Under the HRSA Planning Grant, our community of practice has tasked each of our local consortium with developing a sustainability plan that identifies strategies for sustaining the consortium over time. For the COP-RCORP Planning Grant, the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool from Washington University in St. Louis is being used to assess the capacity of the local consortia’s planning infrastructure. In the side bar are important points to consider when thinking about sustaining the planning portion of this project.
The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool is setup as an online survey. Our master consortium is offering local consortia two options for completing the online assessment: group consensus and average scores. We created a tool for all consortia to use to let us know the option selected. After making this decision, download the customized instructions based on the selected approach. Click the flow chart below to download the instructions for each option.
The online Program Sustainability Assessment Tool by Washington University in St. Louis includes 40 questions across eight organizational and contextual domains. They intend this assessment to help community organizations and consortia build the capacity to maintain efforts, however they define the term “program.”
Once the Consortia Core Teams have entered their responses to the Sustainability Assessment, they receive a two-page summary report. This provides them with an overview of how they score on the eight domains. To facilitate local discussion about these results, the TTAE team developed a set of reflection questions. This tool may be found here: Reflection Questions for Developing a Sustainability Plan
After receiving the Assessment Report and Reflection Questions, the TTAE team transferred the information into a formatted Sustainability Plan and shared it with the Project Directors for their final review and approval.
This sustainability assessment is not about sustaining a program or your current strategic plans. Instead, as we prepare to move toward implementation, it is as an opportunity to reflect on your local consortium’s capacity to engage, monitor, and adapt your plans to address opiate used disorders over time.
As you and other staff answer the assessment questions, you will frequently see the word “Program”. It is important to consciously replace the word, “Program” every time it appears with “Local COP-RCORP Consortium.”
We are not able to change the words in the questions, so you will need to make this replacement in your mind every time you see it.
Many factors contribute to sustainability. The sustainability assessment tool will hopefully enable you to assess your Local CoP-RCORP Consortium’s current capacity for sustainability across a range of specific organizational and contextual factors.
With knowledge of these critical factors, stakeholders can focus on building capacity for sustainability and positioning their efforts for long term success.
As a reminder, your community has been selected for this HRSA initiative to build your local capacity. Please resist the urge to “paint a perfect” picture when responding to the questions.
In fact, it is expected that you will have low ratings in one or more areas. You will utilize the identified sustainability strengths and challenges to reflect on your capacity to sustain your local efforts. This reflection will then be used to guide the development of a stainability plan.