[EDEQUITY Dialogue] Sustainability

From: sflansburg@edc.org
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 16:28:13 EDT

I have been very much enjoying discussion this week! I'd like to add my
comments on the sustainability issue.

This is a topic that also came up last fall in our Dialogue on Women and
Girls in Science. I agree with Rochelle that more funding is needed to
help good programs become institutionalized. Many of the sources that fund
for a year only have little chance at allowing this to happen. I also
think that many funders are trying to address this in some way. I believe
the Schott Foundation has as one of its goals, to address the issue of
building and supporting infrastructure that will keep programs running when
funding is reduced or cut. It would be interesting to hear more about how
this foundation and other funders look at sustainability issues. It's
clear from the presentations on WEEA and other programs that many funders
are looking for projects to fund that have considered this issue. In other
words, that they fit into larger efforts that will continue to be supported
after funding for a specific project is over, and that there be a strong
evaluation component to the project, and so on.

I think that it is also incumbent upon those of us who look for funding to
think and plan for sustainability. One of the suggestions mentioned in
last fall's discussion was, for instance, the need for schools to take
responsibility for programs to encourage girls in math and science as part
of their regular program, as a line item in the budget, rather than relying
always (for instance, in order to sustain an effective project) on outside
funding and/or counting on teachers to cover costs with their discretionary

That being said, I agree that there is a great need for more funding that
is targeted at institutionalizing best practice on a widespread basis, and
for evaluating promising programs. There have been efforts to do this in
the past, but I am not up to date on what the current offering is for this.

Sundra Flansburg
Project Director, WEEA Equity Resource Center

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