Develop a SART
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Goals and Objectives


The crux of writing realistic objectives is learning what changes need to happen to fulfill your mission. It is generally best to start with objectives that have short-term action steps that are attainable and tangible. This strategy gives you early and positive results from which to build your SART's next steps. Objectives should be5

  • Specific: Objectives should reflect specific, desired accomplishments. They need to be detailed and compatible with sexual assault response policies, protocols, and state, local, tribal, or military ordinances and statutes.
  • Measurable: Objectives must be measurable so that SARTs can determine when they have been accomplished.
  • Achievable: Objectives are standards for achievement. They may be challenging, but they should not demand the impossible.
  • Relevant: Objectives need to specify a result; for example, "provide private waiting areas for victims at exam sites."
  • Timed: Objectives need to specify a relatively short timeframe—from a few weeks to no more than a year.
  • Challenging: Objectives stretch the SART to make significant improvements.  

When developing your objectives, include problems to be resolved within social, legal, economic, political, and policy contexts. In other words, brainstorm what is currently being done to address sexual violence and by whom and whether there are recent events or social or economic trends and policy shifts that could affect your objectives. In addition, consider past efforts to respond to the same or closely related needs, the consequences and lessons learned from those efforts, and what additional knowledge is needed to proceed successfully. For example, are there innovative practices in other jurisdictions that are relevant to your objectives? To what extent could you adapt and incorporate them into your own?

Setting attainable objectives requires a system that you can follow to prioritize them. To start, consider using the following chart:


Priority Rationale

Must Do

Objectives that are important and feasible.

Important To Try

Objectives that are important but will be difficult to accomplish.

Easy To Do

Objectives that are easy to accomplish but may not be very important. Making these objectives a priority provides speedy benchmarks for success.

Last Resort

Objectives of low importance that are difficult to complete.

You also may want to consider completing a self-assessment grid—a tool that allows you to score organizations on their organizational capacity, determining where they are strong and where they need work. In other words, the grid can help you identify infrastructures that support your objectives, thereby enabling you to identify those objectives that are most feasibly accomplished.