Program and Participation Data

Aligning data collection practices to program theory

Research suggests that high-quality youth development programs can have significant positive effects on a range of important youth outcomes.1 According to the Quality-to-Outcomes theory of change shown below, sustained participation in activities that are highly engaging and interactive promotes the development of skills and dispositions that are critical to school, work, and life success.

Measurement along the QuEST Continuum

Your evaluation plan may include indicators of program progress along the Quality-Engagement-Skills-Transfer (QuEST) continuum:
Quality to Outcomes WEB


This section focuses on program-level data, and in particular on aspects of quality and engagement (understood as youth participation in program activities).

1. Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P. & Pachan, M. K. (2010). A meta-analysis of afterschool programs that seek to promote personal and social skills in children and adolescents. American Journal Community Psychology, 16, 294-309. doi: 10.1007/s10464-010-9300-6; Vandell, D. L., Reisner, E. R., & Pierce, K. M. (2007). Outcomes linked to high-quality afterschool programs: Longitudinal findings from the study of promising afterschool programs. Policy Studies Associates, Inc. Retrieved from