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4-H Program Quality and Accountability

Program Quality and Accountability (PQA) efforts work to provide resources that identify best practices for positive youth development programming and establish standards of excellence for programming and personnel. 

This includes ensuring that programs are culturally relevant and inclusive through adherence to research-based principles. PQA also 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.

One fundamental aspect to addressing PQA nationwide is the review and approval of the use of the 4-H Name and Emblem, a federally protected mark. In addition, the Division of Youth and 4-H coordinates quality reviews of 4-H national events and 4-H curricula and other learning resources to ensure they meet national standards.


Program type
Emphasis Area Program

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