Next Article in Journal
Government Reward-Penalty Mechanism in Dual-Channel Closed-Loop Supply Chain
Previous Article in Journal
COVID-19 Impacts and Recovery Strategies: The Case of the Hospitality Industry in Spain
Previous Article in Special Issue
Powerless in a Western US Energy Town: Exploring Challenges to Socially Sustainable Rural Development
Open AccessArticle

Goal-Driven or Data-Driven? Inventory of Sustainability Indicator Initiatives in Rural Canada

1
Interdisciplinary PhD Candidate, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL A1C5S7, Canada
2
Telos, Tilburg School of Economics and Management, Tilburg University, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands
3
Environmental Policy Institute, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Brook, NL A2H5G4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8601; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208601
Received: 14 September 2020 / Revised: 11 October 2020 / Accepted: 13 October 2020 / Published: 16 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Social Sustainability in Rural Areas)
This article seeks to address knowledge gaps on sustainability indicators (SIs) in rural and natural resource-dependent communities, considering how they are used to contextualize sustainable development priorities and support local governance. We build on recent scholarship on the potentials of SIs for stimulating societal transformation, extending this inquiry into rural and resource-based communities which have been under-represented in SI research. The governance challenges facing rural Canada, as well as its geographic and socio-economic diversity, provide a unique context for examining these issues. We provide relatively uncommon synthetic findings by compiling an inventory of SI initiatives across 39 rural communities and regions of Canada. Using the Community Capital Framework, we examine grey literature and academic publications related to each initiative spanning from 1999–2019 to determine the breadth of sustainable development priorities considered. Informed by collaborative and multi-level governance frameworks, we explore how these initiatives are used to support multi-stakeholder collective action. This article finds that rural Canadian SI initiatives prioritize socio-cultural capital, with relatively fewer economic and ecological indicators, while identifying a typology of SI use and inter-related governance dynamics informing how these priorities and indicators are determined. Although some initiatives display highly collaborative and bottom-up processes, many rural Canadian SI initiatives are characterized by a data-driven approach that, when met with local capacity gaps, fails to contextualize standardized datasets to reflect rural realities. We encourage more in-depth investigation of these findings and comparison of Canadian experiences to other jurisdictions. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability indicators; sustainable development; rural development; Canada; collaborative governance; regional development sustainability indicators; sustainable development; rural development; Canada; collaborative governance; regional development
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Lowery, B.; Dagevos, J.; Vodden, K. Goal-Driven or Data-Driven? Inventory of Sustainability Indicator Initiatives in Rural Canada. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8601.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop