What Is Sustainability?

Defining Sustainability

With the 4 questions for defining sustainability in mind, engage your stakeholders in a collaborative process to determine your sustainability definition. In the planning section of this part of the Learning Center, you will find a selection of resources to assist you with this task.

Scheirer and Dearing (2002) provide a good baseline definition of program sustainability:

Sustainability is the continued use of program components and activities for the continued achievement of desirable program and population outcomes.

To Sustain an EBP, You May Need

  • Prioritization among your programs
  • Ongoing funding and program financing
  • Partnerships in your community
  • Organizational staff capacity
  • An organizational culture
  • Practice adaptation over time

While You Monitor, and Adapt

  • Client satisfaction
  • Communicating about effectiveness
  • Documenting public health impacts
  • Staff support and workforce development

And Use

  • Program evaluation data
  • Strategic planning
  • A commitment to quality improvement
  • Careful adaptation of the program
  • Leadership
  • Organizational policies and routine practices

This section of the Learning Center contains tools, resources, and insights to help you sustain an EBP. 

(Adapted from Whelan, 2014; Bond, 2014; Schell, 2013; Raffel, 2013).

What is Sustainability: Strategies from the field

Last Updated: 09/27/2017