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Example: The Reducing the Risks (RTR) Coalition's development of objectives to reduce teen pregnancy

The RTR Coalition decided that its main targets of change would be young people (girls and boys), parents and guardians, and members of the community at large.

Some of the agents of change who could assist with the project included:

  • Peers
  • Teachers at the local junior high and high schools
  • Church leaders and youth group directors
  • The mayor
  • The directors of local youth groups, such as the Boys and Girls Club and the city youth center

Members of the RTR Coalition reviewed their vision and mission statements, discussed changes they wanted to see made, baseline data, and what they felt was realistic for their group to achieve. After working through all of these steps, they sat down to write a list of objectives.

A partial listing of their ideas included:

  • By the year 2010, 90% of our community will agree with the statement, "It is very important that our community effectively address the problem of teen pregnancy."
  • By the year 2012, the reported level of sexual abstinence and postponement of initial sexual intercourse among 12-17 year olds will be increased by 20%.
  • By the year 2012, the reported use of contraceptives among adolescents 12-17 years old who choose to be sexually active will increase by 33%.
  • By the year 2014, the estimated rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) among 12-17 year olds will be reduced by 40%.
  • By the year 2015, the estimated pregnancy rate among 12-17 year olds will be reduced by 25%.

Things to note about the RTR objectives:

  • They include what specific changes in whose behavior (and which community-level outcomes) should occur.
  • They include by when the objective should be met.
  • They include how much of the desired change should occur.
  • They are relevant to the mission; that is, they refer to the issues that are directly related to teen pregnancy (contraceptive use, STD rate, etc.).
  • They are challenging; they will stretch the community to go beyond what it is doing.
Jenette Nagy
Stephen B. Fawcett