- Sustainability is a characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained at a certain level indefinitely.
- It is the continuation of benefits after major assistance from the donors has been completed.
- Sustainability in development refers to processes and relative increase in local capacity and performance while foreign assistance decreases or shifts.
Reasons for sustaining projects
- A sustainable project will not use more
- Natural resources than the local evaluation can supply i.e. Can not use more financial resources than the local community can.
- Sustainability of projects can reduce the likelihood of them collapsing after they have just finished.
- It reduces the financial cost of development project
- It reduces social problems like dependence on the stakeholders’ i.e. External donors and their resources.
- Sustainable development is also linked with continued material development.
Factors That Lead To Project Failure
- A project is considered to have succeeded when it meets most or all its goals and objectives to the quality specification as outlined in its initials project development document. Some of the causes of project failure include:-
- Overrunning of costs and schedule due to the lack of proper control systems and mechanisms.
- Difficulties to attain goals due to extraneous (external) factors i.e. unforeseeable legal hurdles and complications.
- Projects outcome being inconsistent with the promoter’s intentions and expectations of the intended. Beneficiaries – may call for pre-mature termination.
- Lack of workable strategy and unworkable policies
- Lack of appropriate level of resources
Factors Leading To Project Sustainability
- Institutional sustainability: – can the strengthened institutional structure continue to deliver the result of technical cooperation to end users. Institutional sustainability can be linked to the concept of social sustainability that checks on how the interventions can be sustained by social structures and institutions
- Economic and financial sustainability;- can the technical cooperation results continue to yield an economic benefit after the technical cooperation is withdrawn, economically, sustainability may be at risk if the end users continue to depend on heavily subsidized activities and inputs.
- Ecological sustainability:- in this case we assess whether benefits to be generated by the technical cooperation is likely to lead a deterioration in the physical environment hence indirectly contributing to a fall in production or the well being of groups targeted and their society.
- Energetic sustainability: – this type of sustainability is often concerned with the production of energy and mineral resources. Some researchers have appointed to trends, which document the limits of production.
Factors Influencing Development Sustainability
- Participation and ownership
Get stakeholders to genuinely participate in design and implementation. Build on their initiatives and demands. Get them to monitor the project and periodically evaluate it for results.
- Capacity building and training
Training stakeholders to take over should begin from the start of any project and continue throughout the approach should be both to motivate and transfer skills to prepare.
- Government policies
Development projects should be aligned with local government policies.
Financial capacity of the organization determines the sustainability. Medium level countries find it hard to sustain projects.
- Management and organization
Activities that integrate with or add to local structures may have better prospects for sustainability than those that establish new or parallel structures.
- Social, gender and culture expectations
The introduction of new ideas, technologies and skills requires an understanding of local decision making systems, gender divisions and cultural preferences.
All outside equipment must be selected with careful consideration given to the local finance available for maintenance and replacement. Cultural acceptability and local capacity to maintain equipment and buy spare parts are vital.
Poor rural communities that depend on natural resources should be involved in identifying and managing environmental risks. Urban communities should identify and manage waste disposal and pollution risks.
- External political and economic facts
Projects should not be too complicated, ambitious or expensive in weak countries.
Challenges Faced In Project Sustainability
- Resistance to change
- Lack of coordinated participation from all stakeholders
- Reliance on external resources and support