Sustainability in International Aid Programs; Identification of Working Concepts of Sustainability and Its Contributing Factors

Hyejin Lee


An international aid program is a process that takes complex strategic planning with persistent collective efforts. Although dependent on a program’s nature, many international aid programs seek sustained benefits and services as their eventual goal after a donor funding ceases. Accordingly, sustainability of international aid programs has been much discussed for aid effectiveness and efficiency. Despite its well-recognized importance, and due to its complexity, the term ‘sustainability’ has yet to be clearly conceptualized across even similar programs. Additionally, there seems to be a lack of consensus on what common factors may contribute to sustainability. The current study reviewed 16 select papers of international aid programs related to health, food or rural development, and identified commonly utilized working concepts of sustainability and its key factors. The most cited concept of sustainability in the select papers was sustained delivery of program services and outcomes. For its contributing factors, eleven factors were identified in the order of frequency: capacity building (16), political commitment (10), continuous funding resource (8), community participation (6), linkage or connectedness (5), acceptance in socio-culture (5), program effectiveness (5), institutionalization (3), transition of responsibility (3), negotiation (3) and communication (3). The findings can help plan more sustainable programs in relevant fields.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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