Defining your Mission, Setting Goals and Objectives Dr. Lisa Kitinoja The Postharvest Education Foundation
Defining your Mission Mission:The overall purpose of your project or program, with a hint of your grand vision for the future. Good mission statements should be clear, memorable and concise.
Example Mission Statements Mission statement of CARE International: To serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world. Example of a mission statement for an imaginary large scale postharvest training program: To reduce food losses so there is no more food insecurity for anyone in my community!
Setting Goals and Objectives Goals: the long term achievements of your project or program. Example of setting goals for our imaginary training program: To reduce food losses and improve incomes for program participants so they can be food secure and healthy Objectives: a measureable set of steps or activities that will help to reach the stated goals. Example of an objective: To provide training for farmers in order to help them to learn new postharvest handling practices for their crops, reduce food losses and increase their incomes.
Objectives and Program Logic Projects need to be based upon a Logical Framework (Program logic) Theory of Action Results Chain IF, THEN statements Source: FAO 2011
How can we attribute a measured change to our program or project? We need to formulate a Theory of Action (also known as results chain): a chain of activities and/or events that can take us from where we are now to where we want to be and therefore achieve our objectives. Can be expressed using IF, THEN statements Example: The current levels of high postharvest food losses will be reduced if the training provided by the program reaches people who learn enough to then make practice changes and adopt new postharvest technologies, and then these new practices help them to reduce food losses and gain higher earnings from selling their crops.
The 7 Levels of Evidence Bennett’s Hierarchy
Objectives must be expressed using INDICATORS that are MEASUREABLE Measureable objectives include indicators of activities, outputs, outcomes or impacts that you can count or observe (numbers of sites or people to be reached, numbers of postharvest topics or technologies demonstrated, % of food lost) a target (for a certain amount of people to make practice changes, or measuring a specific change in % food losses) with a timeline for implementation (such as the number of people reached per week or year)
INDICATORS Source: FAO 2011
Example #1: Indicators forthe people who are being trained We can count the numbers, types and characteristics of people who participate in our training programs (quantitative indicators) # of men # of women % youths # of groups (cooperatives or associations) # of extension workers Average age of participants We can ask about their perceptions, likes, dislikes, ideas (qualitative indicators)
Example #2: Indicators for adoption of improved postharvest practices or technologies We can survey and count: # of evaporative cool rooms constructed # of solar driers constructed or purchased # of new processed products being produced # of farmers using shade # of women using storage facilities # of different types (qualities, sizes, packaged produce, fresh cut, etc) of fresh produce being eaten at home # of vendors selling new products in the market We can ask about interests or aspirations, perceptions of the usefulness of the technologies (qualitative indicators)
S.M.A.R.T. Indicators Source: FAO 2011
Setting TARGETS for each indicator • A TARGET is a specific, measureable amount of change that you want to achieve over a certain period of time Targets can be based upon: • BASELINE data • expert opinions • stakeholder expectations • historical trends • accomplishments of similar programs
Writing measureable objectives • Includes S.M.A.R.T. INDICATORs of changes related to the objective • Includes a TARGET (describes the amount of change and a timeline for change)
Three examples of Measureable Objectives 100 farmers will be trained in 3 improved postharvest handling practices during 2015 50 program participants will adopt one new food storage technology in the 6 months following their training 50 participants will reduce their postharvest losses by at least 20% within one year • For each objective: • Is this an activity, output, outcome or impact? • At what level of Bennett’s Hierarchy of Evidence does it fall?
Group Exercise #2:Writing Measureable Objectives • Form small groups or 4 to 5 people • Review the handout and discuss a suitable title for your imaginary postharvest project • Write your own examples of a measureable objective for a typical postharvest training program • Choose someone from your group to make an oral presentation of your examples.