This Unit highlights the importance of ensuring that communication response activities are accompanied by Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) communication objectives that are measured by appropriate SMART indicators.
Indicators are succinct measures that aim to describe how the program is performing. As such, they allow programmers to assess what is working and what needs to be improved. Importantly, communication objectives and indicators should be part of an M&E plan that supports the communication response.
Having completed this unit, you will have the following tools to assist you in establishing SMART communication objectives with appropriate indicators. These will support the development of your M&E plan.
What Are Communication Objectives and Indicators? Why Are They Important?
Communication objectives are the desired results of an SBCC intervention, and are generally related to changes in the audiences’ knowledge, thoughts, beliefs, feelings, skills or behaviors. Communication objectives are used to guide the development and direction of an SBCC intervention. The objectives should contribute to achieving the goal of bringing the emergency under control.
Indicators reflect how the SBCC interventions will be measured, and include variables that mark the change or progress toward achieving the objectives. For example, indicators can be used to measure factors such as the reach and quality of the intervention, and any influences on behavior such as knowledge, beliefs, feelings or practices. Indicators can therefore provide valuable information as to how the SBCC response is progressing, and they can highlight areas for improvement or change that need to be made to obtain the desired results. In an emergency, attention should be given to establishing indicators that can be collected easily.
Key Steps for Developing Communication Objectives and Indicators