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New systematic reviews on 4-H public speaking programs and volunteer engagement

February 8, 2016

How can 4-H youth programs improve volunteer recruitment and retention? What is the impact of 4-H public speaking programs? The latest BCTR systematic translational reviews (STRs) address these questions. These topics were proposed to the BCTR Research Synthesis Project as questions that needed addressing with the best existing research available in order to strengthen 4-H programming and improve volunteer engagement and retention.

The Impact of 4-H Public Speaking Programs STR reports that there seem to be some positive outcomes from youth participation in public speaking programs, but more rigorous research is needed to confirm these findings.

The Volunteer Motivation STR finds that when volunteers’ experiences are more closely connected to their initial motivations to give time, they may be more likely to sign up and stay on in a volunteer role.

The BCTR Research Synthesis Project supports the development of high-quality evidence summaries on topics nominated by practitioners and faculty within the Cornell Cooperative Extension system to illuminate the evidence base for their work.

To meet this need, the Systematic Translational Review (STR) process was developed to provide replicable systems and protocols for conducting timely and trustworthy research syntheses. STRs include the systematic features of a traditional review, the speed of a rapid review, and the inclusion of practitioner expertise to help guide search parameters and identify appropriate sources. By drawing upon both practitioner wisdom and the best available empirical evidence, the STR process supports the translation of evidence to practice in real-world settings.

A full listing of past STRs can be found here.

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