Comprehensive Agency Assessment June 2010

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United States Peace Corps
Comprehensive Agency Assessment June 2010
Link to PDF Report

Intro: Table of Contents and Acronyms
Part I: Executive Summary
Part II: Vision
Part III: Background and Assessment Methodology
Part IV: Adjusting Volunteer Placement
Part V: Strengthening Management and Independent Evaluation and Oversight
Part VI: Improving the Recruitment and Selection Process
Part VII: Medical Care of Volunteers
Part VIII: Training of Volunteers and Staff
Part IX: Coordinating with International and Host Country Development Organizations
Part X: Lowering Early Termination Rates
Independent Assessments & Reform Plans

Table of Contents[edit]

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY[edit]

    • A. A VISION FOR THE PEACE CORPS AT FIFTY ......... 1
    • B. THE PEACE CORPS’ MISSION AND THREE GOALS ............. 2
    • C. THE AGENCY ASSESSMENT........... 2
      • C.1. Background .................. 2
      • C.2. Assessment methodology....... 3
      • C.3. Organization of the report .. 3

II. VISION[edit]

    • A. VISION FOR THE PEACE CORPS AT FIFTY ............................................................... 5
    • B. THE PEACE CORPS’ MISSION AND THREE GOALS ................................................ 6
    • C. LESSONS LEARNED: CRITICAL ELEMENTS OF A STRATEGY FOR THE PEACE CORPS.............................................. 6
      • C.1. Meaningful work.......................... 7
      • C.2. Partner .......................................... 7
      • C.3. Niche ............................................ 7
      • C.4. Volunteers .................................... 7
    • D. THE PEACE CORPS’ SIX POINT STRATEGY ............................................................. 7
    • E. NEW STRATEGIES TO MAGNIFY PEACE CORPS’ PRESENCE, IMPACT AND REACH............................................. 8
    • F. IMPLEMENTATION..................... 16
    • G. PLAN OF ACTION........................ 16
    • H. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION..................... 18

III. BACKGROUND AND ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY[edit]

    • A. THE PEACE CORPS – A BRIEF HISTORY ................................................................. 21
      • A.1. Introduction ................................ 21
      • A.2. Volunteer activities by program area .......................................................................... 22
    • B. THE PEACE CORPS’ RELEVANCE IN TODAY’S WORLD ..................................... 25
    • C. THE IMPACT OF FUNDING ON THE AGENCY’S OPERATIONS........................... 26
    • D. THE AGENCY-WIDE ASSESSMENT .......................................................................... 28
      • D.1. Introduction ................................ 28
      • D.2. Methodology .............................. 28
      • D.3. The assessment team .................. 30
      • D.4. The agency assessment advisory committee ............................................................... 32
      • D.5. The independent review process 32

IV. ADJUSTING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT PROCESS ........................................................... 35
      • A.1. Introduction ................................ 35
      • A.2. Overview of the decision making process................................................................... 35
      • A.3. Entry or re-entry into a country.. 36
      • A.4. Allocating Volunteer and other resources among Peace Corps countries ................... 38
      • A.5. Country closures and suspensions in the last ten years ............................................... 39
      • A.6. Reflecting priority United States interests................................................................... 40
      • A.7. Country need versus Volunteer and other resource allocation .................................... 43
      • A.8. Meeting country needs – measuring impact................................................................ 45
      • A.9. Conclusions ................................ 45
    • B. RECENT CHANGES ..................... 49
      • B.1. The Office of Global Operations 49
      • B.2. Improvements to the Integrated Planning and Budgeting System (IPBS)................... 50
    • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION..................... 50
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations............................................................... 50
      • C.2. Strategy for implementation of the recommendations................................................. 52

V. STRENGTHENING MANAGEMENT AND INDEPENDENT EVALUATION AND OVERSIGHT[edit]

PART A: STRENGTHENING MANAGEMENT[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT PROCESS ........................................................... 55
      • A.1. The agency’s Strategic Planning Process .................................................................... 55
      • A.2. Resource allocation within the agency ........................................................................ 58
      • A.3. Human resources management .................................................................................... 61
      • A.4. Consistency in management practices ......................................................................... 69
    • B. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION ...................................................................................................... 71
      • B.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................... 71
      • B.2. Strategy for implementation of the recommendations................................................. 73

PART B: THE FIVE-YEAR RULE[edit]

    • A. BACKGROUND ............................................................................................................. 77
      • A.1. Introduction ................................................................................................................. 77
      • A.2. Legislative history ....................................................................................................... 78
      • A.3. Benefits and challenges of the five-year rule .............................................................. 79
      • A.4. Tools available to manage challenges of the five-year rule ........................................ 85
    • B. RECENT CHANGES ...................................................................................................... 87
      • B.1. Legislation ................................................................................................................... 87
      • B.2. Agency efforts to minimize negative impacts ............................................................. 87
      • B.3. Studies and assessments .............................................................................................. 87
      • B.4. Changes to implementation of the five-year rule ........................................................ 88
  • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION ...................................................................................................... 89
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................... 89
      • C.2. Strategy for implementation of the recommendations................................................. 91

