ILLINOIS INSTITUTE FOR RURAL AFFAIRS
CATALYST FOR RURAL COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Norman Walzer*         and 
Foundi...
Presentation Overview




Background and Purposes of IIRA
Mission, Vision, and Goals
Management and Measurement Structu...
Task Force on the Future of Rural Illinois 
(1986)

•

Issues Raised
•
•

Loss of Rural Youth

•

High Unemployment

•

Po...
Overview of the IIRA
•

IIRA founded in 1989 at WIU
•

•

•

Executive Order Identified IIRA As The “The State’s Academic ...
Motivations for the IIRA
•
•

Integrated Approach to Rural Issues
Enhanced Understanding of Rural Needs
•
•

•
•
•
•
•

Ru...
Need Diverse CED Strategies

Rural ≠ Agriculture
Farm households  derive 
only 17% of their income 
from farms.
IIRA Mission and Vision
•

Mission
•

•

To Improve the Quality of Life in Rural Illinois Through Research, Policy 
Analys...
IIRA Goals
•
•
•

•

Promote Sound Statewide Rural Policy.
Advance State of Knowledge About Rural.
Provide High Quality Tr...
Core Values
•
•
•
•
•
•

Community Development is More than Job Creation.
Successful Solutions Come From Local Initiatives...
Policy Formation & Implementation
•
•
•
•
•

•

Work with GRAC on Policy Issues
Participate in Rural Partners’ Activities
...
Issues Addressed by IIRA
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Policy Support (GRAC & State Agencies)
Local Community & Economic Developmen...
Faculty Responsibilities
•

•
•
•

Conduct Research: Teach  in Outreach And Training 
Programs
Intelligence Squared – Busi...
IIRA Programs Linked to Strategies
Provost
Director
Management Team
MAPPING 

Sustainable

Health & 

Rural

DATA

Develop...
LOGIC Model*
•

Inputs
•

•
•
•

Activities

Outputs
Outcomes
Impacts

*Patterned after W. K. Kellogg Foundation Model
Aggregate IIRA Metrics
•
•
•
•
•
•

Professional Articles
Technical Reports
Community Consultations
Phone Responses, Refer...
Example of IIRA Success (Impact)
•

Hoopeston, Illinois Housing Project.
•

Several IIRA programs collaborated with state ...
COMMUNITIES & COUNTIES
SERVED BY THE IIRA
Lessons Learned
•

•

•

Clear Statement of Mission, Vision, & Goals Integrated into 
University Missions
Strong Credibili...
For Additional Information
Background and Historical Issues

Current Operations

Norman Walzer

Chris Merrett

Senior Rese...
Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs: Catalyst for Rural Community Economic Development
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Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs: Catalyst for Rural Community Economic Development

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A case study presentation on the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs and its role in fostering rural development. Presented by Dr. Norman Walzer and Dr. Chris Merrett to the PASCAL 2012 Conference on University Outreach and Engagement in Brest, France.

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Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs: Catalyst for Rural Community Economic Development

