oversight

Peace Corps: Meeting the Challenges of the 1990s

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-05-18.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                             United   States   General   Accounting   Office
                             Report to the Chairman, Legislation
GAO                          and National Security Subcommittee,
                       ‘r‘   Committee on Government Operations,
                             House of Representatives

May 1990          _-
                             PEACE CORPS                                       .
                             Meeting the Challenges
                             of the 1990s




GAO/NSIAD90-122
National !kcurity and
International Affaira Division

B-236775

May 18, 1990

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman, Legislation and National
  Security Subcommittee
Committee on Government Operations
House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Chairman:

This report responds to your request that we review the operations and activities of the
Peace Corps. It suggests ways for the Peace Corps to strengthen its efforts to attain its
development and intercultural goals and position itself to meet the challenges of the 1990s.

As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no
further distribution of this report until your scheduled May 22,1990, hearing on Peace Corps
operations. At that time, copies will be sent to the Director of the Peace Corps and to other
interested parties.

This review was performed under the direction of Harold J. Johnson, Director, Foreign
Economic Assistance Issues, who can be reached (202) 276-6790. Other major contributors
are listed in appendix II.

Sincerely yours,




Frank C. Conahan
Assistant Comptroller General
Executive Summ~


                   As the Peace Corps approaches the start of its fourth decade, it faces
Purpose            many challenges adapting to the evolving needs of the countries of the
                   developing world. The Chairman, Legislation and National Security Sub-
                   committee, House Committee on Government Operations, asked GAO to
                   (1) review actions the Peace Corps is taking to respond to the increasing
                   requests by beneficiary countries for skilled volunteers, (2) determine
                   whether the Peace Corps is developing adequate assignments for volun-
                   teers, (3) determine how the Peace Corps can strengthen its efforts to
                   recruit minorities, and (4) determine what actions the Peace Corps is
                   taking to promote a better understanding of other cultures on the part
                   of the American people.


                   The Peace Corps, an independent agency, was established by law in
Background         196 1 to help (1) the peoples of other countries meet their needs for
                   trained manpower, particularly the basic needs of those living in the
                   poorest areas of such countries; (2) promote a better understanding of
                   the American people on the part of the peoples served; and (3) promote
                   a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the American
                   people.

                   During the 196Os, the agency focused largely on increasing the number
                   of volunteers and on the intercultural aspects of volunteer service. At
                   this time, the agency experienced tremendous growth. This growth was
                   followed by a period of retrenchment during the 1970s. During this
                   period, the agency experienced a substantial decline in budget and in the
                   number of volunteers, but began to focus greater attention on recruiting
                   volunteers with the special skills increasingly requested by beneficiary
                   countries. During the 1980s the Peace Corps began to experience mod-
                   est growth in its budget as it attempted to met% a congressionally man-
                   dated objective of 10,000 volunteers, which was added to the agency’s
                   enabling legislation in 1985.


                   Despite its historic successes, the Peace Corps faces many challenges as
Results in Brief   it approaches the 1990s. In attempting to reach its lO,OOO-volunteer
                   objective, it fist needs to adopt new mechanisms to attract and retain
                   volunteers with critical skills. The agency has been unable to fully meet
                   countries’ requests for volunteers with special skills in such fields as
                   agriculture, education, industrial arts, and home economics. The agency
                   has also experienced difficulty recruiting minorities and, thus, has not
                   shown the true ethnic diversity of the American people.



                   Page 2                                           GAO/NSIAlMO-122 PeaceCorps
                        Executive slunmuy




                        The Peace Corps also needs to strengthen its programming of assign-
                        ments for volunteers. In the seven countries GAO visited, development of
                        volunteer assignments was very uneven; some volunteers had little to do
                        while others were not receiving needed support from host-government
                        agencies. This has contributed to the fact that one of every three volun-
                        teers leaves the Peace Corps before the end of their 2-year assignments.
                        Finally, the Peace Corps has given low priority to teaching Americans
                        about foreign cultures.

