NIFA now requires Extension to gather race, ethnicity, and gender (known as “REG”) information about youth and adults that participate in our programs. Moving forward, we should collect voluntary self-reported client REG information via online registration, online program surveys, or individual sign-in forms that clients complete and submit directly to program facilitators/educators.
Collecting Demographic Information
- REG information should not be collected using a program sign-in sheet because of privacy concerns.
- Extension professionals should ask participants to complete the demographic survey because the information provided will be used to improve our programs, and to monitor enforcement of laws that require equal access to programs for eligible persons.
- The demographic survey is voluntary. Participants are not required to give us this information.
- Both the EFNEP enrollment system and the 4-H Online enrollment system capture REG information from youth and adults and can be utilized by their respective programs to pull REG information for reporting purposes.
- Extension professionals should not ask youth (participants under 18) to self-identify demographic data. Only a parent/guardian should be asked for REG information for participants under 18.
When to Collect Demographic Information
- REG information is only required by NIFA for program activities. It is not required for outreach activities or delivery methods categorized as “Low” or “N/A” Extension Delivery Types.
- A program activity provides an educational benefit to participants, such as educational training, workshops, presentations, and club meetings.
- An outreach activity typically raises awareness of programs and can be thought of as marketing or advertising efforts such as fairs, festivals, and exhibits. For these types of events, it would be very difficult to track contacts.
- For example, providing information about Extension events and programming at a farmer’s market would be considered an outreach activity because the purpose is to advertise or raise awareness about Extension programs. For outreach activities, Extension staff should report in LERS the nature of the outreach activity, target audience, and the approximate number of individuals reached.
How to Collect Demographic Information
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