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SMART is a mnemonic acronym (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based) that seeks a specific, rather than a general, goal in business or project management. Such a goal can answer the 5 “W” questions, such being What, Where, Why, Who, and Which? While some aspects of the acronym seem to be at odds with each other; how can a goal be realistic when you consider the field but also be as specific as possible?, it is still a valid system that can work with the right amount of rigor applied to each example. To that end, here are some for HIV concerns.
Specific would be: What aspect of HIV/AIDS needs greater work on awareness to prevent stigmatization of patients? How the disease is spread? What group contracts the virus in the greatest numbers?
Measurable is the most apparent aspect and can be: Who in the HIV support community needs greater knowledge concerning the disease? Gay men/women, drug addicts and needle sharers, Pregnant women who carry the virus? By race/nationality or multiple factors?
Achievable is: Where can this be most readily achieved? At the local level? Within the state? In the United States? On each continent?
Realistic is: Why is HIV behavior still an issue? What factors prevent widespread use of the drugs that can make it a livable condition? Why are communities without these proven methods? What can be done about addressing cost and availability?
Time-Based is: Which of the other SMART goals can be implemented in a 6 month trial period? Which can be expanded based on positive results to a yearlong study? How best time-wise to address negative outcomes? Different sample sizes over the same time period? Over longer?
While the above are good examples, they are by no means exhaustive. Some links are attached to assist in steering the goals in specific paths or for other suggestions toward a previously defined goal.
http://www.stdhivtraining.org/shaping_a_blueprint.html (helpful presentations)
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/hiv/ccchap/goalsobjectives.html (Minnesota based, but still applicable to our situation)
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