PART C: STRENGTHENING EVALUATION AND OVERSIGHT[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT SYSTEM ............................................................. 95
      • A.1. Monitoring and evaluation tools .................................................................................. 95
      • A.2. Offices engaged in project evaluation and oversight ................................................... 98
      • A.3. The Inspector General’s oversight .............................................................................. 98
      • A.4. Office of Chief Compliance Officer .......................................................................... 100
    • B. RECENT CHANGES .................................................................................................... 100
    • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION .................................................................................................... 101
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................. 101
      • C.2. Strategy for implementation of recommendations .................................................... 103

VI. IMPROVING THE RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCESS[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT PROCESS ......................................................... 105
      • A.1. Overview of the Volunteer delivery system .............................................................. 105
      • A.2. Offices involved in the Volunteer delivery system ................................................... 106
      • A.3. Implementing a new recruitment strategy for skilled and highly skilled Volunteers 108
      • A.4. Diversity recruitment ................................................................................................. 109
      • A.5. Marketing .................................................................................................................. 110
      • A.6. Improving the application and selection process ....................................................... 111
      • A.7. Recommendation for improving the application process .......................................... 116
    • B. RECENT CHANGES .................................................................................................... 117
      • B.1. Sector recruitment specialists .................................................................................... 117
      • B.2. Field based recruiters ................................................................................................ 117
      • B.3. Volunteer delivery system modernization and re-design .......................................... 117
    • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION........... 118
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................. 118
      • C.2. Strategy for implementation of the recommendations............................................... 119

VII. MEDICAL CARE OF VOLUNTEERS[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT PROCESS ......................................................... 121
      • A.1. Providing health care to Volunteers .......................................................................... 121
      • A.2. The Office of Special Services .................................................................................. 121
      • A.3. The Office of Medical Services ................................................................................. 122
      • A.4. In-Country Volunteer Health Program ...................................................................... 123
      • A.5. Volunteer satisfaction with the health system ........................................................... 123
      • A.6. Quality of the Volunteer health system ..................................................................... 126
    • B. RECENT CHANGES .................................................................................................... 127
    • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION .. 129
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................. 129
      • C.2. Strategy for implementation of recommendations .................................................... 130

PART A: VOLUNTEER TRAINING[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT PROCESS ......................................................... 131
      • A.1. Introduction ............................................................................................................... 131
      • A.2. Types of training ....................................................................................................... 131
      • A.3. Training staff ............................................................................................................. 134
      • A.4. Core technical training across posts .......................................................................... 135
      • A.5. Providing for quality Volunteer learning .................................................................. 137
    • B. RECENT CHANGES .................................................................................................... 137
      • B.1. Training design and evaluation ................................................................................. 137
      • B.2. Behavior change intervention .................................................................................... 138
      • B.3. Measuring training effectiveness ............................................................................... 138
    • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION .. 139
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................. 139
      • C.2. Strategy for Implementation of the recommendations .............................................. 141

PART B: STAFF TRAINING[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT PROCESS ......................................................... 145
      • A.1. Structure of overseas staff ......................................................................................... 145
      • A.2. Overseas training for country directors, program and training staff, and administrative officers ..................... 146
      • A.3. Staff orientation and development beyond OST ....................................................... 146
      • A.4. Internal Management Assessment of the Center for Field Assistance and Applied

Research .................................................................................................................... 147

      • A.5. Headquarters staff orientation and training ............................................................... 148
    • B. RECENT CHANGES .................................................................................................... 148
      • B.1. Office of Program and Training Support ................................................................... 148
      • B.2. The continuum of learning ........................................................................................ 149
      • B.3. The Global Online Village ........................................................................................ 150
      • B.4. Staff development ..................................................................................................... 151
    • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION .. 152
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................. 152
      • C.2. Strategy for implementation of the recommendations............................................... 153

IX. COORDINATING WITH INTERNATIONAL AND HOST COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT PROCESS ......................................................... 155
      • A.1. Introduction ............................................................................................................... 155
      • A.2. Types of agreements .................................................................................................. 155
      • A.3. The Peace Corps’ management of agreements .......................................................... 160
    • B. RECENT CHANGES .................................................................................................... 163
      • B.1. A new perspective on partnerships ............................................................................ 163
    • B.2. The growth task force ................................................................................................ 163
      • B.3. The Office of Inter-Governmental Affairs ................................................................ 165
      • B.4. The Office of Overseas Programming and Training Support .................................... 166
      • B.5. The Office of Public Engagement ............................................................................. 167
    • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION ... 167
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................. 167
      • C.2. Strategy for implementation of the recommendations............................................... 169

