Advocacy and Research

Advocacy and research are essential to RCAP’s mission of elevating rural voices and building local capacity to improve quality of life.

Our Advocacy

Advocating for the needs of rural America has become more important than ever before. We advocate for rural people and communities who might not have the resources and time to connect with the actions and decisions happening in Washington that affect their lives. RCAP advocates for policies at the federal level that will positively affect rural lives, educates policymakers on important issues, and brings together coalitions of organizations focused on rural issues.  Our work continues to make a lasting impact on policy and funding that will benefit rural America for years to come.

Learn more about RCAP’s current policy priorities here.

RCAP Releases its Farm Bill Priorities

RCAP has released its legislative priorities for the Farm Bill, which Congress is expected to start working on in January. We desire for Congress and the Administration to prioritize rural development programs and strategies that will increase opportunity for all rural Americans, including those living in underserved areas.

Read here

RCAP Releases "Rural Entrepreneurial Federal Policy Playbook"

Last year RCAP was funded by the Kauffman Foundation to conduct advocacy on behalf of rural entrepreneur issues, train small business owners on federal advocacy, and create resources for them such as the policy playbook. The playbook is a tool that outlines varying federal policy priorities and teaches the process of advocacy, so when rural entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders go to advocacy they feel equipped. Please see the first version of the playbook below. 

Read here
Policy Corner

Check out the latest federal policy updates from RCAP’s advocacy team.


RCAP’s Annual Fly-In event in Washington D.C. brings in representatives from our 6 regional partners from across the country to generate awareness for rural issues on Capitol Hill and to meet with government agencies.

Our Research

Data, information and stories on important topics affecting rural communities not only help build greater awareness for the issues, they also help us understand the efficacy and impact of our work. We undertake research on a wide range of topics including: regionalization, economic development, technical, managerial, and financial challenges faced by communities, water utilities and more. We work both independently and in collaboration with like-minded partners. Some of our research thus far has been used by policymakers, led to additional research initiatives, and created new partnerships to better support the communities we serve.

Enhancing Rural Innovation in ­the ­United States
Basics for Community Water Systems to Prepare for and Deal with Natural Disasters and Climate Change
Tools for Climate Change, Water, and Environmental Justice
2021 - 2022 Colonias Report: Current and Future Needs in Colonias and Recent Work on the Ground by RCAP
Developing Regional Economic Connectivity: Key Factors and Strategies for Urban and Rural Communities
Regionalization: RCAP’s Recommendations for Water and Wastewater Policy
10 Lessons Learned from Rural Water and Wastewater Partnerships
Special Edition of Rural Matters
Customer Debt and Declining Revenues: The Financial Impacts of COVID-19 on Small Community Water Systems
Impact of COVID-19 on Rural and Tribal Water and Wastewater Systems