Presentation on theme: "TOOLS FOR POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND ANALYSIS Goals and Objectives."— Presentation transcript:
TOOLS FOR POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND ANALYSIS Goals and Objectives
Goals (Part 1) Are broad and ambiguous. Ambiguity is necessary in order to achieve agreement among decision-makers. (incremental decision- making). Ambiguity means limited accountability and/or so much flexibility that the administrative branch of government needs to make decisions about goals/objectives when the policy is operationalized. Ambiguity can also make it necessary for the courts to interpret a policy.
Goals (Part II) Describe what the program is supposed to accomplish. Are different from the services offered. Are also different than outputs (or what is produced by the program). Can be multiple. Two or more goals may be contained in one policy. Can be explicit or implicit. (Manifest or latent). Can be displaced. Original goal may be subverted by procedures or regulations. Funding levels may be insufficient to achieve the goal, service personnel may not comply in a manner that allows goals to be achieved, there may be other barriers to goal attainment. The goal identified in the policy may not be the one intended. There may be unintended side effects or consequences.
Example: No Child Left Behind: Goal: Improvement in educational attainment for all children. Insufficient funds for schools to implement. Educational goal achievement as measured by standardized tests may not be attainable for some groups of students (ESL or disabled students may not feasibly be able to pass the test under some circumstances). In one state (Texas), the drop-out rate was higher after the program was implemented.
Policies and Programs are expected to produce certain outputs Input Staff Facilities Clients Money Throughput Staff Interaction Staff-Client Interaction Program Procedures & Processes Service Delivery Structure Assessment Case Management Outputs Services Provided Changes in Clients Benefits Changes in Client Status
Differentiating between Output and Outcomes Outputs are the immediate effects of the program. Outcomes are the long-term effects of the program. For example, long-term goals might include, improving health status, increasing access to higher education, or increasing income or employment. Short-term steps to achieving these things might require the delivery of health services, improving education quality, or providing job training services.
Goals and objectives are used to put the organization’s mission into action Goals pertain to an ideal we want to reach such as “end homelessness” or “improve the quality of life in the community.” Objectives are steps to reaching the goal and must be a) Measurable (Performance Standards) b) Time-limited c) Specify a target group c) Related to a specific task or process d) Evaluable
Short and long-term goals A short-term goal can be a immediate objective; long-term goals are things that are supposed to happen in the future as a consequence of the program or policy.
Objectives put policies/programs into action LegislationPolicy GoalObjectives
Objectives might be found: Could be specified in the legislation Could be specified in regulations Could be included in government contracts for services with nonprofit or for-profit organizations. Could be found in grant proposals submitted by nonprofit and for-profit organizations when they apply for government funds. Could be specified as performance goals by specific government units (i.e. process all applications within a 3 month period).
At the organization level: Objectives are used to measure whether the individual organization achieved its goals. They can also be used to measure whether specific units or individuals met goals (Management by Objectives) These performance standards can be used to pinpoint where improvements need to be made to address implementation problems with programs and policies.
Sample Goals & Objectives for a Medi-Cal Outreach Program: Goal: Improve health care status among community residents Objective 1: Recruit 10 community residents for paid employment as peer health educators by February 1, 2003. Evaluation criteria – number of residents recruited Objective 2: Provide a series of six training workshops on Medi-Cal eligibility by April 1, 2003. Evaluation criteria – number of workshops actually held, number of people attending, findings from evaluation survey distributed to those attending. Objective 3: Inform the public about Medi-Cal eligibility through local media and community forums. Evaluation criteria: number of calls for more information to Medi-Cal hotline. Number of people attending forums.
Objectives can either focus on task or process: Task objectives focus on completing a specific activity or delivering a specific number of services. Process objectives are a means used to complete a task- related activity. Process objectives are most often related to the process of service delivery, leadership development, increasing public awareness, recruitment or training of volunteers and staff, or strengthening the organization.
Most policies are based on some theory about how goals are to be achieved. This is also called a “theory of action.” Family Reunification Improves Family Functioning; Child Remains in Home Well-being of Child is Enhanced Fewer Children in Foster Care Decreases the Amount of Government Funding Used for Foster Care
Objectives: Should reflect theories about what is supposed to happen in the program. Should be concrete enough that they can be evaluated. Should incorporate program/policy principles and provide clues about the values inherent in the program. Should “fit” with the intent of the policy goal. Should logically lead to the resolution of the policy problem that is targeted by the policy.
Sources of Information About Policy Goals Enabling Legislation Legislative history including official documents and transcripts of hearings State and Committee Studies and Reports Amendments to Bills Statements by Lawmakers