Rural Community Resilience Project

RCR Project Background

In March 2020, we heard from our Rural Citizen Advisory Committee that there was a gap in knowledge regarding the experiences of BC’s rural communities in response to COVID-19. We launched a survey, and over 500 people from across BC responded, telling their stories of adaptability and resilience in the face of this health crisis. To see the findings from this survey, click here. It’s now been over a year since the pandemic began and the importance of conducting community-led research in this area remains key. With funding from the BC Support Unit through the Strategy for Patient Oriented Research, the Centre for Rural Health Research has launched the Rural Community Resilience (RCR) Project to build on past research, and understand how BC’s rural communities are responding to COVID-19.


The RCR Project is aiming to implement a survey that will assess community resilience and understand the impacts of COVID-19 on BC’s rural communities. In particular, we will look at:


1. What have been the social impacts of COVID-19 on BC’s rural communities?

2. What have been the economic impacts of COVID-19 on BC’s rural communities?

3. What have been the community health service impacts of COVID-19 on BC’s rural communities?


Findings from this survey will be instrumental in understanding how COVID-19 has impacted rural communities, if and how rural and urban communities were affected differently, and the strategies communities have employed in response to this health crisis. The information will be used to understand what rural community resilience looks like and how we can build resilient communities that are able to respond and adapt to new challenges.

Where we are now

We’re currently in the stages of conducting background research through existing literature, reaching out to patient partners and developing the survey. Watch this space to see updates on our progress.


How you can get involved

We are looking for community participation to help build this research project, and are creating a RCR Advisory Committee. If you are interested in rural health and want to play a role in how research is conducted, then we would love to hear from you! We are looking for 10 individuals living in rural communities in BC to join the Advisory Committee. Your time and feedback are extremely valuable, and members of the Advisory Committee will receive a $500 honorarium for their participation throughout the project. If this sounds like something you are interested in, please click here to learn more.

If you have any questions about the Rural Community Resilience Project, please email Claire Styffe at