The Concomitancy Conceptualization to Program Sustainability built on previous research in multiple ways. The authors argued against the linear stages of implementation models that often placed sustainability or institutionalization at the end of the process (Pluye, Potvin, & Denis, 2004). Instead, they argued that sustainability must be a continual part of program development.
The second major concept of the concomitancy conceptualization was the argument that sustainability occurs not only through organizational routines and structures (routinization), but also through institutional standards from governmental structures (standardization)—something that was often excluded from sustainability frameworks (Pluye et al., 2004). This was thought to be a more practical approach for practitioners, as it is extremely difficult to separate funding for implementation activities from funding for sustainability activities, when in fact they often overlap (Pluye et al., 2004).
The Concomitancy Conceptualization for Program Sustainability has 4 major components (Pluye et al., 2004). The primary focus of the model and contribution to the research literature was to view sustainability and implementation as occurring concomitantly—they accompany each other. Whereas there may be some events and activities that are targeted toward guiding implementation or sustainability, Pluye and colleagues observed that there were also events and activities that helped drive both phases simultaneously.
Planning and evaluation were also identified as being concomitant to the implementation and sustainability processes. Planning was recognized as a continual process during the life-cycle of a program, as it was necessary to update and adjust plans for maintaining resources and continuing to achieve program objectives (Pluye et al., 2004). Evaluation was also incorporated as a parallel element to managing a program, and it too was viewed as occurring concurrently with implementation and sustainability (Pluye et al., 2004).
Figure 1. Program Sustainability: The “Concomitancy” Conceptualization