                        GAO makes several recommendations aimed at improving Peace Corps
                        performance in these areas.



Principal Findings

The lO,OOO-Volunteer    The Peace Corps began the 1980s with about 5,000 volunteers, During
                        the decade, it attempted to increase the number of volunteers in
Objective               response to the 1986 congressional mandate to attain 10,000 volunteers.
                        However, the Peace Corps has been unable to make significant progress
                        toward achieving this objective. As the decade closed, it had about 6,300
                        volunteers. To attain this objective, it must overcome a number of
                        problems discussed in this report.


First Goal: Providing   The Peace Corps has not fully implemented mechanisms to attract vol-
                        unteers with scarce skills, such as doctors, veterinarians, education spe-
Trained Manpower        cialists, and crop extension&s. Instead, it continues to rely heavily on
                        recruitment methods that have been used to attract generalists. The
                        agency also does not provide a career path or adequate incentives to
                        recruiters to seek scarce skill volunteers. In light of this difficulty, the
                        Peace Corps has instructed its overseas staff to encourage countries n’>t
                        to request volunteers with scarce skills. While the agency meets neari..
                        100 percent of the requests for generalists, it fills only about 60 percent
                        of requests for individuals with scarce skills with volunteers having
                        those skills. Another 24 percent are filled with “almost match” volun-
                        teers who do not fully meet Peace Corps criteria for the assignments.

                        The Peace Corps does not consistently develop adequate assignments for
                        volunteers. At the seven Peace Corps posts GAO visited, many volunteers
                        were in assignments that had no specific tasks, objectives, or responsi-
                        bilities. In some cases, local supervisors were unaware that volunteers


                        Pyle3                                              GAO/NSLUNW122PeaceCorpt1
                          were coming and had nothing prepared for them. Some volunteers spent
                          6 to 12 months of their 2-year tour developing their own assignments.
                          GAO also found that some volunteers (1) lacked adequate language skills,
                          (2) did not have local counterparts to carry on activities once they left,
                          (3) were in assignments that had little developmental impact, (4) were in
                          positions that could be filled by local nationals, or (5) were assisting
                          wealthy people. These programmin g difficulties contribute to the rela-
                          tively high rate of early returns. About 33 percent of Peace Corps volun-
                          teers leave before the end of their 2-year assignments. One-half of the
                          older volunteers do not complete their assignments.


Second Goal: Teaching     In general, GAO believes the Peace Corps has been successful in achieving
                          its second goal because volunteers work directly on a peopletopeople
Foreign People About      basis in the small towns and rural areas of the countries served. How-
America                   ever, it would accurately reflect America’s diverse population, and
                          thereby better attain its second goal, by attracting more minorities to
                          serve as volunteers. As of January 1989, only seven percent of Peace
                          Corps volunteers were minorities. According to Peace Corps officials,
                          attracting minorities is difficult because they sometimes graduate from
                          college with heavy debts and perceive the Peace Corps as a largely
                          “white middle-class” institution. The Peace Corps has established minor-
                          ity recruitment goals but has not provided recruiters the incentives nor
                          the tools for achieving these goals. Also, until recently, there have been
                          few minorities in the upper levels of Peace Corps management to serve
                          as recruitment role models.


Third Goal: Teaching      The Peace Corps operates a number of programs that seek to give
                          returned Peace Corps volunteers the opportunity to teach Americans
Americans About Foreign   about foreign cultures; however, it has not devoted consistent effort or
Cultures                  significant resources to this goal. The agency believed that, for the most
                          part, the returned volunteers would perform this function on their own.
                          Recently, returned volunteers formed a national association which
                          seeks, among other things, to perform such “development education”
                          activities. The Peace Corps gave the association $142,650 in grants and
                          has assisted in conducting mailings, but it has not made full use of the
                          association and its affiliated groups to attain its third goal.




