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Stigma Conversations: Logistics Planning and Developing Objectives

Financial and operational resources are essential components to the success of any event. Health department planners should consider what resources (such as the ability to provide food, room reservations, travel compensations, etc.) are needed for Stigma Conversations. The health department planners should develop a budget, and work with leadership to see what resources are available. Stigma Conversations do not have to follow any specific format to be effective. Depending on resources, health department planners could implement:

  • Webinar/Conference Calls
  • Half-Day Meetings
  • Full-Day Meeting
  • Full-Day Meeting(s) with lunch/snacks provided

While different Stigma Conversations will produce different results, it is important for health departments to provide platforms to have such conversations and find potential solutions to the issues facing the HIV response for all. Any opportunity to bring stakeholders together will help strengthen the HIV response with new stigma reduction data or ideas for new interventions.

When developing objectives for the Stigma Conversation, health departments should ensure that the objectives are SMART* and developed in partnership with community members.

While developing the objective, ask yourself if the statement is:

  • Specific: Will you be able to address this topic area during the Stigma Conversation?
  • Measurable: How will you know you addressed this topic area?
  • Relevant: Does this topic area match with other areas of the Stigma Conversation?
  • Achievable: Can this be feasibly done with the resources you have?
  • Time-Bound: Is there an endpoint to the objective?


During the Stigma Conversation, participants will:

  • Comprehend current health department stigma or discriminatory behaviors within the health department that prevent people from accessing services.
  • Understand and be able to identify the continuums of care, treatment, and prevention for HIV.
  • Understand health equity, social justice, and their roles in the HIV response.
  • Identify health equity challenges in the full realization of the continuums of care, treatment, and prevention for HIV.
  • Assess current gaps in culturally responsive care for persons living with or at risk of HIV, particularly for marginalized populations.
  • Understand stigma and be able to identify ways to measure, reduce, and maintain health practices that meet the needs of the communities they are trying to serve.
  • Develop action plans for integrating culturally responsive care into their programming/scopes of work and the overall response to HIV.

If health departments want to develop additional objectives, they should use the SMARTIE tool in thinking through objectives.

While the Stigma Conversation is meant to be ambitious, it is important to ensure that the overall objectives developed create feasible goals that can be achieved at the event.

*New forms of SMART objectives have started to be implemented in strategic development programs. One example that may be of use for health department planners is the “SMART-IE” goals. While the original SMART stays the same it includes:

  • Inclusive: Does this objective ensure full participation from all stakeholders?
  • Equitable: Does this topic area ensure principles of justice and fairness are promoted?