Research, Initiatives & Policy Briefs

The California Center for Rural Policy promotes evidence-based policy and planning research of rural communities. Using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods, we identify geographies of inequality to inform policies aimed at reducing disparities. Our research also takes a sociospatial approach, considering the health of individuals within biological, familial, social, geographic, economic, and policy contexts.

See CCRP’s research topics, and read published findings and recommendations.

Del Norte and Tribal Lands

Place-based efforts focus energy, funding, and leadership on changing neighborhoods with poor health outcomes. Grants provided by these initiatives focus on policy, system, and environmental work that will improve communities long into the future.

Community Health & Wellness Indicators

These studies highlight the disparities in healthcare access, cost, and quality between local communities and more populated areas. CCRP also studies other factors affecting the overall health of rural populations, such as transportation and breast cancer screenings.


CCRP is part of Redwood Coast Connect (RCC), a consortium of six organizations whose goal is to make broadband internet available to all residents in Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino, and Trinity counties. The RCC studies broadband demand, infrastructural challenges, and improvements made by diverse connections to the internet. 

Food Security & Food Policy Council

In conjunction with a network of local nonprofits, CCRP examines each of Humboldt County’s food system stages that take our food from “farm to table". We also study innovative rural projects that address food insecurity, food access, and pantry services.

Health & Human Services

Health and health care from educational, technological, tribal and economic perspectives.

Wealth Creation

The quickest way to improve the health of rural people is to improve economic opportunities.  With that in mind, CCRP examined poverty rates by region, age, and race/ethnicity. The findings presented here highlight the need to adopt policies that expand jobs opportunities, improve infrastructure, provide professional development to retain employees— all of which are critical for the future of real communities.

Child Care & Schools

From child care needs to the use of restorative justice in the school systems, CCRP addressed a host of issues and trends that affect the lives of youth throughout the Redwood Coast region.

Oral Health

CCRP evaluated Humboldt County’s Teaching Oral Optimism Throughout Humboldt (TOOTH) program, which provides school-based education and preventative services for children and their families. CCRP also created a strategic plan that recommends effective and efficient services to improve the oral health of low-income children in Humboldt County.

CCRP’s early research

Archive of CCRP’s early research.

Cannabis Social Equity

CCRP successfully conducted cannabis equity assessments for Humboldt County and Mendocino County in 2019-2020.  CCRP consulted with Humboldt County on the adaptation of the local equity program and developed Mendocino County’s local equity program. In addition, CCRP drafted the Type 2 funding application for both counties.  As a direct result of these efforts the two counties received over $4 million is equity program funding in 2020.  CCRP is currently working with Nevada County, Lake County and the City of Clearlake on their Type 1 Cannabis Equity Grants, and is currently developing both the equity assessment and equity program for all three jurisdictions.