                          Page 4                                           GAO/WGADW122 PenceCorps
                      Executive Summan




Recommendations
                  . redesign the agency’s recruitment strategies and programs to (1) attract
                    volunteers with scarce skills, including placing greater emphasis on
                    targeted recruitment programs and providing greater support and incen-
                    tives to recruiters and (2) attract minorities and
                  . implement a planning and evaluation system to improve the develop-
                    ment of assignments for volunteers.


                          requested, GAO did not obtain official agency comments on a draft of
Agency Comments       this report; however, we discussed the report’s contents with Peace
                      Corps officials whose comments were incorporated in the report where
                      appropriate.




                       Page 5                                          GAO/NSIAD@W22PeaceCorps
contents


Executive Summary                                                                                  2
Chapter 1
Introduction                  Peace Corps Goals and Methods
                              A Brief History of the Peace Corps
                              The Peace Corps Today                                               12
                              Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                  14
                          1

Chapter 2                                                                                         1-i
The   lO,O()()-Vol~teer       The lO,OOO-Volunteer Objective                                      17
                              Conclusions                                                         2c
Objective and the
Need to Adapt to New
Realities
                     1
Chapter 3                                                                                         22
                              The Recruitment and Placement Process                               22
PeaceCorps Can                Countries Requesting Scarce Skill Volunteers                        23
Improve Attainment            Headquarters Recruitment Initiatives                                23
of Its First Goal by          Peace Corps Can Better Assist Recruiters                            26
                              Rapid Application Processing Initiative                             29
Strengthening                 Conclusions                                                         29
Recruitment                   Recommendations                                                     30


Chapter 4                                                                                         31
                              Program Planning and Evaluation                                     31
Peace Corps Can               Assignment Programming                                              33
Improve Attainment            Conclusions                                                         39
of Its First Goal by          Recommendation                                                      39
Strengthening
Assignment
Programming




                              Page 6                                         GAO/NSIAD6@122PeaceCarp*
                     Cmtentd




Chapter 5                                                                                40
The PeaceCorps Can   Peace Corps Needs to Show Diversity of American
                         Culture
                                                                                         40
Better Achieve Its                                                                       43
SecondGoal Through   i%a%%!I~?i?$ies                                                     44
                     Conclusions                                                         46
Recruiting More      Recommendation                                                      46
Minorities
Chapter 6                                                                                48
PeaceCorps Can       Peace Corps’ Current Activities
                     Additional Assistance for Returned Volunteers Could Be
                                                                                         48
                                                                                         49
Better Achieve Its       Provided
Third Goal           The Reverse Peace Corps                                             50
                     Conclusions                                                         50

Appendixes           Appendix I: Countries With Peace Corps Volunteers, 1988             52
                     Appendix II: Major Contributors to This Report                      55

Table                Table 1.1: Peace Corps Program Areas                                14

Figures              Figure 1.1: Volunteer Working on Fish Pond in Honduras                9
                     Figure 1.2: Annual Appropriations in Current and                     10
                         constant Dollars
                     Figure 1.3: Volunteers and Trainees, and Applications                11
                     Figure 2.1: Actual Versus Estimated Number of                        18
                         Volunteers, 1986- 1994
                     Figure 5.1: Volunteers by Ethnic Background, January 5,             41
                          1989




                     Abbreviations

                     AID       Agency for International Development
                     APCD      Associate Peace Corps Director
                     IFTS      Integrated Planning and Budgeting System
                     MPB       Management, Planning, and Budgeting
                     PATS      Programming and Training System
                     VIDE      Volunteers in Development Education


                     P-7                                           GAO/NSIADlRblZZ PeaceCorps
Chapter 1

Introduction


                         Since its creation in 1961, the Peace Corps has worked to promote peace
                         and friendship through assistance to others and intercultural exchange.
                         Over the past 29 years, over 130,000 Peace Corps volunteers have
                         sought to improve living conditions in close to 100 countries worldwide.
                         As the Peace Corps embarks upon its fourth decade, we conducted a
                         major review of the agency’s operations and activities to identify ways
                         in which it can better position itself to meet the challenges of the 1990s.


