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P90 The Sustainability of Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change Strategies Implemented in Partnership with the South Carolina SNAP-Ed Program

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      Background

      SNAP-Ed program implementers are encouraged to engage in sustainability planning with partner sites as a long-term environmental outcome per the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework. However, currently no literature exists on the sustainability of policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change strategies adopted with the guidance of program implementers.

      Objective

      The study explored the sustainability of PSE strategies implemented in partnership with the South Carolina SNAP-Ed program.

      Study Design, Settings, Participants

      Key informants at SNAP-Ed partner sites where at least one PSE strategy was adopted in FY2017 participated in an interview six to eight months post adoption (n = 31). An interview guide was developed based on a validated program sustainability assessment tool to explore the tool's eight domains of sustainability.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Interview transcripts were qualitatively analyzed using NVIVO. Each domain was coded based on being evidenced or not evidenced for the strategy. Then, categories of “sustained” and “not sustained” were developed based on emergent common storylines of sustainability among sites. Categories were then dichotomized to demonstrate high versus low capacity for future sustainability and comparisons were made between the two groups for each domain.

      Results

      Five storylines of sustainability surfaced, including strategies that were: going strong (n = 17); going with site investment but unstable (n = 4); going but lacked site investment (n = 1); going but with site planning to discontinue (n = 2); and not going but with site interest in reviving (n = 7). Strategies that demonstrated high capacity for future sustainability commonly had evidence of environmental support, organizational capacity, and partnerships (81%, 48%, 86%, respectively) as compared to strategies with low capacity for future sustainability (10%, 0%, 20%, respectively).

      Conclusion

      Sustainable PSE strategies are crucial for SNAP-Ed to achieve its goal of ensuring low-income people are able to meet dietary guidelines and to maximize program funding. SNAP-Ed implementers should work with sites to ensure the most salient domains for future sustainability are in place during PSE implementation.

      Funding

      USDA.