An impact mapping method to generate robust qualitative evaluation of community-based research programs for youth and adults

Melissa D. Olfert, Rebecca L. Hagedorn, Jade A. White, Barbara A. Baker, Sarah E. Colby, Lisa Franzen-Castle, Kendra K. Kattelmann, Adrienne A. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ripple Effect Mapping (REM) is an evaluation approach that has traditionally been used in community settings to visually map the impact of programming and community interventions. This manuscript utilizes the Community Capitals Framework (CCF) to inform REM and to better highlight the changes and impact between various levels of a community, following a childhood obesity prevention intervention. The addition of in-depth qualitative analyses makes this approach particularly useful for the evaluation of interventions with a research–community partnership focus. The objective of this study was to describe a CCF-informed REM approach with detailed protocol, training, and application to the community-based, childhood obesity prevention intervention, iCook 4-H, which targeted youth and adult pairs. This protocol includes the steps required to prepare for REM sessions of, ideally, six youth and adult pairs, one facilitator, and one or two evaluators/note takers. REM sessions typically begin with an icebreaker and appreciative inquiry activities that inform the REM mapping process that follows. In-depth qualitative analysis of the notes and map images captured during REM sessions ensure the rigor required for research-related interventions. Researchers, community members, and participants can use CCF-informed REM collectively as a robust evaluation tool to demonstrate, through visual mapping, the positive effects of community-partnered research programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalMethods and Protocols
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


  • Adult
  • Community
  • Impact mapping
  • Implementation and dissemination
  • Methods
  • Ripple effect mapping
  • Sustainability
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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