                         In accordance with section 2 of its enabling legislation (22 U.S.C. 2501),
PeaceCorps Goals and     as amended,’ the Peace Corps has sought to attain its primary objective
Methods                  of promoting world peace and friendship though the pursuit of three
                         equal and distinct, but interrelated goals. The legislation states:

                         “[Qt is the purpose of this Act to promoteworld peace and friendship through a
                         Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and
                         women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under
                         conditions of hardship if necessary,

                       . to help the people of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for
                         trained manpower, particularly in meeting the basic needs of those liv-
                         ing in the poorest areas of such countries, and
                       . to help promote a better understanding of the American people on the
                         part of the peoples served and
                       . a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the American
                         people.”

                         Unlike larger development organizations, such as the Agency for Inter-
                         national Development (AID) and the World Bank, which design programs
                         and contribute resources on a government-to-government basis, the
                         Peace Corps has emphasized working on a people-to-people basis. Peace
                         Corps volunteers work alongside host country counterparts in helping to
                         improve living conditions in their communities, and become part of the
                         communities at the grass-roots level. They learn the local culture and
                         know how the local people perceive problems and solutions. They work
                         with the community to attain its objectives by helping it find its own
                         sources of financing and supplies and develop a plan to construct and
                         maintain a project. By helping people to help themselves, the Peace
                         Corps aims to build confidence and competence and teach them to solve
                         their own problems.


                         ‘The Peace Corps was initially established under Executive Order 10924, March 1, 1961. The Peace
                         Corps’enablinglegislationwa3signedinto law on September22,1961.



                         Page 8                                                          GAO,‘NSIA.D~122 PeaceCorps
                                           Clupter 1
                                           llltrOdUCtlOll




                     - - - - -
Figure 1.l : Volunte er Wawkil43 on Fish
Pond in Honduras




                                           Many experts on the Peace Corps believe that the most valuable results
                                           of the Peace Corps program lie in the realm of international goodwill. By
                                           working hand-in-hand with the people of beneficiary countries, volun-
                                           teers are encouraged to strive to develop mutual and equal relation-
                                           ships, creating respect and trust. In so doing, they give the people with
                                           whom they work an opportunity to learn firsthand about the American
                                           people and to dispel some myths and stereotypes about American cul-
                                           ture and society. The volunteers also develop a deeper understanding of
                                           the local society and culture, which they can share with others when
                                           returning to the United States.


                                           The Peace Corps has had three distinct periods in its history. During the
A Brief History of the                     1960s it focused largely on increasing the number of volunteers. The
PeaceCorps                                 founders saw the Peace Corps as largely an intercultural agency. They
                                           did not place great emphasis on the development activities of the volun-
                                           teers, who largely sought to attain the first goal by providing services
                                           directly to the people. During the early years, the agency’s budget
                                           nearly quadrupled, from $30 million in fiscal year 1962 to $114 million
                                           in fiscal year 1966, and remained over $100 million for the remainder of
                                           the decade. (See figs. 1.2. and 1.3.)




                                           Page 9                                          GAO/NSIADB&lZZ PeaceCorps
                                                       Chapter 1
                                                       Introduction




Figure 1.2: Annual Appropriations in Current and Constant Dollars
150     Millloca   of Doll8ra




100



 75



 50



 25



  0




      Fiscal Years

                   Approprtations in Current Debra
                   Appropriations in Constant Ddlara


                                                       Figures for fiscal year 1984 tncludes $17 mtllton ($16.7 mtllion In constant dollars) In appropnated funds

                                                       Figures for fiscal year 1976 excludes transition quarter appropnatton of $24.1 mlllron (12.9 mrllron In
                                                       constant dollars).

