Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Human Sciences and Extension Volume 7, Number 3, 2019 pg. 1-23


As funding opportunities are shifting and competitions for grant dollars increase, Extension programs need significant, measurable outcomes and impacts (Hachfeld, Bau, Holcomb, & Craig, 2013). Too often, program evaluation consists of data on inputs, activities, participants’ involvements, and feedback or changes in knowledge without providing evidence of changes in behavior and potential long-term social, economic, and environmental changes (Franz & Townson, 2008; Riggins, 2017; Stup, 2003).

The value of community programs must be expressed in captivating ways to garner public awareness and support (Franz, 2011; Franz, Arnold, & Baughman, 2014). Common

methodologies for expressing program value have included storytelling (Boyer et al., 2009; Franz, 2013), system-wide benchmarking (Archer et al., 2007), and impact indicators (Morse, French, & Chazdon, 2016). Determining value entails understanding and documenting what lies between the description of private benefit gained by the program participant and an expression of community benefit. Riggins (2017) emphasized that federal decision-makers must take this one step further by going from individual awareness and community-level outcomes to public value outcomes at a federal level.

The purpose of this article is to present a process that could be used to capture participant thoughts and communicate private value and public value of a health promotion program. Evaluation data generated from a 4-H obesity prevention program were used to identify story threads or storylines about linkages between private value and potential public value of the program. Ripple Effects Mapping (REM) incorporating the Community Capitals Framework (CCF; Emery, Fey, & Flora, 2006) was implemented as a qualitative evaluation of the evidence-based five-state study, iCook 4-H (White, Colby, Franzen-Castle, Kattelmann, & Olfert 2014), and data from Maine were used to detail the process.