4-H Program Quality & Accountability
Program Quality and Accountability (PQA) refers to efforts to define, assess, evaluate and report on the quality, impact and reach of 4-H programming, nationwide. Data are key to how we tell the 4-H story. Quantitative data, or “the numbers,” tell us what, where, when and how much of something is happening. Qualitative data, or stories, provide more detailed narratives that give us the deeper “how’s and why’s” behind the numbers. Together, these methods provide powerful information that helps not only the youth, but those of us who serve them.
There are some fundamental aspects to addressing PQA nationwide:
- Define – What are the standards for 4-H programming nationwide?How do we define high-quality programming?
- Assess – What is the current state of youth programming in our nationwide system of direct service providers?Who is receiving what programming, when, where, how, and what is the level of quality of that programming?
- Evaluate – What is the impact of our programming on youth, nationwide?Are they better off because of 4-H? How?
Because PQA includes setting standards for 4-H nationwide, it also includes the review and approval of the use of the 4-H Name and Emblem, a federally protected mark. 4-H National Headquarters also coordinates quality reviews of 4-H national events and curricula, to ensure they meet national standards.