Measuring the Impact of Aboriginal Economic Development Officers

Brian Barge, The Evidence Network

The important role of economic developers shows up in improvements to the social, cultural, economic, and environmental capabilities of communities. But how much of a communities’ improved situation can be attributed to economic developers? To answer this question, a study was conducted in Aboriginal communities across Canada. Based on the findings of this study, the audience will learn about the impact that EDOs are having on the individuals, companies, and communities they serve, in terms of improving the skills, knowledge, and ultimately business performance of these stakeholder groups. Best practices from across Canada will also be shared. The results of the study will be used to justify requests for additional funding, manage economic development organizations more effectively, and inform strategic plans.

Brian has led three of Canada’s leading organizations that support innovation and business development, including the Ottawa Economic Development Corporation (1996-2000), the Alberta Research Council (1991-1996), and CMC Microsystems (2000-2006). Over his 40-year career in innovation management, he has served on the Board of Directors of over 15 organizations dedicated to regional economic development, research and technology development, and research park and incubator administration. As part of The Evidence Network’s business practice, Brian speaks to international audiences on the topic of impact measurement for business support programs.