This year’s Coalition for Global Hearing Health conference was an inspiring event with 180+ delegates reporting on activities in 43 countries….including our own work in Vietnam.

Our presentation focused on the issue of sustainability which is an important goal for any humanitarian program to ensure that the people served derive benefit from the effort long after the program is completed. Sustainability targets can also help with fundraising as grantors and donors look for evidence that their contributions will lend to lasting change.

We discussed programming elements that can lead to sustainability. We described how the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss attempts to address the sustainability question in Vietnam with a holistic model that spans both hearing health and early education and empowers local professionals and families through education and training. Through the Global Foundation Vietnam Program, not only do the Vietnamese enhance their skills to provide expert pediatric audiology and early intervention care to the children, but they are prepared to train other professionals and families in their country.  Five years since Program inception, the Vietnamese are taking ownership of what they have learned to implement, improve, and otherwise fill gaps in their system of support for their young children with hearing loss.

We appreciated the opportunity to share our insights with our colleagues in hopes that our experiences might help other humanitarians who have placed priority on sustainability in their own programs.

We recommend those interested in hearing health issues around the world to attend next year’s Coalition For Global Hearing Health conference in Manila, Philippines from 24 – 25 October 2016. Details are here .