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close this book Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival
close this folder Part II - Planning nutrition action projects
close this folder Unit 4: Planning nutrition action projects
View the document Session 1: Describing the problem
View the document Session 2: Writing project goals and objectives
View the document Session 3: Choosing project activities
View the document Session 4: Developing a project work plan
View the document Session 5: Planning how to evaluate
View the document Session 6: Preparing a budget

Session 2: Writing project goals and objectives


Trainees practice analyzing and writing measurable goals and objectives for their projects.

Time: 1 hour


- Handout - "Writing Goals and Objectives"

- Trainer's Reference - "Clear and Unclear Objectives"

- Flipchart and marking pens


1. Define "goals" and "objectives" as statements about the desired or expected results of our projects.

Ask trainers: "Why is it important to describe the results we hope to achieve?"

- So that everyone involved understands the desired results of his/her work

- For guidance in the planning of activities and allocation of resources to produce results

- For monitoring and evaluating progress

2. Distribute the Handout - "Writing Goals and Objectives" and review with trainees.

3. Write several objectives on the flipchart. Use the objectives provided on the trainer's reference or develop your own. Half of the objectives should meet the conditions for SMART objectives, the other half should not.

4. Ask trainees to decide which objectives would be most useful to program managers. Why?

Ask trainees to state whether each of the objectives is SMART or not SMART. Modify one or two of the unclear objectives with trainees, making them SMART.

5. Ask trainees to write one goal and one objective for the first year of their projects. Read three or four of their objectives to the group. Compare them to the criteria for SMART objectives described on the handout. The group can be asked to help revise objectives that are not SMART.

6. Ask trainees to finish writing their project objectives. Trainers should be available to guide them.




A Goal briefly describes what you expect the project setting to be like after your project has solved the problem described earlier.

A Goal must be realistic. Do not state that your project will accomplish more than it possibly can.


"To improve the nutrition status of 500 children in Kigondo District by the end of the two-year project. "


Objectives describe the series of accomplishments that will lead to achievement of your goal.

Objectives are related to the specific causes of malnutrition and the needs that your project will address.


"To train 30 community health workers in nutrition prevention by the end of year one."

"To monitor the nutrition status of at least 2,000 children monthly during the life of the project."

"To provide information about breastfeeding, improved weaning foods and family planning to at least 1,000 families in Kigondo District by the end of the project."

Objectives should be stated in clear, measurable terms. Writing clear objectives makes it easier to plan and implement activities to reach them. Clear objectives also make it easier to monitor progress and evaluate the success of your project.

Objectives should be SMART:



Area- specific



Specific: Is the objective clear in regard to what will be changed, who will be involved, how, when and where?

Measurable: Does the objective provide a target which can be measured? Does it state how many people (or what percentage of a population) will be reached? How much of an increase (in the number of family planning users, number of children vaccinated, etc.) is desired?

Area-specific: Does the objective clearly indicate the area or population to be included in the project? Does it define project activities and beneficiaries by village, sex, age or other characteristics?

Realistic: Do the people you plan to involve in the project (beneficiaries, staff, community leaders) need and want to be involved? Can you expect to attain the levels of involvement and level of change reflected in each objective? If you expect too great a change in too short a time, you are risking failure. If you propose too little change over too long a time, your project may not be worthwhile to potential donors.

Time-bound: Does the objective indicate the exact period of time during which the objective will be accomplished? It is often helpful to set targets for specific periods of your project - for example, by quarters or for the halfway point in the project.




1. To improve the lives of women and their families in Belu District. (unclear)

2. To increase the use of contraceptives in Tokara Village from the present 10 percent of eligible couples to 20 percent of eligible couples by the end of the first year. (clear)

3. To improve the nutrition status of 50 malnourished children in Kiambu location by June 1986. (clear)

4. To conduct monthly growth monitoring. (unclear)

5. To teach women about nutrition and family planning. (unclear)

6. By June 1985, to train 100 women in Santo Domingo location to (1) prepare and give oral rehydration solution for treatment of diarrhea and (2) prepare improved weaning foods using locally available foods. (clear)

7. To vaccinate all the children in San Pedro Village. (unclear)

8. To vaccinate all children under one year old in San Pedro village against measles, tuberculosis, polio and DPT during the first year of the project. (clear)