Ripple Effect Mapping: an empowering participatory learning and evaluation process

Barbara Pamphilon, Gloria Nema

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Ripple effect mapping (REM) is a participatory evaluation process designed to enable development programs to identify the long-term impacts of complex programs. This monograph shows how its use in low literacy farming communities in Papua New Guinea not only enabled the evaluators to understand the range and type of impacts of two gender transformative agricultural development programs but most importantly it gave project participants an opportunity to reflect on the range of outcomes and the challenges. It made them proud of what they had achieved, re-energised them and enhanced their commitment to on-going work.
Through the process of appreciative inquiry peer interviews and ripple identification large group work, women and men were able to identify how, where and why their families and their farming had changed. This naming affirmed their success, large or small. As they mapped and discussed the different levels of ripples, they saw what they achieved as peer educators collectively across their own cultural networks and their community. The REM process showed participants the power of local learning that flows on within local networks and across the community. Through the wider dissemination of the REM results, the validity and value of local knowledge also becomes visible to wider stakeholders and actors.

REM is a valuable participatory evaluation tool and can contribute to a deeper understanding of gender transformation as women and men map and analyse their experiences of moving from being ‘gender neutral’ or ‘gender blind’ to ‘gender aware’ and ‘gender responsive’.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherCentre for Sustainable Communities
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781740886109
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


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