  1. 1. ILLINOIS INSTITUTE FOR RURAL AFFAIRS CATALYST FOR RURAL COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Norman Walzer*         and  Founding Director Emeritus              Chris Merrett Director Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs Western Illinois University Macomb, IL 61455 Presentation to PASCAL 2012 Conference on University Outreach and Engagement Brest, France *Dr. Walzer is Senior Research Scholar in the Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
  2. 2. Presentation Overview    Background and Purposes of IIRA Mission, Vision, and Goals Management and Measurement Structure     Inputs, Activities, Outputs, Outcomes, Impacts Organizational Structure and Programs Accomplishments and Results Lessons Learned
  3. 3. Task Force on the Future of Rural Illinois  (1986) • Issues Raised • • Loss of Rural Youth • High Unemployment • Poor Rural Economic Conditions • • Small City Population and Employment Declines Confusing Access to State Programs Responses • Governors Rural Affairs Council • Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (Western IL University) • Center for Value‐Added Agriculture (Univ IL Urbana‐Champaign) • Center for Health Policy (Southern IL University)
  4. 4. Overview of the IIRA • IIRA founded in 1989 at WIU • • • Executive Order Identified IIRA As The “The State’s Academic  Clearinghouse For Rural Development Data And Initiatives.” Provide Research And Technical Assistance To The Governor’s  Rural Affairs Council (GRAC). Resources. • Started With $250K (USD) In Appropriated Budget + Grant • Currently 40 FTE Including Faculty And Outreach Staff • Annual Budget of Approximately $4.0M USD • 60% Of Budget Raised Externally (Federal and State Agencies)
  5. 5. Motivations for the IIRA • • Integrated Approach to Rural Issues Enhanced Understanding of Rural Needs • • • • • • • Rural is not Only Agriculture (next slide) Importance of Links With Metro Areas Expanded Local Decision‐making Capacity Greater Rural Strength and Independence Statewide Resource on Rural Issues Rural Policy Analyses and Development Support Clearinghouse Function Outside of State Agencies
  6. 6. Need Diverse CED Strategies Rural ≠ Agriculture Farm households  derive  only 17% of their income  from farms.
  7. 7. IIRA Mission and Vision • Mission • • To Improve the Quality of Life in Rural Illinois Through Research, Policy  Analysis, and Education by  Partnering With Public and Private  Agencies in Local Development and Enhancement Activities. Vision • …To Be Nationally Recognized For Using An Integrated Delivery System  to Provide Knowledge, Information, and Innovative Strategies in  Helping Rural Residents Improve Policy Decisions, Overcome Rural  Disparities, and Achieve a High Quality of Life by Maintaining the Long‐ term Viability of Communities.  
  8. 8. IIRA Goals • • • • Promote Sound Statewide Rural Policy. Advance State of Knowledge About Rural. Provide High Quality Training and Technical  Assistance to Support Effective Local Decisions. Use Continuous Improvement Techniques to Achieve  Effective and Efficient Operations.
  9. 9. Core Values • • • • • • Community Development is More than Job Creation. Successful Solutions Come From Local Initiatives. Rural Issues Are Broader than Agriculture. Long‐term Solutions Must Be Sustainable. Rural Communities Do Not Exist in Isolation. Successful Community Development Enriches Lives  of All Residents.
  10. 10. Policy Formation & Implementation • • • • • • Work with GRAC on Policy Issues Participate in Rural Partners’ Activities Assist State Agencies with Rural Topics  Serve as Rural Clearinghouse Publish Annual Report on Status of Rural With Policy  Recommendations Host Statewide Rural Development Conference
  11. 11. Issues Addressed by IIRA • • • • • • • • • • Policy Support (GRAC & State Agencies) Local Community & Economic Development Business Development Sustainable Value‐Added Agriculture Community Health Care Public Transit Public Agency Management Support Information Technology Housing Public Education
  12. 12. Faculty Responsibilities • • • • Conduct Research: Teach  in Outreach And Training  Programs Intelligence Squared – Business Consulting Services Midwest Community Development Institute Disciplines represented: • • • • • Economics Marketing Public Administration Geography and Planning Rural Sociology
  13. 13. IIRA Programs Linked to Strategies Provost Director Management Team MAPPING  Sustainable Health &  Rural DATA Development Housing Transit Center (1) Strategic Visioning  Where are we now?  Where do we want to be?  How do we get there?  How to Keep Momentum? Goal: Prioritize CED objectives  through a grassroots  consensus‐based process.    SBDC (2) Technical Assistance  Business Plans  Business Retention & Expansion  Data Collection / Analysis  Economic Impact Analysis  Feasibility Studies  Fiscal Impact Analysis  GIS Mapping  Labor Market Analysis  Marketing Surveys  Renewable Energy  Retail Trade Analysis  Sustainable Development PTAC    Peace Corps  Fellows Faculty (3) Implementation  Peace Corps Fellows  IIRA  Follow‐up  Midwest CDI  AmeriCorps VISTA  Volunteer Training  Statewide Conference  Regional Workshops  Online materials Goal: Improve the quality of life  for the residents of rural  Illinois.
  14. 14. LOGIC Model* • Inputs • • • • Activities Outputs Outcomes Impacts *Patterned after W. K. Kellogg Foundation Model
  15. 15. Aggregate IIRA Metrics • • • • • • Professional Articles Technical Reports Community Consultations Phone Responses, Referrals, Web Hits Seminars/Conferences/Newsletters Participants Trained on Rural  Issues
  16. 16. Example of IIRA Success (Impact) • Hoopeston, Illinois Housing Project. • Several IIRA programs collaborated with state agencies and a private sector real  estate developer to spur the development of a 25‐home subdivision. Thirteen 2‐ 3 bedroom homes have been completed as of November 30, 2010. The  remaining 12 homes will be completed by the spring of 2011. This $4.6 million  development was initiated by Shannon Ruh, a Peace Corps Fellow from WIU. She  later became the full‐time economic development director for Hoopeston.  Working with an IIRA‐sponsored VISTA volunteer from Hoopeston, the PCF  collaborated with the IIRA Health and Housing program (with USDA‐RCDI funds)  and the MAPPING program to identify housing needs in the community. With a  plan in place, the town of Hoopeston worked with the Illinois Community Action  Development Corporation, IHDA and a private sector builder to plan and build  the subdivision. In addition to the $4.6 million economic impact, this project  resulted in 20 new jobs in Hoopeston along with the prospect of having 25 new  homes in the community. Source: Hicks, Carol. 2010. Hoopeston Subdivision Open for Families. Danville Commercial‐News.  November 30. Online: http://commercial‐news.com/local/x713538933/Hoopeston‐subdivision‐ open‐for‐families.
  17. 17. COMMUNITIES & COUNTIES SERVED BY THE IIRA
  18. 18. Lessons Learned • • • Clear Statement of Mission, Vision, & Goals Integrated into  University Missions Strong Credibility in University and State Government with Both  Parties Recognize Importance of Strategic Planning and Use Evidence‐ Based Approaches • Collaboration with Universities and Other Groups • Integration With IIRA Agencies and Market As A Unit • Focus on Programs, Rather Than Projects • Track Effectiveness in Operations and Market  Success • Regular Communications (Social Media, etc.) • Celebrate Successes
  19. 19. For Additional Information Background and Historical Issues Current Operations Norman Walzer Chris Merrett Senior Research Scholar Director Center for Governmental Studies Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs Northern Illinois University Western Illinois University DeKalb, IL 60115 Macomb, IL 61455 nwalzer@niu.edu CD‐Merrett@WIU.edu SKYPE: normanwalzer1943

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