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  • Writer's pictureACET, Inc.


How do you develop and examine the goals of your program?

One model ACET often uses is the SMART framework. This framework includes five important attributes, which also can be framed as questions:

Specific. Which specific indicator, outcome, or area of improvement are you targeting?

Measurable. How will you measure your specific outcome?

Achievable. What results can be achieved with the resources that you have?

Relevant. How is the goal providing meaning to your program, your organization, and/or your community?

Time-related. What is realistic for achieving your results?

“The most basic evaluation question is: To what extent is the program attaining its goals?” says Michael Quinn Patton in Evaluation Flash Cards: Embedding Evaluative Thinking in Organizational Culture. “Goal statements vary tremendously. Not all are SMART.”

An adaptation of the SMART framework is the SMARTER framework. It adds two important words: Evaluated and Reviewed. These two steps show that goals are never static. Goals are dynamic. Regular evaluation and review emphasize how continually reviewing the goals to ensure the program’s resources are benefiting the community is strategic.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has the SMARTIE framework that uses the SMART framework and adds Inclusive and Equitable. These two additions incorporate input from community partners and address disparities and equity issues.

If you’re looking for someone to integrate a SMART, SMARTER, or SMARTIE goals approach to your organizational strategy or an evaluation, please contact ACET at We offer a free initial consultation!

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