Hi, I’m Annaliese Calhoun, Project Manager at the Center for Public Health Systems Science at Washington University in St. Louis. My team has been developing the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool, a new tool designed to help programs to rate their sustainability capacity. We define sustainability capacity as the ability to maintain programming and its benefits over time.
After testing reliability and refining the tool, the 40-item Program Sustainability Assessment Tool is now available in a free online format along with other great resources on sustainability planning.
Lessons Learned: Program sustainability capacity is about more than just funding. Through our research, we’ve identified eight key domains that influence a program’s ability to continue providing services and their benefits over time. One of these key components is program evaluation. The full list includes:
- Political Support: Internal and external environments that support your program
- Funding Stability: Establishing a consistent financial base for your program
- Partnerships: Cultivating connections between your program and its stakeholders.
- Organizational Capacity: Having the internal support and resources needed to effectively manage your program
- Program Evaluation: Assessing your program to inform planning and document results
- Program Adaptation: Taking actions that adapt your program to ensure its ongoing effectiveness.
- Communications: Strategic communication with stakeholders and the public about your program.
- Strategic Planning: Using processes that guide your program’s directions, goals, and strategies.
- Building program sustainability capacity requires assessment and planning. The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool was designed to identify a program’s areas of sustainability strength and challenge. Program staff and stakeholders can then use results from this assessment to inform sustainability planning.
Rad Resource: I’m excited to announce the launch of this new website www.sustaintool.org featuring the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool and sustainability planning resources. You can use this site to:
- Deepen your understanding of the factors affecting sustainability capacity.
- Create a free account and assess your program’s sustainability capacity. When you’re finished, you’ll get a summary sustainability report.
- Invite other people to assess the same program and have all the responses totaled in a group summary sustainability report.
- Explore tools and resources for developing a program sustainability plan.
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