ID

ALCE-297NP

Authors as Published

Authored by Clare Lillard, Extension Agent, Orange and Madison Counties, Family and Consumer Sciences; Dr. Karen A. Vines, Assistant Professor and Continuing Professional Education Specialist, Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education, Virginia Tech; Dr. Melissa Chase, Consumer Food Safety Program Manager, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; Dr. Tiffany Drape, Assistant Professor, Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education; and Lisa Ellis McCormick, MS Student, Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education, Virginia Tech.

This publication is available as a PDF only. 

Ripple Effect Mapping (REM) is described as “a group participatory evaluation method engaging program participants and community stakeholders to retrospectively and visually map the chain of effects resulting from a program or complex collaboration” (Chazdon et al., 2017, pg. 6). REM was designed to document the results of program efforts within complex, real-life settings (Chazdon et al., 2017). Three most common reasons for using REM are to document program impacts in a means that provides insight from multiple perspectives, to generate enthusiasm and energy for continued work, and to help participants connect their efforts with those of others (Chazdon et al., 2017). There are varied approaches to REM, however each contains four core elements: appreciative inquiry (AI), a participatory approach, interactive group interviewing and reflection, and radiant thinking (RT). REM uses these core elements to guide participants in reflection through visually mapped program impacts, both intentioned and unintended (Chazdon et al., 2017). Data collected through REM is beneficial in program evaluation and planning because of the deeper understanding it provides into why a program works, and awareness of alternative approaches that can be used to build on strengths and overcome program challenges. This article reflects on the experience of using the theming and rippling approach of REM to evaluate the Virginia Cooperative Extension Stone Soup Rural Workforce Training Program (Stone Soup).


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Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.

Publication Date

April 20, 2022