Online Course for Ripple Effects Mapping -- Community Program Evaluation | NAAEE

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Online Course for Ripple Effects Mapping -- Community Program Evaluation

Join two of the originators of the Ripple Effects Mapping community program evaluation method for a six-hour, three-session online course, offered in July (daytime) and August (evening).

Every community program has impacts, but they can be difficult to identify and substantiate—especially when program implementation is multifaceted and evolving. These effects usually play out over the course of months or years, and by the time a real evaluation makes sense, it’s hard to connect new knowledge, changed behaviors and the host of direct and indirect impacts that your program may have fostered. Ripple Effects Mapping blends appreciative inquiry and mind mapping to measure a broad range of program impacts, even years after initial activities have taken place.

REM gets to the in-depth stories and impacts that help you understand your program’s true effects, fine-tune for the future, and show funders and partners how their impact has rippled out through the community.

By the end of this workshop, you will know how to use REM to track the direct and indirect impacts of your program with a side benefit of engaging and energizing program participants.

Learn more and register at

People creating a ripple effects map on the wall
REM in action

PDF icon Ripple Effects Mapping online course flyer285.03 KB

Quick note that the July session of the Ripple Effects Mapping evaluation course (online) starts tomorrow (July 14, 1-3 p.m. ET).

Ripple Effects Mapping is especially good at identifying outcomes and impacts of multifaceted and evolving community programs, even or maybe especially, after months or years. This is what Ripple Effects Mapping is built for, and the side benefit is that participants and partners are re-engaged and re-energized by the process. To me, there are three ingredients that blend to make REM magic — the interaction among participants, the visual mind map that shows chains and ripples of impact, and a focus on the positive that builds energy as it goes.

If you're interested but the July daytime sessions don't work for you, we're offering an evening course in August.

Our online Ripple Effects Mapping course kicked off this week, with a first session dedicated largely to a live demonstration of this community program evaluation process.

I'm so impressed with the collaborative work of the MotorCities National Heritage Area in uncovering, highlighting and preserving the region's automotive heritage. We used ripple mapping—facilitated on Zoom with a visual map created using XMind and displayed as it evolved in real time—to learn more about the impacts of partnership between the National Heritage Area and its Lansing Stewardship Community.

As we debriefed afterward, a longtime stewardship community member reported: "I admit to some skepticism entering this process, but it's been very helpful to see broadly all of the spinoffs that have occurred as the result of what seemed to be a fairly limited activity. Suddenly it takes on a larger life and it was very helpful."

We're offering another course session in August If you want to learn how to implement Ripple Effects Mapping as an evaluation tool for your community programs. You, too, can feel the way the women in the photo do about your evaluations! (This is a real post-REM photo courtesy of Debra Hansen.)