There is a fundamental difference in goals and objectives in a standard proposal. Usually, a goal is an overall objective. It is mostly general in sense and remains unachievable. However, objectives are very specific and they have to be achieved.
The qualities of a project goal are:
- A project goal is very general, high-level and relevant only in the long-term.
- A project goal cannot be achieved by the project itself.
- Usually, there can be only one project goal.
For example, ‘To alleviate poverty’ is a project goal which cannot be achieved by the project alone. Although a project can mention it as its overall goal, it only gives a direction to which it is heading towards. There can be other projects by other organizations (or even by the government) in the same area working for the same goal. Besides, as you can see, in the entire life cycle of the project, it is almost impossible to achieve such a goal.
On the contrary, objectives are very specific and they have to be achieved by the project. The goal can be broken into several objectives. Like for example, ‘to increase household incomes of poor families; to ensure their access to credit; and to improve their technologies for better productivity’ can be objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.