Essay Example on Poorly Articulated Goals/Objectives: Impact on Public Health Programs

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1038 Words
Date:  2023-04-18

To understand the impact of having poorly articulated goals and objectives for a public health program, it is crucial to understand the meaning of the terms 'goals' and 'objectives.' Goals can be defined as general statements that describe what the program wishes to attain (Aiken & Harbour, 2017; Grinnell et al., 2015). Goals are usually long-term (OVC, n.d.). On the other hand, an objective breaks down a goal into smaller units that show specific, measurable actions through which the goals can be achieved (Mikitani, 2018; Vilasis, 2016). Through the objectives, partners and stakeholders are made aware of the results that are expected to be accomplished in the proposed program.

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One of the potential implications of having poorly articulated goals is a failure of the program implementors and participants to understand the long-term impact of the proposed health program. When this happens, there is an increased likelihood that the program will not receive support from the key stakeholders. For example, one the goal of the program is not clear, a researcher or a healthcare practitioner will find it complicated getting the funding needed to implement various aspects of the program and achieve the desired health behavior change. Additionally, a health program that lacks the necessary stakeholder support is highly likely to fail or fail to meet the desired change. It is also worth noting that goals serve as the basis for developing the program objectives (CDC, n.d.). Because of this, poorly articulated goals result in poorly-designed objectives. Such objectives cannot address the desired health behavior change.

Second, failure to design practical objectives lead to lack of clarity of what the program is intended to accomplish. According to the CDC (2015), one of the questions addressed by well-designed objectives is "WHAT are we going to do? Therefore, in the presence of poorly articulated objectives, stakeholders will not comprehend the actions or activities that will be conducted in the proposed program. For instance, in a physical exercise program aimed at reducing the prevalence of overweight, poorly articulated objectives fail to understand the actions (e.g., increase physical activities) aimed at achieving the program's overall goal.

Third, objectives address the question "WHY is it important for us to accomplish this activity?" (Society for Public Health Education, 2015). Therefore, in the absence of a set of clearly articulated goals, the participants of a particular health program will not comprehend why the significance of specific activities (e.g., curbing consumption of processed foods) in achieving a particular health goal (e.g., decreasing body mass index). Moreover, well-developed objectives address "WHO is going to be responsible for the activities? Therefore, the absence of well-designed objectives implies that those tasked with ensuring the success of the program will not well-defined roles. In the lack of clearly outlined activities, the program the desired behavior change will not be accomplished.

Goals and Objectives of the Proposed Health Program

The Community Health Issue I selected was "The growing and high prevalence of childhood obesity in the State of Alabama". Therefore, the goal of the proposed health program is to 'decrease the prevalence of childhood obesity in the state of Alabama.' To achieve this goal, both process objectives and outcome objectives will be used. According to Zaccagnini and Pechacek (2019), process objectives are focused on the activities that need to be accomplished within a specific time. They are aimed at ensuring accountability by outlining actions to be completed within specific deadlines.

The following process objectives will support the goal:

By December 31, an increase from baseline to 80% the percentage of overweight and obese children who are actively engaged in the recommended levels of physical activity.

By April 30, 2020, provide training for 50 parents on the recommended level and duration of physical activity in children.

By May 30, 2020, provide training for 50 parents on behavioral interventions focused on reducing television viewing and computer usage in children.

By June 30, 2020, educate teachers on effective implementation of physical education and exercise in school-going children.

The Role of Goals and Objectives in the Effectiveness of the Public Health Program.

The public health program is aimed at addressing the growing and high prevalence of childhood obesity in the State of Alabama. The proposed goal is crucial in the effectiveness of the program because it clearly articulates what the program is aimed at achieving or accomplishing. Therefore, all the stakeholders involved in the program will work with a definite end in mind. Additionally, clearly defined goals lead to focused efforts towards achieving it.

Lastly, the proposed objectives are useful in ensuring the effectiveness of the proposed program because they specify what needs to be done for the goal to be accomplished. One of the activities necessary to achieve the goal is an increased percentage of obese and overweight children engaged in daily physical exercises. Second, ensuring that children are enrolled at the recommended level and duration of physical activity will help reduce overweight and obesity. Third, decreased television viewing and computer usage in children will address overweight problems. Lastly, the implementation of physical exercise in schools will lead to reduced weight and the overall achievement of the goal.


Aiken, P., & Harbour, T. (2017). Data strategy and the enterprise data executive: Ensuring that business and it are in synch in the post-big data era. Technics Publications.

Boyle, M. A. (2016). Community nutrition in action: An entrepreneurial approach. Cengage Learning.

CDC. (2015). Cdc-Develop smart objectives-Evaluate a cop-Resource kit-Cop-Ostlts.

CDC. (n.d.). Developing Program Goals and Measurable Objectives.

Grinnell, R. M., Gabor, P. A., & Unrau, Y. A. (2015). Program evaluation for social workers: Foundations of evidence-based programs. Oxford University Press.

Mikitani, H. (2018). Business-do: The way to successful leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

OVC. (n.d.). Ovc technical assistance guides: Guide to performance measurement and program evaluation.

Society for Public Health Education. (2015). Increasing Access to Healthy Foods Community Toolkit.

Vilasis, L. S. (2016). The 3 A's in Success: Business consulting techniques apllied to human performance. Profit Editorial.

Zaccagnini, M., & Pechacek, J. M. (2019). The doctor of nursing practice essentials: A new model for advanced practice nursing. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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