After generating a list of health concerns based on your community assessment, the next step is to focus your teams efforts. This chapter helps you determine priorities and write goals and objectives related to the priorities. Creating a logic model is another tool to help you develop programs and services and is sometimes reviewed along with objectives. In Moving to the Future: Nutrition and Physical Activity Program Planning, logic models are covered in the evaluation chapter.
Prioritize Health Concerns After conducting a community assessment you may have a list of health issues or concerns that your community could address. Moving to the Future advises you to prioritize by choosing one or two health issues to focus on. The materials in this section include criteria to consider when determining priorities and techniques to facilitate a committee decision. The purpose of the materials in this section is to provide guidance. Use what is helpful and modify materials to meet your communitys needs. Post a question or comment on the Moving to the Future website Forum to get additional help. After going through the community assessment process, your coalition may have already decided to focus on child and adolescent healthy weight, or food security, or heart disease prevention, for example, or some other healthy priority. If so, this step of prioritizing is not necessary for you now. However, you may need help prioritizing intervention ideas and these materials will be helpful in that process.
Set Health Goals Once the health priority is set, you can write goals and objectives. The materials in this section can help your team write a health goal. There is no single, standard definition of health goal, so agencies and organizations define it differently. The definition for health goal in these materials is broad and suggests that few details be written in the goal. If your organization uses a different definition or committee members prefer a tighter definition, then adapt these tools accordingly. Use what is helpful in these materials and modify them to meet your needs.
Develop Objectives Once your team has finalized its health goal, you can start writing objectives. Objectives are the pathways to achieving a goal. Moving to the Future describes and defines two different objectives–outcome objectives and process objectives. As always, use what is helpful and modify the materials to meet your needs.
Important Points of This Chapter
- Coalition members should not get discouraged by different terms and definitions.
- Coalition members should agree on and understand the definitions and distinctions that the coalition decides to use. If your agency or funding source has specific definitions for goals and objectives, use those definitions.
- Commit your coalition to improving its objective-writing every year–there is always room for improvement and with experience you will get better.