Sketch mapping


Sketch mapping is useful for creating a visual representation ('map') of a geographically based or defined issue drawn from the interpretation of a group or different groups of stakeholders.

It can be a particularly effective option for visualising stakeholders' perceptions of issues that are:

  • Social - identifying ownership of different areas and natural resources
  • Physical - to identify areas affected by degradation, improvement, or natural resource availability

Advice for choosing this method

  • Only issues that have geographical distribution are useful for analysis with maps

Advice for using this method

  • People will only identify areas based on their relationship with and understanding of that area. For example, the map of an area that is designed by an interested mining group might differ significantly from a map of the same area designed by local villagers.
  • The larger number of topics on a maps the more complex it will be. For this reason it might be a good idea to do series of maps based, with each referring to different issues and using different indicators.

This advice was taken from Guijt, I., & Woodhill (2002).


Guijt, I., & Woodhill, J. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Office of Evaluation Studies. (2002). Managing for impact in rural development: A guide for project M & E, Annex D. Retrieved from website: (PDF)

'Sketch mapping' is referenced in: