This section of our website is where you’ll find community development resources designed by RSP to improve the practice of participatory rural development by sharing what we’ve learned from our work across Central Appalachia. Every month, we post resources including those that help ground you in the concepts that guide our work, planning tools, and occasional case studies of what’s worked and lessons we’ve learned along the way. These resources are intended for people doing similar participatory community, organizational, or network development to bring about system change, particularly in rural communities. Sign up below to receive notification when we post a new resource.

Core Elements of a Network

In 2011, RSP set out to learn about networks of rural-based organizations that are using collective strategies to build local assets and create wealth that stays local. Their findings are detailed in the publication Rural Networks for Wealth Creation. The central themes we learned were the building blocks of a successful network. In the years […]

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Collaboration: What it takes & what makes it effective?

Our most challenging social problems are too complex to change by the efforts of any single program, organization, or sector. It is critical for funders, nonprofits, businesses, policymakers, and communities to build relationships and trust that lead to common analysis and shared objectives for addressing our complex challenges. Collaborating accrues several benefits, including: maximization of […]

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What is a Value Chain?

In rural areas across Appalachia, economic development has often led to profits for large, outside companies with little benefit to local people. These conventional supply chains mean that each link in the chain was working for their own self-interest. But a value chain offers a form of economic development that is more collaborative in nature, and likely to benefit more people in the communities where the chain is based.

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Community Wealth Creation

When you ask people to describe what makes their community a great place to live, play, and work, you begin to understand the multiple forms of capital that, taken together, define what it means to be a prosperous, “wealthy” community.

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