Getting to Outcomes: Step 02. Goals and Desired Outcomes
This step prompts you to develop a goal, specific desired outcomes, relevant program activities to reach the goal, and a logic model that displays all these elements.
What Is This Step?
In Step 1, you selected the top priorities to address and identified your target population. In Step 2, you will specify both broad goals and specific changes, called desired outcomes, that you want to achieve for your target population. A goal is a broad statement that represents the overall impact you would like to achieve through your program. A desired outcome is a way to make goals more specific. For example, it can target certain attitudes, skills, or actual behaviors in your target population.
Another key part of GTO Step 2 is creating a logic model for your program.
A Logic Model
- is a visual map of the route from needs and resources to goals and desired outcomes to program activities to actual outcomes
- is a flow chart of building blocks that allows you to clarify assumptions about how each step builds on the preceding until the desired outcome is reached
- lets you easily see whether there are any gaps in the logic of your program
Why Is This Step Important?
It is important to set a goal and desired outcomes to ensure that
- everyone involved “is on the same page” with what you are trying to accomplish
- you have benchmarks so you know when your program is working as planned
- you are collecting the right evaluation data to assess progress toward your goals and desired outcomes
It is important to have a logic model for your program to
- show the relationships between needs, goals and desired outcomes, program activities, and results (outcomes)
- help you tell a compelling story (“create a value case”) of how your program is addressing a problem your community cares about
- visually represent a road map for GTO steps
How Do I Carry Out This Step?
Start with the results of your needs and resources assessment from GTO Step 1. From there, write at least one goal that addresses the problems identified. For each goal, specify a related desired outcome, using the SMART Desired Outcomes Tool to help create desired outcome statements that specify what you want to change, who you want to change, how much change you expect, and when the change will occur. Then use the Logic Model Tool to link the problem or community risk and the resources or capabilities to the goals. Ask whether your goals and desired outcomes address the problems identified. Write down different program activities, or even specific programs, that would help achieve the desired outcomes. You will finalize the decision about the specific program in later GTO steps. If you have a program in mind, make sure that you understand the community risks and problems it targets and outcomes it has achieved.
Tools Used in This Step
Logic Model Tool
A visual map of the route from needs and resources goals and desired outcomes program activities actual outcomes.
- Make as many copies of this tool as necessary for you and your co-workers to complete this task. You may want to develop rough drafts as you work and then transfer the final details to a clean copy. Plan to work on this tool as you progress through the steps, not all at once.
- Have copies of your completed Step 1 tools available for everyone working on the Logic Model Tool.
- Have information about any programs you are considering using, such as descriptions of their goals, curricula, or procedures and existing reports on evaluations.
- Moving down each column from left to right, first identify the needs and resources in your community that are relevant to your program.
- Next, write in the goals and SMART desired outcomes you hope to achieve from the program(s) you are considering.
- In the next box, write in the EBPH approach and/or programs you have identified to address your goals and desired outcomes based on community needs and resources. If you have not yet chosen your program, you will have the opportunity to think through that choice further in GTO Step 3. When you make your pick, you can return to this tool and link specific parts of the chosen program to specific goals and desired outcomes.
- In the next box, define program activities that will make the program happen. Doing GTO Steps 4–6 and finally selecting a program will help identify the items for this list.
- In GTO Steps 7 and 8, you will determine how you will assess the quality of the program delivery and how you will assess the success of the program on achieving your goals and desired outcomes. You can complete these sections of the Logic Model Tool at that time.
- Completed by: Project team/manager
- Date: January
* This is a GTO logic model that has been in use for over a decade. While it is not a traditional logic model, it serves to highlight the key decisions made across the GTO steps as one moves through the flow of creating and implementing a program.
SMART Desired Outcomes Tool
Having started your Logic Model Tool, you can now complete the SMART Desired Outcomes Tool. SMART stands for: Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Realistic-Time-based. SMART Desired Outcomes are statements that present the specific changes you would like to see as a result of the program in concrete terms that can be measured. The “SMART” acronym will help ensure that your desired outcome statements are strong.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. SMART desired outcomes are statements that present the specific changes you would like to see as a result of the program in concrete terms that can be measured. The SMART acronym will help ensure that your desired outcome statements are strong.
- Make as many copies of this tool as necessary for you and your co-workers to complete this task.
- Enter the first goal and desired outcome in the first column.
- Create a full desired outcomes statement in the SMART Desired Outcome Statement column, ensuring that each letter in the SMART acronym is addressed and relates to the desired outcome you listed.
- Once your statement has been written, check it by using the SMART Checklist box. Use this space to write each piece of the desired outcome statement that corresponds to each letter in the SMART acronym. See GTO Steps 7 and 8 and the appendix for ideas on possible measures and on how you might gather data to assess your desired outcome.
Tip 2-1. Ensuring that your desired outcomes are SMART
- The desired outcomes should identify concrete changes that will take place.
- Answers the question, "Does the desired outcomes statement clearly specify what will change?"
- The desired outcomes should specify the amount of change.
- Answers the question, "Does the desired outcomes statement state how much change is expected?"
- The desired outcomes should make logical sense, given the needs and goals identified and what a particular program can achieve.
- Answers the question, "Does the desired outcome statement make sense in terms of what the program is attempting to do or is known to accomplish?"
- The desired outcomes should specify how the change will be met with available resources and plans for implementation.
- Answers the question, "Is the desired outcome realistic, given available resources and experience?"
- The desired outcomes should specify the time within which the desired outcome will be achieved
- Answers the question, "Does the desired outcome statement specify when desired results will be achieved?"
- Completed by: Project Team/Coordinator
- Date: January
|Goal||SMART Desired Outcome Statement|
Goal 1: Target population of older adults living independently increases possession of 7-day supply of prescription medications
SMART Checklist (Each letter relating to the “SMART” acronym)
|To increase the number of program participants indicating that they possess a 7-day supply of their medications by 15% from baseline to follow-up (3-month period).|
Goal 2: Target population of older adults living independently increases possession of 7-day emergency household water and other supplies
SMART Checklist (Each letter relating to the “SMART” acronym)
|To increase the number of program participants indicating that they possess a 7-day supply of water and other emergency household supplies by 20% from baseline to follow-up (3-month period).|
When you finish working on this step, you should have:
- Established program goals that explicitly link to the findings from Step 1
- Identified specific desired outcomes for each goal that are linked to your goals using the SMART framework
- Completed the Step 2 Desired Outcomes Tool
- Begun to construct a logic model
Before Moving On
Now you are ready to take the information from Steps 1 and 2 and use it to help you develop more of information about the program or potential programs you are considering. The next four GTO steps (3 through 5) lead you through selecting the best evidence-based approaches to achieve your goals and desired outcomes (Step 3). In these steps, you will assess possible program choices and select the program that you conclude is most suitable for your local area and target populations (Step 4) and that you have the organizational capacity (Step 5) to actually implement.