Costa Rica

4-S Clubs

The Clubes 4-S (lit. 4-H Clubs) have been operating in Costa Rica since August 1949 as a program of the Agricultural Extension Service of the Ministry of Agriculture and Industries. These are youth organizations. The program has grown to a total of 285 clubs with approximately five thousand members in 2016. The 4-S Clubs are an instance of out-of-school education, based on values of better citizenship, civic fervor, love of work and democratic traditions. These are children, young people and rural women organizations which allow their members to learn techniques that favor their development, group decision making and various personal abilities. They seek to stimulate the acquisition of new knowledge and the development of skills by working with projects that respond to the needs and desires of its partners, offering solutions and preparing them to assume a relevant social role in life.

Institutional design


Formalization: is the innovation embedded in the constitution or legislation, in an administrative act, or not formalized at all?

Frequency: how often does the innovation take place: only once, sporadically, or is it permanent or regular?

Mode of Selection of Participants: is the innovation open to all participants, access is restricted to some kind of condition, or both methods apply?

Type of participants: those who participate are individual citizens, civil society organizations, private stakeholders or a combination of those?

Decisiveness: does the innovation takes binding, non-binding or no decision at all?

Co-governance: is there involvement of the government in the process or not?

embedded in the constitution/legislation 
Mode of selection of participants
Type of participants
democratic innovation yields a non-binding decision  


  • Deliberation
  • Direct Voting
  • E-Participation
  • Citizen Representation


  • Accountability
  • Responsiveness
  • Rule of Law
  • Political Inclusion
  • Social Equality

Policy cycle

Agenda setting
Formulation and decision-making
Policy Evaluation


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Pogrebinschi, Thamy. (2017). LATINNO Dataset. Berlin: WZB.

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