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Table 4 Recommendations for designing a sustainability evaluation

From: Measuring persistence of implementation: QUERI Series

WHAT TO MEASURE:
• Don't measure sustainability of interventions that were not useful or didn't achieve a credible level of success.
• Know what particular components of the intervention were actually implemented and/or adapted, and measure sustainability from both a process and outcome point of view.
• Understand the assignable causes of sustainability failure and success.
WHEN TO MEASURE IT:
• Allow enough time for performance to decline to its nadir.
• The longer the follow-up period, the better.
HOW TO MEASURE IT:
• Build in a follow-up evaluation into the original analytic plan to avoid later challenges, if possible.
• Use more than one method to triangulate qualitative information with quantitative data information.
• Talk directly to local stakeholders to understand the how and why behind
• performance measurements.
• Beware of drawing inappropriate conclusions (e.g., outcome attribution failure).
HOW TO GET FUNDED:
• Build the follow-up period into the original proposal if possible.
• Look for funding opportunities that explicitly include a sustainability component – either in the primary grant or through an allowable extension.
• For post hoc-designed analyses, look for small, rapid-response grants.
• Begin to routinize follow-up measurement as the responsibility of local stakeholders.