Sustainability

The final ask from HPCD is consideration for the sustainability of your proposed intervention. Having a sustainable intervention means having a plan to ensure the necessary human, informational/technical, organizational, and financial resources to keep the intervention or program in place over time, after funding expires.

The intervention you are proposing will likely help any number of people in the first year of its implementation. It is crucial that plans and considerations are made to make sure projects funded via mini-grants have the potential for long-term, larger-scale change across West Virginia and beyond the "life" of the mini-grant. This communicates that the funding you receive will go even further than just the first year of your initiative or intervention. A focus on the sustainability of your initiative or intervention can show how you will positively impact the health of West Virginians for years to come. By showcasing the ways in which your program can last and have a much larger impact, you can highlight the strength of your planning.

How can I show sustainability in my application? 

Every community and intervention is unique. Because of that, there are not always concrete ways to address sustainability across the board. However, by taking into consideration the following points, programs can plan to sustain over time.

What is the cost to sustain?

Key to sustaining your intervention is being able to account for the costs of the initiative or intervention. This includes money and alternative sources of funding after the mini-grant period, but also what other costs are required in terms of person-power. What kind of staff is required? Is any training needed to continue the program? What other non-monetary costs may be incurred over time?

What is being sustained?

Consider what part of your program is to be sustained in the long-term. Is the the entire program, or some key activity or service? By isolating the specific part of your program that ought to be sustained, barriers and facilitators to your program can more easily be identified.

How supportive is the operating environment?

Consider how supportive the environment is where your initiative will be implemented. Think about what organizational structures and processes are in place that can either facilitate your program, or hinder its success in both the near-term and long-term. Consider how supportive leadership, staff, community members, and other stakeholders are toward your project, and how you can put processes in place to overcome barriers during the mini-grant period to ensure a long-standing intervention.

You can also incorporate the various aspects of the previous 4 "Asks" to ensure the continuation of your intervention.

Attention and effort to implement PSE Changes can sustain the way your internal organization, community, county, and West Virginia as a whole views health and wellness and implements healthy choices, even if you are no longer working on the initiative or intervention you had in mind. Changing or implementing written policy can be difficult, but has a large impact. Systems changes can bring people together to discuss how to make your efforts sustainable and speak to a broader community need. PSE Changes make your work have long-lasting effects on the health and wellness of West Virginians.

You can focus on Little Policy Changes to your organization by using the Good Example Contract as a guide. Consider health equity by working to improve the health of vulnerable populations by implementing interventions that strategically focus on these vulnerable populations and their needs. This can also bring an added layer of need to your project that could help with sustainability. If you implement an intervention that infrequently occurs in the state or an intervention that could be more inclusive of all West Virginians usually, the importance of your program can help you secure future funds. 

Finally, utilize WV Health Connection. They can help show your initiative has been successful. Careful consideration to your evaluation process can also ensure you ask participants the right information to evaluate your initiative. Having positive evaluation results that show changes in knowledge, attitude, or behavior can help you when you seek additional funding.