Unit 7: Unpacking Sustainability in CBPR Partnerships
Section 7.2: Planning for Sustainability
In order to ensure that the principles and operating procedures adopted by the partnership are being followed, and that an effective partnership is being established and maintained, partnerships need to conduct an ongoing participatory and formative evaluation of the partnership process.
It is important that your partnership think about and plan for sustainability from its inception and not just something that you wait to think about when a project is nearing completion or funding is almost gone.
At least a year before your partnership’s work plan or current funding ends, you may want to create a plan for a more deliberate and formal process. It can also be useful to form a group or committee to work specifically on this issue. This group can make recommendations to the larger partnership and/or board.
Many people think about sustainability of a partnership as continuing the entire effort with a similar level of funding. However, this is not the only scenario that should be considered. It is important for partners to consider what is really necessary to support the continuation of the partnership, to see whether seeking a similar level of funding is warranted. This should be done before additional funding is sought. For more information on developing a plan for sustainable long-term funding plan, see Unit 5, Section 5.5.
Factors influencing sustainability
There are a number of factors that influence the likelihood that you will be able to sustain your CBPR partnership, projects and/or outcomes. The exercises below are intended to prompt your thinking around these factors and determine which are most relevant to your partnership.