Ripple Effects Mapping

Enhancing Rural Community Capacity September 23, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

Figure 1.  Example of ripple map created on butcher paper.

Using Ripple Effects Mapping to Determine Your Program Outcomes

Webinar Recording

Webinar Powerpoint Presentation.Hansen and Higgins.pdf

About the presenters:  Debra Hansen, Extension Associate Professor, Washington State University Extension and Lorie Higgins, Extension Specialist, University of Idaho Extension. 

Description:  Identifying the impacts of community development work is often challenging due to the time lag between knowledge gained, behaviors undertaken and impacts realized. Pre-post evaluations and follow-up surveys aren’t guaranteed to elicit all the indirect “ripple effects” of a program. Someone who takes a leadership course might credit the knowledge and confidence gained with starting a community garden, but not the spin-offs resulting from the garden or work with partners. This webinar will share how to facilitate the Ripple Effects Mapping (REM) technique starting with a focus group setting where storytelling initiates the process. Groups build on these stories while the facilitator maps the accomplishments, partnerships, unique contributions and gaps in delivery identified by participants. By visualizing all the things that happened as a result of a program, the process can show communities, program leaders and funders how their work interacts with the community system. We will describe how the mapping process has been used in a number of states and settings as well as how the maps have been digitized and data coded to the Community Capitals Framework.

Ripple Effects Mapping Resources


Ripple Effects Mapping: An Effective Tool for Identifying Community Development Program Impacts 

Ripple Effects Mapping: A "Radiant" Way to Capture Program Impacts

Using Ripple Effects Mapping to Evaluate Program Impact: Choosing or Combining the Methods That Work Best for You


Washington State University Extension, Stevens County's Ripple Effects Mapping Tools Website

Connect with us

  • Twitter
  • Facebook


This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by



Articles and Fact Sheets


Virtual Learning Center

Partners, Colleagues and Collaborators











This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.