Identifying Specific Goals and Objectives
Defining outcomes follows directly from problem identification. After identifying and analyzing the problem of AOD use on campus and in the community, the prevention team is ready to articulate clearly the outcomes they wish to see from a prevention effort. For example, if the prevention team has identified the problem of underage drinking in the local bars, perhaps because of failure to check IDs or students using false IDs, then one outcome might be to decrease the number of underage students served alcohol at local bars.
The stated outcomes identify elements of the current environment that the team wishes to increase or decrease. The desired increases and decreases should be clear and measurable in order to determine the success of prevention efforts. For instance, the outcome in the example above may be restated as, “To decrease the number of underage students served alcohol at local bars by 10 percent in one year.”
Defining outcomes before selecting activities allows planners to select strategies and activities that will lead logically to the outcomes they desire, and is the cornerstone of strategic planning. Because the defined outcomes stem from the problem identification process, the program developed to address these outcomes will relate directly to the specific problems at hand.