Sustaining BDS Programmes
I am enjoying the discussions that are going on and I hope are all learning. Thanks for being part of this. i just want to sort of summarize the discussion on sustainability by adding something that one of you reminded me about. If you want to be abit technical, you can talk about 3 deimentions of sustainability;
(a) Organizational element - which answers the question on whether the partner organizations that you have selected have integrated you new (project) intervention into their regular programmes. For instance, if you intrdocue business skills training to technical or vocational instituions, or a youth association, have the organizations included that trainign as part of their calandar? Including it means they have bought into it and they think it adds value.
(b) Technical sustainability - in other words, have you built enough technical capacity (of trainers and facilitators) who can continue with the intervention after the project has ended. Do you have the critical mass? Are the trainers or providers capable of providing the training at the same same quality standards as during the project? What is the quiality monitoring mechnism and how is it sustained?
(c) Financial sustainability. Now this is important. One basic rule of thump is that if as a BDS provider you are not able to find somebody or some instituion to pay for your services or products, it can not be sustained. Simple. The question of who actually pays eventually might not be the most important one, but the other rule of thump is that you have the greatest chances of sustinability if the user or beneficiary pays for the services rendered. I know we can have a long discussion about whether Government programmes or projects are sustainable or not (if there is long term committed funding). But the target group should pay, and pay at least a significant proportiuon of the total cost. That way they will vaue it, and you have a better chance of sustaining it.