Sustainability is one of the keys to projects that produce real “impact” in an area of focus rather than just simply providing “outputs”.
Sustainability means different things to different organizations. For The Rotary Foundation, sustainability means providing long-term solutions to community needs that the benefiting community can maintain after grant funding ends.
Global grant projects must be sustainable and display the following characteristics:
Community needs and strengths Materials and technology Funding Knowledge Motivation Monitoring and evaluation
Local grant sponsors conduct a thorough assessment of the community’s needs to identify a need that sponsors are able to support and that meets beneficiaries’ needs and fits their values and culture. Identify community assets and how they can be leveraged to increase the long term impact of the project’s objectives. Involve multiple community partners in the planning process. When doing your community assessment, be sure to ask about skills or programming the community would like to have as a result of a global grant.
Grant sponsors should purchase equipment and new technology from local sources, when possible. Ensure spare parts are readily available. Involve community members when selecting technology or equipment, and train them to operate, maintain, and repair it on their own. Seek input and or certification from local government agencies, like the Board of Health or Department of Public Works.
Grant sponsors should confirm a local funding source to provide long-term operation, maintenance, repair, and project longevity. Compensate project participants appropriately for their work to ensure continuity of services.
Grant sponsors should provide training, education, and community outreach to strengthen beneficiaries’ capacity to meet project objectives and ensure some sort of accompanying behavior change as a result of the project. Confirm that recipients have a plan to transfer knowledge to new beneficiaries. Collaborate with local organizations and agencies to supply expertise, as needed.
Grant sponsors should provide incentives for beneficiaries and project participants to continue ongoing support. Identify personnel willing to lead beneficiaries to sustain project outcomes. Prepare the community to assume ownership of the project once global grant funds are fully expended.
Project sponsors should develop clear and measurable project objectives, and identify methods for collecting project data. Establish baseline data for evaluation capable of demonstrating significant change for at least three years.
To answer these questions about why sustainability is important and how you create a sustainable project, we are going to turn to our panelists to share their experiences.
Sharing Stories about Sustainability: A Rotarian Perspective
2014 ROTARY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION
Sharing Stories about
A Rotarian Perspective
• What is sustainability?
• Why is sustainability important?
• Impact vs. Outputs
• How do you create a sustainable project?
• Long-term solutions to community needs
• Maintenance by benefiting community
WHAT IS SUSTAINABILTY?
• Community needs and strengths
• Materials and technology
ELEMENTS OF SUSTAINABILITY
• Assess community needs and strengths
• Focus on skills, programming and capacity
• Identify need that sponsors can support
• Design project to meet identified need
• Fit project to local values and culture
• Involve multiple community partners
MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY
• Purchase locally
• Ensure spare parts are available
• Involve community members when
selecting technology and equipment
• Train community members on operation,
maintenance and repair of equipment