                                                       Figures for fiscal year 1984 includes a $2 millton ($638.096 in constant dollars) supplemental
                                                       appropnation.

                                                       Figures for fiscal year 1986 does not include $5.5 million ($1.6 mullion In constant dollars) that was
                                                       sequestered under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Dehot Control Act of 1985 (P L. 99-l 77)




                                                       Page 10                                                                 GAO/WX4DgOl22            Peace@rp@
                                            Chapter 1
                                            Intmhction




Figure 1.3: Volunteers and Trainees, and Applications
50   Thousanda of Indlvlduals/appllutions




              Applications
              Volunteers and trainees


                                             Application figures Include individuals who applied through the Peace Corps to serve wtth the Untted
                                             Nations Volunteer Program.
                                             Appltcation figures for 1962-1970 are on a program year basrs, which ran from September 1 through
                                             August 31. Subsequent figures are on a fiscal year basis.
                                             Application figure for 1976 includes 2.452 applications received during the transmon quarter

                                             The Peace Corps had 5,219 volunteers and trainees in 1987, which represents the fewest number of
                                             volunteers and trainees since 1962.
                                             The Peace Corps received 10,279 applications in fiscal year 1967, which represents the lowest total In
                                             the agency’s history.


                                             The growth of the 1960s was followed by a period of retrenchment dur-
                                             ing the 1970s. In 1971, the President merged the Peace Corps with sev-
                                             eral other federally-sponsored volunteer programs into the ACTION
                                             agency. Because of this organizational change, Peace Corps’ activities
                                             were given less priority and had less visibility. The number of volun-
                                             teers and trainees decreased. During this period, the agency (1) began to
                                             focus more on improving the development activities of the volunteers
                                             and on providing more volunteers with specialized skills and (2)
                                             changed its method of operation from providing direct assistance, such


                                             Page I1                                                               GAO/N-122                PeaceCorps
                 chapter1
                 Introduction




                 as digging wells or constructing latrines, to one of “capacity building,”
                 which sought to “help people help themselves.” The Peace Corps’
                 budget declined from $98.4 million in fiscal year 1970 to $86.2 million in
                 fiscal year 1978, after which it rebounded in fiscal year 1979 to $99.1
                 million. In constant 1962 dollars, the Peace Corps’ budget decreased 76.5
                 percent from $75.9 million in fiscal year 1970 to $43 million in fiscal
                 year 1979.

                 During the 198Os, Peace Corps headquarters began to take a more active
                 role in developing multicountry programs. The agency introduced the
                 Africa Food System Initiative, a lo-year program in which multidiscipli-
                 nary teams of volunteers work on projects designed to increase per cap-
                 ita food production on the continent. In 1987, it also initiated the Small
                 Business Assistance Program to promote microenterprise development
                 through financial and technical assistance. It also began to attempt to
                 increase the number of volunteers in response to a legislatively man-
                 dated objective of having 10,000 volunteers. The Peace Corps budget for
                 fiscal year 1989 was $153.5 million, as compared with $99.9 million in
                 fiscal year 1980. Although it experienced a steady increase in its current
                 dollar budget, its budget in constant dollars was well below the level of
                 resources it had in 1966.

                 Early in the history of the Peace Corps, a provision was added to its
                 enabling legislation which limits the time American staff who manage
                 the program can be employed by the agency to 5 years. It was believed
                 that this provision would lend dynamism to the agency and alleviate
                 bureaucratic tendencies. The 5-year rule was subsequently amended to
                 permit extensions for 1 year and an additional extension for 2 l/2 years
                 for 15 percent of the American staff. Nevertheless, this employment lim-
                 itation eliminates any possibility of a continuous long-term career in the
                 Peace Corps. The volunteers that the Peace Corps recruits are normally
                 given 2-year assignments. Thus, the composition of the Peace Corps is in
                 fairly constant flux. The turnover of staff and volunteers have made the
                 development of stable, constant, consistent programs more difficult.

