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LT7: Program Recognition

Framework Component

Effectiveness & Maintenance - Organizational Implementation and Effectiveness

Indicator Description

This indicator focuses on organizations that have met and been publicly recognized for achieving authoritative, externally established performance standards. This indicator reports the number of organizations and sites in each domain whose work achieving new standards is attributable, in whole or in part, to the efforts of SNAP-Ed during the period assessed. Since comprehensive changes take time, many recognition programs have established increments for awards that help organizations show progressive accomplishments. For such recognition programs, this indicator also captures movement from one level of performance to another, as well as maintenance of effort.

At the national level, recognition programs bring together efforts among multiple agencies in entire communities and multiple sectors (please see LT19, Community-wide Recognition Programs).

Background and Context

Recognition programs are important because they acknowledge that multiple kinds of organizational supports need to be in place simultaneously to enable and reinforce long-term, sustained behavior change by individuals and that public recognition provides an incentive and encourages healthy competition for organizations to make such a large commitment. Many recognition programs provide ongoing reinforcement, mentorships, networking, training, technical assistance, and rewards to help participating organizations maintain their upward momentum. Such recognition may be especially important for organizations serving SNAP-Ed eligible persons, not only for the positive benefits to families and children but also because external recognition can help generate new resources, overcome negative stereotypes, build morale, and bring positive public attention to the organization and its people. From a SNAP-Ed perspective, organizations that achieve recognition can inspire others and ultimately become even stronger opinion leaders for positive change.

These measures are intended, on a setting-by-setting basis, to provide a vehicle for overall, comprehensive, and long-term improvement in PSEs that will make the healthy choice the easy choice in environmental settings and narrow the gap in best practices or quality standards seen between organizations in SNAP-Ed qualified sites compared to those in more highly resourced locations.

Second, by meeting externally determined standards, SNAP-Ed partners become empowered and are sustained to establish new norms through new peer networks. Recognition programs may acquire meaningful advantages in terms of business, public relations, and so forth.

Outcome Measures

What to Measure

As a first step, become familiar with recognition programs that may be helpful in achieving SNAP-Ed goals. In addition to professional channels where national recognition programs may be publicized, for state and local programs it may be necessary to use qualitative approaches, such as searching online websites or identifying key informants. Key informants might represent organizations, agencies, stakeholder groups, individuals in the community, region, or statewide. Assess whether this activity would benefit SNAP-Ed goals. For aggregation purposes, the sites and organizations in which program recognition awards are given and that could be assigned a level within the following categories are:

  1. Environmental settings where external recognition programs exist:
    • Restaurants
    • Communities (e.g., health care, faith, nonprofits)
    • Early care and education, child care
    • Schools and after-school programs
    • Worksites
    • Recreation sites for adults, children and youth; transportation (walking, bicycles)
    • Food stores, markets, and food banks
  2. National, state, or locally defined standards for recognition programs
  3. Recognition level: All levels (for example, bronze, silver, gold….)

Number and proportion of SNAP-Ed organizations and sites in LT5 and LT6 that achieve program recognition from a national, state or local authoritative body for voluntarily meeting externally determined standards on an annual basis

  • Newly achieved (initial recognition)
  • Sustain same level of program recognition
  • If appropriate for the recognition program, organizations that progress toward meeting increasingly higher levels of program recognition, e.g., bronze to silver, silver to gold, or gold to platinum OR Tier 1 to 2, Tier 2 to 3, and so forth.



Surveys and Data Collection Tools

Recognition programs set their own standards, self-assessment tools, and application forms. Most list names of recognized organizations, by award level, on their websites. The number of sites and reach (people) would be available from partners. National program recognition awards for food, nutrition, and physical activity, overall and by domain (eat, learn, live, play, shop, and work):



Restaurants and retail grocery outlets

American Restaurant Association's restaurant recognition programs for children's menus:






Organizations that may sponsor or be familiar with state or local program recognition awards:


  • State restaurant association
  • State food retailer association
  • State departments of health (retail stores, restaurants)
  • State agriculture department (farmers markets)
  • State social services department (licensed ECEs, food banks)



County & city level: LIVE


Additional Resources or Supporting Citations

Madsen KA, Cotterman C, Crawford P, Stevelos J, Archibald A. Effect of the Healthy Schools Program on Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in California Schools, 2006-2012. Prev Chronic Dis 2015; 12:150020. DOI: