Exit for Sustainability Checklists

Resource type
Exit for Sustainability Checklists
These Checklists for Exit along the Sustainability Project Cycle are based on lessons from ex-post evaluations that Valuing Voices has done or researched. Ex-post project completion evaluations are rare and even more so those that consulted partners and participants in the field about sustained impacts. Over $3.5 trillion has been spent on public foreign aid projects in the past 70 years (OECD 2019) yet we have evaluated less than 1% of these projects for sustainability. Our Valuing Voices ex-post research of 39 organizations’ evaluations of sustainability shows that most project results decrease (20-90%) as early as two years ex-post in addition to An Asian Development Bank study of post-completion sustainability found that “some early evidence suggests that as many as 40% of all new activities are not sustained beyond the first few years after disbursement of external funding,” Most project exits are in the last quarter and sustainability handover assumptions are not validated expost. Learning from what was sustained helps us know how to exit for sustainability from the very onset of the project (green slices) as compared to the typical project cycle (orange), above. We encourage those tasked with funding, designing, implementing, monitoring & evaluating projects to use these longer checklists and view the full recording shared with participants. A partial PowerPoint can also be found on „Sustaining All of our Hard Work“ presentation for the Vienna Evaluation Network (10/20). These checklists are aimed at donors/designers and implementers of foreign aid projects outcomes and impacts and can be adapted by local NGOs, national governments, private sector, academics, to create exit plans. Local participation in creating these and feedback on how well exit is going will help them sustain results.
Valuing Voices
18/02/2021, 13:20
Cekan, J. (2020). Exit for Sustainability Checklists. Valuing Voices. https://valuingvoices.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Exit-For-Sustainability-Checklists-Dec2020-2.pdf