• Defining goal terms in development and health

      Ogbeiwi, Osahon (2016)
      Most academic literature uses ‘goal’, ‘aim’, ‘objective’ and ‘target’ as synonymous terms, but development and healthcare sectors define them as distinct etymological entities with varied and confusing interpretations. This review sought to constructively harmonise and differentiate each definition using a thematic framework. An inductive synthesis of definitions of the goal terms collected from 22 literature sources selected through a systematic internet search. Thirty-three specific definitions were reduced through serial category-building to single general definitions, and a set of theoretical themes generated as characteristic framework of each goal. Seven conceptual themes evolved from the synthesis, including the object, scope, hierarchy, timeframe, measurability, significance and expression of each goal term. Two terms, ‘goal’ and ‘aim’ are thematically similar as broad objects of immeasurable terminal impact, with a long-term timeframe. They signify organisational success, expressed as general purpose statements. ‘Objective’ is differentiated as a specific object of measurable intermediate outcome, with short-term timeframe. It signifies intervention effectiveness, expressed as a SMART statement. ‘Target’ is simply a specific quantifiable level of an indicator. Goal, aim, objective and target are conceptually different. New frameworks for writing complete goal statements are proposed, including impact and timeframe; and outcome, indicator and timeframe frameworks for aim and objective respectively
    • General concepts of goals and goal-setting in health: A narrative analysis

      Ogbeiwi, Osahon (2021-03)
      Goal-setting is fundamental to organisational management, yet not every manager knows how do it well. A narrative literature review was done to explore current knowledge of definitions and classifications of goals, and principles of goal-setting in the health sector. Online databases generated 65 relevant articles. Additional literature sources were snowballed from referenced articles, and textbooks. Most academic authors define ‘goal’ synonymously as ‘aim’ or ‘objective’, but with evidence of hermeneutical confusion in general literature. Goal classifications are diverse, differing according to their contextual, structural, functional and temporal characteristics. Many authors agree that goal-setting is problem-based, change-oriented and can effectively motivate attainment, if the goal statement is formulated with a specific and challenging or SMART framework. However, recent authors report varying defining attributes for SMART, and evidence of past studies that have empirically examined the nature and efficacy of frameworks currently used for formulating goal statements for health programmes is lacking.
    • Logical goal-setting frameworks for leprosy projects

      Ogbeiwi, Osahon (2020-05)
      Introduction: Goal setting is a fundamental practice in the effective management of healthcare services worldwide. This study investigated the extent to which leprosy goal formulation in Nigeria is logical and SMART. Method: Document review of baseline problems, goal statements and goal attainments for 2016 in six leprosy projects using a customised logical framework matrix. Results: A total of 15 main problems, 6 aims, 19 objectives and 42 indicators were found. The goals were problem-based and logically linked, with a pattern of a single aim per project, multiple objectives per aim, and multiple indicators per objective. Goal statements specified only impact in 5/6 aims, and only outcome and terminal timeframe in 17/19 (89.5%) objectives. Only one objective stated all four SMART components of outcome, indicator, target and timeframe. While three (7.1%) indicators and two (10.5%) objectives were measurable, no target was attainable. Discussion: Goal-setting frameworks for leprosy projects should be problem based and logical according to best practice. That most leprosy objectives were not completely SMART is similar to the reported structure of objectives published by other health organisations globally.
    • Towards a practice theory of goal setting: assessing the theoretical goal-setting of a leprosy organisation in Nigeria

      Ogbeiwi, Osahon (2020)
      Goal-setting is indispensable for effective healthcare management. Yet, literature evidence suggests many organisations worldwide do not know how to formulate ‘SMART’ goals. Evidence of how existing theories work in practice is scarce, and the practices in low-income countries are unknown. Therefore, this research explored how leprosy project goals were formulated to describe the theoretical practice framework of A leprosy-focused organisation in Nigeria. Using a case-study design, ten managers were interviewed individually concerning their goal-setting knowledge, experience and perspective; and documented goals of six projects were reviewed. A five-step constructionist thematic data analysis generated eleven theoretical frameworks from the concepts of the emergent core themes of ‘stakeholders’, ‘strategies’ and ‘statements.’ Further theorisation reduced them to one general framework. This revealed organisational goal-setting practice as a four-stage centre-led, top-down, beneficiary-focused and problem-based process. The stages were national preparation, baseline needs-survey, centralised goal formulation and nationalised planning. The outcome was the formulation of assigned, ‘non-SMART’ objective statements, which are then used for planning projects. Other theoretical models constructed included a Goal Effects Cycle, ‘SMARTA’ goal attributes and hierarchical criteria for differentiating goal-types. A theory developed from the goal-setting practice postulates that: ‘Assigned non-SMART goal formulation directly results from centralised goal-setting practice and is the predictor of unrealistic project planning.’ Therefore, I propose that goal statements will be ‘SMARTA’ and plans, more realistic and relevant if goal-setting is done collaboratively by all stakeholders at all stages of the process. Also, ‘Change-Beneficiary-Indicator-Target-Timeframe’ and ‘Change-Beneficiary-Location-Timeframe’ frameworks are recommended as templates for writing SMART objectives and aims respectively.
    • Why written objectives need to be really SMART.

      Ogbeiwi, Osahon (2017)
      All successful programmes share goal-setting as a standard practice, and many write their goal statements to satisfy the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. To be SMART, objective statements should be constructed to specify four components: Outcome, Indicator, Target-level and Timeframe (O.I.T.T.). This study reviewed the goal framework of published objective statements to determine the extent to which they are SMART. The statements of 17 published examples of SMART objectives found in literature of mainly four major health organisations: CDC, WHO, NHS and Save the Children, were structurally analysed to measure the completeness of their goal framework according to the OITT components. Only four examples are outcome objectives. 13 (76%) are process or task oriented. The structure of two thirds of the statements shows the similar objective-writing templates used within CDC. All objective statements have an incomplete set of OITT components. The commonest framework has 3 components of indicator, target and timeframe (75% completeness) in 12 statements. Almost all statements specify a timeframe; three-quarter of them mention a target and three-fifth an indicator, but less than 1 in 5 state an outcome. Thus, none of the objective statement is really SMART, and goal-setters are significantly less likely to specify an outcome, than indicator, target or timeframe in their objectives. A high prevalence of non-SMART objectives with low potential for goal attainment in healthcare projects is proposed.