In public health, it is important to understand concept of goal and objective. These two terms are not synonym and rather need attention of public health practitioners. Kelleher, Murphy, and MacDougall (2007) explain that goal is a long-term outcome whereas objective is a short-term and measurable action. For instance, in the case of alcohol, long-term desire is to reduce the number of young people drinking alcohol. However, the objective is to address one problem specifically at one time. Therefore, goals are the broad statement however objectives provide structure to the program and SMART:
• Time- limited
Let’s try to fit the example in these terms
The goa of the project is to provide a framework to control hazards from drinking alcohol and driving at Scarborough Beach Road, City of Stirling of Western Australia.
To make program Specific -Population group chosen is the young adult. Additionally to narrow down the project area only a specific road is considered instead of addressing whole region problem at a given time.
The program considers various dimensions to handle the issue in small fragments rather than thinking of unmeasurable goal. For instance, controlling alcohol among youth in the city of Stirling is not measurable. However, programs addressing pub, not to deliver alcohol more than a standard drink to young people is a measurable objective.
For instance, if a program considers that nobody under an age of 25 consumes alcohol, it may sound unachievable target. However, introduction of harm minimization approach for alcohol use is achievable . Harm minimisation means we agree that people will consume alcohol however providing knowledge about binge drinking or drink driving can minimise the harm cause by alcohol use.
To ensure resources and time frame are appropriate for goal, the above program stipulated time of six months.
Keleher, H., Murphy, B., & MacDougall, C. (2007). Understanding health promotion. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Here is a PowerPoint to explain the difference between goal and objective