Ripple Effect Mapping

Resource Details
Publication Date: 
June 2014

Ripple Effect Mapping (REM) engages program and community stakeholders to retrospectively and visually map the "performance story" of their work.  The REM method, presented here by University of Minnesota, is a participatory group method for evaluating the impact of complex programs or interventions.

REM efficiently captures a community's project outcomes and impacts via community-based focus group discussions where themes are drawn out from diverse stakeholders. Following the initial group dialogue, facilitators probe participants to map the effects or "ripples" that the intervention could have created. This process engages the entire group and provides opportunities for participants to make connections among program outcomes, effects, and impacts.

This website provides a brief overview of REM as a tool, and further suggests pathways for disseminating the findings from REM. The website offers valuable tips on deciphering what information should move forward, and on how to identify and reach targeted audiences effectively.

The website includes visual examples from various stages of REM. These can be used to help practitioners understand the intended outcomes of the method. Additionally, example posters provide examples for how practitioners may disseminate their findings to stakeholders.


The following example, a project of community revitalization through arts in the wake of natural disaster, offers an interactive visual form to view how Ripple Effect has worked in the past:

CURE’s Work in Granite Falls

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