Target Setting Guide: Steps for Target Setting

The steps for target setting outline a general process for states in preparing, setting, and communicating targets. The general process applies to all indicators requiring target setting. Indicator-specific information for target setting can be found under Indicator Specific Guidance in this guide. The general process information in this guide is designed to work with indicator-specific guidance to support states in working with stakeholders to establish targets. It may take multiple sessions to complete target-setting activities, and at times, a pause maybe needed to find additional data to complete the process.


States have the ultimate responsibility to set measurable and rigorous targets with stakeholder engagement.

  • Broad stakeholder input is required throughout the process of target setting.
  • Targets for intervening years may stay the same or reflect decreased performance as long as the FFY 2025 target is higher than the baseline
  • Targets and baselines can be changed, if necessary, with stakeholder input, with sufficient rationale for the changes, and with OSEP approval.

Published June 2021.