Sustainability - Ncube
Sustainability is the capacity to maintain desired levels of output and it implies that benefits continue beyond the donor’s involvement. It is a way of measuring the effectiveness of any project. For this particular project capacity builiding, empowerment of the target population and also checking on the infrastructure that remains after the project will ensure sustainability of the proposed project. The objectives of the project are simple, realistic and will be backed by strong communication partnerships. However to ensure sustainability is achieved a plan has to be set up before running the project and it will include the following elements: expertise, financial, management & local participation, content/technological and socio-cultural factor.
- Both indigenous and professional knowledge will be used
- The activities will involve the local authorities and shall be locally appropriate for the different institutions
- Encourage local organisation or beneficiaries to be involved from the start i.e needs assessment. This can be time and resource consuming but the investment has high-yields and contributes a lot to the sustainability of the project.
- To ensure sustainability the project will look for diverse funding opportunities
- Capacity building workshops will also be done throughout the project so that the beneficiaries of the project will be equipped
- Training on key elements of(Management Information Systems (MIS)
Management & local participation
- Activities will integrate with or add to local structures so that they will stand better prospects for sustainability than those establishing new or parallel structures
- How sustainability will be managed at Institution, National and Regioal level
- Institutions-Training will involve a cross cut section of employees so that the human resource succession plan is in place
- National-The idea will be sold to policy makers so that the technology can also be applied at national levels of education therefore becoming an acceptable way of the learning curriculum and also a basic way of handling national business
- Regional-Regional collaboration networks for support systems and idea sharing will be set
- Reduce the need for expertise in implementation of sytems through:
- keeping the material as simple as possible
- Capacity building workshops to demistify certain issues
- Equipment must be selected with careful consideration given to the local finance available for maintenance and replacement.
- Cultural acceptability and the local capacity to maintain equipment and buy spare parts are vital
Socio cultural factors
- The introduction of new ideas, technologies and skills required will take into cognisance the local decision-making systems, gender divisions and cultural preferences
- This will facilitate buying in of ideas and technologies introduced
It is key to understand that sustainability is an ongoing, active process requiring periodic adaptation to new systems, conditions and circumstances. Therefore the challenge likely to be faced is management resistance to change due to the fears that the existing infrastructure will not handle the new technology. Management may also fail to manage change but such risks will be addressed through training as well as monitoring and evaluation of the project throughout the process.