It’s important to articulate clear goals and desired outcomes so you know where you’re headed and can articulate and measure your impact. Clear goals and desired outcomes will help you identify the appropriate programs and activities to use to reduce and prevent homelessness as well suggest which evaluation methods to use. These conclusions will form the basis of the desired outcomes you’ll evaluate in later GTO steps.
A goal indicates the overall direction your program will take and describes the impact you hope to have in the future. Your goals should be built upon the priorities you identified in Step 1, be consistent with your organization’s mission and be achievable given the resources you have. And remember – you don’t need a lot of goals. One or two good, clear goals will help you stay focused.
Don’t phrase a goal statement as an activity. To implement a vocational program is NOT a useful goal statement; it does not describe how homeless Veterans lives will improve.
At this point, you should get more specific about your program’s goals. For example, your goal may be very specific to the Veterans in your city or it may cover a wider geographic area such as your entire VISN. It may also specify specific groups of homeless Veterans, such as potentially employable homeless Veterans or dually diagnosed homeless Veterans.
In identifying goals, it may be useful to address questions such as the following:
What are we trying to accomplish?
What are the desired results we expect?
How would we like the conditions to change?
If it is decided to implement an evidence-based program, it may be that the goals are already identified for you. That is, most program developers have already worked out, through their own evaluation studies, which goals are appropriate to expect that the program achieve.
Here are some examples of goals:
Reduce substance abuse among homeless Veterans in VISN 4.
Increase employment among Veterans placed in supportive housing.
Reduce the number of Veterans becoming homeless after release from prison.
Create Objectives or Desired Outcomes
An objective is a statement that makes goals more concrete. To develop useful objectives (or outcome statements), remember to describe what specific change(s) you expect to occur as a direct result of your program. Keep these in mind:
An objective should be specific and measurable.
An objective should specify what will change (e.g., knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors); for whom (e.g., enrolled homeless Veterans) by how much (e.g., average income will increase to 200% of poverty level, stays in homeless shelters will be reduced by 50%); by when (e.g., by the end of your program, at a six-month follow-up).
There is likely to be more than one objective for each goal.
The objectives statements should be logically linked to support the attainment of the goal(s).
In specifying objectives, it is useful to address questions such as the following:
What should be the immediate changes in our target population as a result of our program?
What changes are reasonable to expect?
What measures—tests, surveys, or other measuring tools—will be needed?
Do we have access to these measures (or know someone who can help)?
Instructions for Using the Goal and Objective Tool
This tool uses a series of questions to help you identify the content details of what should go into your objectives.
The process for completing the Goal and Objective Worksheet is as follows:
Make as many copies of each of this worksheet as you and your workgroup need to complete the task.
12.Moving down the page, answer the details of each of the five objective questions for your first objective related to the above program goal. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers. Working through this task may reveal some of the gaps in your information you need to fill so you can develop more specific objective statements.
13.If you plan to track progress towards this goal with more than one objective, answer the five objective questions for the other objectives below. If you have more than three objectives linked to this goal you will need to attach another copy of the tool for the remaining objectives.
14.Repeat the above steps for all of your program goals.
Goal. (Goals are broad statements that describe the desired longer-term impacts of what your program is intended to accomplish. Please describe each program goal in the box below using one page per goal.)
Objectives are specific, measurable changes expected in your target population that indicate progress towards a goal. Each goal should have at least one objective.