Program sustainability capacity is the ability to maintain programming and its benefits over time. Many things can affect sustainability capacity, such as financial and political climates, organizational setting, or the presence of effective evaluation.
Programs at all levels and in all settings struggle with their sustainability capacity. Unfortunately, when programs are forced to shut down, hard won improvements in public health, clinical care, or social service outcomes can dissolve. To maintain these benefits to society, stakeholders must understand all of the factors that contribute to program sustainability. With knowledge of these critical factors, stakeholders can build program capacity for sustainability and position their efforts for long-term success.
The Sustainability Framework outlines eight domains that are critical to a program’s capacity for sustainability.
Program Sustainability Framework and Domain Descriptions
The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool provides public health, clinical care, and social service programs and their partners with a reliable way to measure their capacity for sustainability. Users assess their program’s current capacity across a range of specific organizational and contextual factors. The program is given an overall sustainability score as well as a composite score for each domain. The tool can be used with national, state, and local-level programs.
Program Sustainability Assessment Tool
Once a program has taken the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool, staff and stakeholders can use results to identify sustainability strengths and challenges. Next, staff and stakeholders should use assessment results to guide sustainability planning and position their program for long-term impact.