Written by David Olson, former SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director.
In community vitality we are always trying to determine what changes took place in South Dakota communities as a result of SDSU Extension programs. One of our methods for determining impacts is asking program participants about changes and improvements they believe resulted from SDSU Extension’s relationship with their community.
One assessment method we are exploring is Ripple Mapping. After we implement a program in a community, we return and meet with the participants to discuss what happened as the result of a program. We use three questions: 1. What happened as the result of the program? 2.What changed in the people as the result of the program? and 3. What changed in the community as the result of the program? We map the answers on a wall covered with paper, and then enter the data into mapping software to analyze it and prepare a report that goes back to the community for revision and interpretation. The revised report becomes the community’s understanding of a program’s impact. We are just developing the next level of analysis, and we are hopeful that this method will provide insight into what works in communities.
The bottom line is we want to help you make your community a better, healthier, safer place in which to live and be able to show you the impacts of your efforts as well as ours.
Access the links below to view a complete impact report for each topic:
- Marketing Hometown America | Kenneth Sherin
- New Roots for New Americans | Christina Zdorovtsov (former SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist)
- Planning for a Potential Food Hub in Southeastern South Dakota | Kari O’Neill
- “Writing Your Future” Grant Writing Conference | Peggy Schlechter
- Two R Bar & Grill | Paul Thares