Framework 2: The Program Sustainability Framework

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This conceptual framework was designed to help administrators of public health programs strategically plan for sustainability. The framework consists of 9 domains that represent the conditions necessary for sustainability.

This framework was built through a two-part process. First, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of 85 peer-reviewed journal articles on sustainability within public health programs. Second, the authors conducted concept-mapping with researchers/scientists, funders/advisors, and state/local practitioners. From the concept-mapping process, the sustainability model framework was developed. Eighty-nine percent of the core domains in the final framework were supported by the literature included in the meta-analysis.

This framework implicitly acknowledges 3 layers of characteristics in determining capacity for sustainability: program, organizational, and the broader service system. Strategic planning within each of the domains that spans these 3 layers is essential for sustainability capacity.

Users can access the Program Sustainability Framework self-assessment tool here

The Sustainability Model/Framework consists of 9 domains. In the center is strategic planning. Organized around strategic planning are the 8 other domains: communications, program evaluation, program adaptation, organizational capacity, partnerships, political support, funding stability, and public health impacts. Domains that are strongly related are positioned next to each other. In addition, the last 4 domains listed (representing the upper and right portions of the framework) are external in nature, whereas the first 4 domains listed (representing the bottom and left portions of the framework) are internal in nature.

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Luke, D. A., Calhoun, A., Robichaux, C. B., Elliott, M. B., & Moreland–Russell, S. (2014). The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool: A new instrument for public health programs. Preventing Chronic Disease, 11, 130184.

Calhoun, A., Mainor, A., Moreland–Russell, S., Maier, R. C., Brossart, L., & Luke, D. A. (2014). Using the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool to assess and plan for sustainability. Preventing Chronic Disease, 11, 130185.

Schell, S. F. Luke, D. A., Schooley, M. W., Elliott, M. B., Herbers, S. H., Mueller, N. B., & Bunger, A. C. (2013). Public health program capacity for sustainability: A new framework. Implementation Science, 8(1), 15.

Last Updated: 06/15/2017