6.8. Sustainability in focus
Sustainability is often used in more than one sense and context.
Oftentimes, in the EU funded projects sustainability means the requirements to keep the project results “alive” for a certain period of time after the project concludes. Make sure you understand the requirements! It may be your website where you published specific tools, it might be equipment purchased for specific purposes. Here, you should be aware that there is a difference between the tools you acquired to implement the project and the “results” the project created. Do not confuse this part with retention policy.
In a broader sense, sustainability means that the project makes a lasting impact on the target communities and its results propagate positively in time.
Both contexts bring practical problems. Until now a significant chunk of your activities was funded by the project. From now on it is your task to keep the project results alive. For that, resources are required. There is now simple advice here. It is a reality that the impact remains, the continuation is simply not possible as your organisation will not be able to find the means.
However, this all comes down to making sure that you understand the process, have a detailed plan including contingencies and think about “after-the-project” before you actually start with it.