Measuring Impacts Using Ripple Effect Mapping and Survey Evaluation Techniques (E3312)

As issues in planning increase in complexity, so have efforts to improve the decision-making of officials. At the forefront of these efforts is the Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) Citizen Planner Program. An earlier Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (now AgBioResearch) report explored what planners in Michigan seek to improve within their skill sets. This report builds upon the earlier Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station report using research questions. It also documents the process of evaluating program impacts by using a combination of focus group interviews and a survey. Focus group discussions followed a framework known as Ripple Effect Mapping (REM) and were conducted in three different locations across Michigan. Statements made during REM sessions were subsequently used to inform the design of a survey instrument, which was sent out to citizen planners across Michigan. This report describes that process in detail, highlights challenges faced by the team and recommends future directions in evaluating impacts of the program. This 24-page document contains numerous tables and figures. It includes a Ripple Effect Mapping Facilitator Guide and the Survey Instrument sent out to citizen planners.

Full author credit.

Beyea, JD, AICP, Extension Specialist, School of Planning, Design and Construction, Michigan State University.
Pat Crawford, PhD, Professor, School of Planning, Design and Construction, Michigan State University.
Rohit Menon, Graduate Assistant, School of Planning,
Design and Construction, Michigan State University.
Brad Neumann, AICP, Extension Educator, Michigan State University.
Ann Chastain, Extension Educator, Michigan State University.
Bethany Prykucki, Extension Educator, Michigan State
University.
Kurt Schindler, AICP, Senior Extension Educator, Michigan State University.

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