Making your objectives clear is a stepping-stone in the process of bringing your ideas to an increasingly operational level. Designing objectives that are SMART is important for two main reasons:

  • Translating your purpose and values into a series of clear steps that lead to a specific end
  • Providing a benchmark for monitoring and assessing the WIP’s development

Identify the interests at stake on four different levels:

  1. What topics do you want to cover? (substantive)
  2. How do you wish to implement them? (procedural)
  3. Who do you want to involve? (relational)
  4. What are your definitions of what’s good, ethical, effective, and so on? (relating to principles)

Having answered these questions, you can then focus more specifically on the desired outcomes, the changes that are meant to occur as a result of your specific WIP. This will provide a benchmark for monitoring and assessing the programme.

Change can typically take place in:

  • Knowledge: what target group participants know or learn about a topic (e.g. different types and names of plants if you work in a florist shop or garden business, local history and geography if you’re a local tour guide)
  • Attitudes: how target group participants feel towards something or someone (e.g., feel capable of performing tasks; feel motivated in the workplace)
  • Skills: the development of skills, knowing how to perform a given task (e.g., to know how to repair a bike, to carve and engrave religious icons, communication skills)
  • Behaviours: changes in behaviour (e.g., arrive on time, be gentle and kind to clients, be more proactive)

Besides changes on the individual level, you can also aim for changes in the context, such as:

  • Community awareness and mobilisation
  • Employers involvement and commitment
  • Changes in policies and laws
  • Increased cooperation and collaboration among community actors