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Episode 23: A community approach to evaluating programs

Evaluating programs and initiatives is critical. It gives projects credibility, supports fundraising efforts, and informs future decisions. Extension has learned that just listening to community members' stories and interviewing community members can have an impact on the evaluation process. In other words, evaluation doesn’t always need to be done through a paper or email survey.

In this episode, Scott Chazdon and Pam Bishop share how Ripple Effect Mapping (REM) has allowed Rural Entrepreneurial Ventures (REV) to evaluate its efforts in a unique way. It also helped REV better understand the program's communities. Learn some key factors your community should consider for planning an effective REM.

Results from Spring Grove's Ripple Effects Mapping
A Ripple Effect Mapping example from
Spring Grove, MN (click image to enlarge)
“Having a group of people come together to reflect about some programming in their community is promoting relationships … it's usually through those relationships that good things happen.”

— Scott Chazdon

Episode host(s)

  • Christy Kallevig, Extension educator
    University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality


  • Scott Chazdon, evaluation specialist
    University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality
  • Pam Bishop, vice president of economic development
    Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation



Read this episode's conversation below.


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Reviewed in 2022

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