Set your objectives

Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan is an important part of the planning process.

Objectives are about what change will occur. They make a Community Action Plan operational. Objectives answer the question ‘Who is going to do what, for whom, by when, and to what standard?’

Local Drug Action Teams are required to develop 2–4 objectives for their Community Action Plan, based on the priorities they have identified (i.e. issue, target audience, or approach, which may include community consultation and working with community partners).

Strengthening community partnerships and community engagement is a key factor in the ongoing success of your work. Many Local Drug Action Teams include objectives that develop capacity in these areas. Objectives may also relate to gathering data through community consultation, or partnership development.

Objectives may describe change at the individual, organisation or community level – they don’t have to describe a direct change for the target audience.

Example objectives are included in each of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s suite of toolkits in Section 3: Set your objectives. You should use your objectives from your selected toolkit activity as useful starting point for setting your Community Action Plan’s activity objectives.

Groups can develop their own objectives. A good way to test your objectives is to use the SMART technique. SMART statements have the following characteristics:

  • Specific: clear and precise
  • Measurable: can be measured to indicate success (e.g. numbers, quantity, comparison)
  • Achievable: can be realistically achieved
  • Relevant: relevant to the issue, target audience and group
  • Time-bound: includes a timeframe for action