Ripple effect mapping
Ripple effect mapping (PDF) is an evaluation method developed to document the intended and unintended impacts of complex community-based projects; these impacts are not easily identified by other research methods.
This four-page brief introduces the approach and how it was used to evaluate 10 Health Equity in Prevention projects funded by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
The brief includes a description of ripple effect mapping and definitions of policy, systems, and environmental change activities; limitations of the method; and a description of how this approach was implemented. It also describes evaluation findings and how those findings were used in organizations.
When to use
This introduction to ripple effect mapping would be useful if you would like a non-traditional evaluation approach for evaluating complex community projects including multiple partners. The brief is written for a general audience; the ripple effect mapping approach is not extremely technical, nor does it require extensive data skills.
Things to consider
The description of ripple effect mapping presented here is not detailed enough to help someone implement the approach. The document does include a link for more information, but using this method would likely require employing a facilitator who has experience in ripple effect mapping, at least for a first attempt.
Use this resource