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Importance of Sustainability

The sustainability of health promotion and disease prevention programs often depends on the perceived value of the program and the support that individuals and organizations are willing to commit to ongoing operations. Sustainability can be achieved through continued commitment to achieving the program's goals and mission, increasing capacity in local systems, changing knowledge and attitudes, ongoing collaboration, improving services models, and implementing new policies that support program impact.

Integral to achieving sustainability is the development of a sustainability plan. Sustainability planning can be facilitated by:

  • Obtaining input and buy-in from community and stakeholder organizations.
  • Determining appropriate indicators for evaluation.
  • Documenting information on program progress.
  • Sharing results of program success that resonates with funders.
  • Identifying long- and short-term sustainability strategies to achieve program goals.
  • Organizing and prioritizing financial, human, and in-kind resources.
  • Documenting and sharing information on program progress.
  • Empowering employees and program partners to support sustainability strategies.
  • Establishing mechanisms to identify and solve challenges.

Resources to Learn More

A Sustainability Planning Guide for Healthy Communities
Designed to support coalitions, public health professionals, and other community stakeholders in developing, implementing, and evaluating a successful sustainability plan. Presents information on sustaining policy strategies, approaches to sustainability, and examples of sustainability planning.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 2011

Sustaining the Work or Initiative
Provides guidance for developing a sustainable plan for an organizations or community initiative by identifying the activities to be sustained, clarifying goals, creating a business and marketing plan, and determining specific tasks most beneficial for financial stability.
Organization(s): Community Tool Box