarking,” said Ellen Sinclair, the Executive Director with the ROI. “Benchmarking will allow communities to compare progress internally or externally with neighbouring rural communities over time. The project has been made possible through funding support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.”

Added Rural Researcher Nelson Rogers: “This project offers a significant opportunity to improve the understanding of wellbeing in rural communities and provides an evidence-based approach to take action on important issues.”

The pilot dashboard is expected to be complete by March 2023. Interested communities or organizations wishing to take part in the next phase of the project are encouraged to visit the Rural Community Wellbeing project page for more information and to contact ROI.

The Rural Ontario Institute is a non-profit organization committed to developing leaders, informing decision makers and facilitating collaboration on issues and opportunities facing rural and northern Ontario communities. More information may be found at

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