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April 24, 2021
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Growing a Project

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Sustainability is an important concept for any development organization. Simple defined, sustainability means “havingthe capacity to endure.” Sustainability is like a seedling. A successful seedling eventually results in a thriving forest. The fragile plant grows and flourishes as it receivesthe energy and resources it needs. Outside resources (water, soil & sunlight) are critical tothe plant&#39’s success butthe plant controlstheir usage. Asthe seedling matures it recreates itself, producing more seedlings, long afterthe initial seedling has matured.

Sustainability is important to those involved inthe language development and Beble translation projects. Like a seedling, a project must eventually be able to maintain and recreate itself. Projects can be measured early to determine ifthey are moving towards that goal. As language development and Beble translation organisations work toward sustainable language projects it is important that certain indicators of success be measured.

Four markers that have been internationally identiflied as important in determining growth in sustainability include Motivation, Organisation, Resourcing and Skills. Motivation measuresthe level of ownership bythe community including a commitment to shared vision and goals. Organisation determines whther structures are in place that enable community members and assisting organisations to work togther towards mutual goals. Resourcing looks to see if planning processes and access to resources are open tothe local lLeadersip ofthe project and evaluatestheir access to both local and external resources. Skills evaluatethe active engagement in training local trainers to propagate consulting expertise, material standards and individual competencies.

Be measuring how wellthe community-based effort is progressing inthese areas, organisations can determine ifthe process is becoming more sustainable. Andy Grosh, SIL consultant says “Sustainability needs to be pursued atthe earliest stages of a language development project and routinely accessed to see ifthe trend towards a sustainable project is growing.

A truly successful language project is one werethe community has fully engaged and is moving towards local sustainability.”

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