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Sustainability

Where will I find the Toolkit section?

Ensuring Sustainability begins on p.43 of the Toolkit!

What will I find in the Toolkit section?

  1. Tools for assessing the sustainability of health equity programs.
  2. Recommended tools for developing action plans to ensure sustainability of a program or intervention.
  3. Considerations for intra-organizational sustainability.
  4. A reiteration of the importance of ongoing inter-organizational partnerships in multiple sectors.

Why ensure sustainability?

When developing or launching a successful program, it is crucial to consider sustainability. For initiatives to achieve long-term effectiveness, ongoing efforts and support must be methodically planned. Organizations must assess their capacity for ensuring sustainability, and plan accordingly throughout the lifespan of the initiative.

When to consider sustainability?

Sustainability should be considered throughout the planning, development, and implementation processes of any program. However, it is especially important to identify strategies for ensuring sustainability within:

  1. An assessment of your program’s capacity.
    • Identify not only current, but also potential strengths and weaknesses such as future funding cycles, or the evolving political climate.
  2. The identification and engagement of partners.
    • Considering sustainability aid in the selection of long-term partners, or perhaps partners who may fill future (if not current) gaps in funding, knowledge, human resources, or even political support.
  3. The development of health equity focused programs.
    • The strategies selected by your working group must not only be immediately feasible, but sustainable over time to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the initiative.

How to plan for sustainability?

Several resources are available within the Toolkit to direct program assessment as well as an organization’s capacity for ensuring sustainability.

Once you have identified available and needed resources, you can develop a plan for ensuring sustainability. A specific model recommended on p.43 of the Toolkit, the RE-AIM Model, is intended for use in the planning and evaluation methods to ensure sustainability of a program. When developing a sustainability plan, remember to consider internal and external capacity building. The importance of building and maintaining inter-organizational relationships is crucial, not only for success in the initial development and implementation stages of a program, but also for the long term sustainability of the program.

Review pp. 30-31 of the Toolkit, for examples of programs which have effectively formed and utilized partnerships for sustainability. Additionally, you might reference:

  1. Sustainability Planning Guide [PDF–2.96Mb]
    • Developed by the CDC Healthy Communities Program and partners, this toolkit is intended to facilitative the consideration of, and action towards, sustainability in initiatives at the Structures and Systems level of the Social Ecological Model.
    • Visit the website for more information.
 
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