X. LOWERING EARLY TERMINATION RATES[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT PROCESS ......................................................... 171
      • A.1. Types of early termination ........................................................................................ 171
      • A.2. Measurement of attrition ........................................................................................... 171
      • A.3. Differences among the three measures ...................................................................... 172
      • A.4. Trends in early termination/resignation rates ............................................................ 173
      • A.5. Volunteer resignations ............................................................................................... 175
      • A.6. Managing resignations .............................................................................................. 177
      • A.7. Understanding what resignation rates measure ......................................................... 178
      • A.8. Resignations and country director and post performance .......................................... 179
      • A.9. Resignations and Volunteer impact ........................................................................... 179
      • A.10. Controllable resignation rates .................................................................................... 179
      • A.11. Previous task force studies on reducing resignation rates ......................................... 180
    • B. RECENT CHANGES .................................................................................................... 181
      • B.1. Encouraging extensions ............................................................................................. 181
      • B.2. Expectations management ......................................................................................... 181
    • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION .. 182
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................. 182
      • C.2. Strategy for implementation of the recommendations............................................... 183

XI. STRENGTHENING THIRD GOAL ACTIVITIES AND REPORTING MECHANISMS[edit]

    • A. DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT PROCESS .................................................................. 185
      • A.1. Background ............................................................................................................... 185
      • A.2. Interpreting the third goal .......................................................................................... 185
      • A.3. Efforts to achieve the third goal ................................................................................ 187
      • A.4. Monitoring and reporting of current third goal mechanisms of Volunteers and returned Volunteers ................................................................................................................. 195
      • A.5. Incentives and awards ............................................................................................... 196
    • B. RECENT CHANGES .................................................................................................... 197
      • B.1. Significance of the third goal in the coming years .................................................... 197
      • B.2. Correspondence Match Program ............................................................................... 198
      • B.3. Integrated Programming and Budget System (IPBS) Process ................................... 198
      • B.4. Plans for outreach and enhancement from the Office of Public Engagement ........... 198
    • C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION ... 199
      • C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations ............................................................. 199
      • C.2. Strategy for implementation of the recommendations............................................... 201

Also see: Acronyms

ACRONYM LIST[edit]

AO Administrative Officer
APCD Associate Peace Corps Director
APCMO Area Peace Corps Medical Officer
CD Country Director
CDA Country Desk Assistant
CDU Country Desk Unit
CHOPS Chief of Operations
CFO Chief Financial Officer
CIO Chief Information Officer
COS Close of Service
CWWS Coverdell World Wise Schools (program)
EMA Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia Region
ET Early Termination
FSN Foreign Service National
FY Fiscal Year
GAO General Accounting Office
GC General Counsel
HCN Host Country National
HDI Human Development Index
HRM Human Resources Management
IAP Inter-America and Pacific region
IST In-service Training
IPA Intergovernmental Personnel Act
IPBS Integrated Programming and Budget System
IG Inspector General
IT Information Technology
JCAHO Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
KSA Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Medevac Medical Evacuation
MI Master’s International (program)
MOA Memorandum of Agreement
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MS Manual Section
NGO Nongovernmental Organization
OACM Office of Acquisition and Contract Management
OCFO Office of the Chief Financial Officer
OCIO Office of Chief Information Officer
OGO Office of Global Operations
OMS Office of Medical Services
OPATS Office of Programming and Training Support
OPE Office of Public Engagement
OPSI Office of Private Sector Initiatives
OSIRP Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning
OST Overseas Staff Training
PCMO Peace Corps Medical Officer
PCR Peace Corps Response
PCRV Peace Corps Response Volunteer
PCT Peace Corps Trainee
PCV Peace Corps Volunteer
PCVHS Peace Corps Volunteer Health System
PCVL Peace Corps Volunteer Leader
PEPFAR President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
PSC Personal Service Contractor
PST Pre-Service Training
PTO Programming and Training Officer
QTRS Quarterly Trainee Report Summary
RPCV Returned Peace Corps Volunteer
RRO Regional Recruitment Office
SPA Small Project Assistance
S&S Safety and Security
STRAT Strategic Recruiter
TDY Temporary Duty
TEFL Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESL Teaching English as a Second Language
TOT Training of Trainers
USAID U.S. Agency for International Development
USDH U.S. Direct Hire
VAC Volunteer Advisory Committee
VAD Volunteer Assignment Description
VDS Volunteer Delivery System
VRS Volunteer Recruitment and Selection
VS Volunteer Support
V/T Volunteer/Trainee