                 By the end of fiscal year 1990, the Peace Corps expects to have 6,700
The PeaceCorps   volunteers and trainees from all 50 states and U.S. possessions in about
Today            75 countries. The average age of the volunteers is 30; 52 percent are
                 women. About 40 percent of these volunteers are generalists (i.e., indi-
                 viduals with liberal arts educations and no special skills, such as carpen-
                 try or metalworking), 25 percent are educators; 28 percent are
                 specialized professionals in fields such as business, engineering, health,



                 Page 12                                          GAO/‘NSIAD9&122PeaceCorps
chapter 1
IlltlWlUCtlOU




and social work; 17 percent have backgrounds in agriculture; and 3 per-
cent are in skilled trades. They receive a $200 per month readjustment
allowance at the end of their tours, as well as a small living allowance
while in-country. As of early 1989, about 7.3 percent of the volunteers
represented minorities.

Peace Corps volunteers are serving throughout the world. (See app. I.)
They tend to be placed in developing countries, but not necessarily in
the poorest countries of the Third World. For instance, there are no vol-
unteers in Ethiopia or Bangladesh. The agency also maintains volunteers
in countries that are relatively industrialized but still have pockets of
poverty, such as Thailand. The average 1987 per capita Gross National
Product of countries with Peace Corps volunteers as of July 1989 was
approximately $640. The agency is now considering placing volunteers
in Eastern European countries, such as Hungary and Poland.

The Peace Corps concentrates its development assistance in 10 program
areas. (See table 1.1.) The largest program area in terms of percentage
of volunteers is education, followed in order by agriculture, health,
small-enterprise development, and natural resources. During fiscal year
1988, about 28 percent of the volunteers were assigned to education and
about 15 percent to agriculture; others were assigned throughout the
remaining areas.

 Peace Corps has a headquarters staff and a management staff for each
 Peace Corps country. For each country, there is a Director and several
 Associate Peace Corps Directors (APCDS)who develop assignments for
 volunteers. Those APCDs who are American are subject to the 5-year
 rule. Host country national AFCDSare not subject to the 5-year rule
 which, according to Peace Corps officials, has helped maintain some in-
 country management continuity.




  Page 13                                        GAO/NSIAMW122 PeaceCorps
Table 1.l : Peace Corps Program Arear
                                        Education              More volunteers have served in education programs than In any
                                                               other area. While English language instructlon has been a major
                                                               component, volunteers also teach mathematics, science. and other
                                                               courses, train primary and secondary school teachers, and work
                                                               with adults, the handicapped, and the unemployed
                                        Agriculture            Projects involve crop extension, so11science, animal husbandry, and
                                                               agricultural economics research.
                                        Health                 Most volunteers in this area work within natlonal pnmary health care
                                                               systems on maternal and child health activities, nutntion,
                                                               community health education, and water and sanrtatlon projects
                                        Small Enterprise       This program, initiated in 1983, helps local communtties identify and
                                        Development            develop self-sustaining small- and micro-enterprise actlvttles
                                        Urban and Youth        At least 15 urban-related programs seek to Improve livrng condrtlons
                                        Development            among unskilled, low income, and young city dwellers          ___~
                                        Fisheries              In 1988, volunteers in 32 countries sought to generate protein and
                                                               income for local farmers through expansion of fresh water, marine,
                                                               and inland capture fisheries.
                                        Natural Resources      Natural resource projects include agro-forestry, environmental
                                                               education, wildlife management, soil conservation, fuel-efficlent
                                                               stoves, and reforestation.
                                        Women in               Peace Corps programming seeks to enhance the effecttveness of
                                        Development            women, who provide 75 percent of the food and virtually all the child
                                                               care in developing counties, through a broad range of economic
                                                               activities.
                                        Water and Sanitation   Volunteers working in this area seek to build and Improve wells,
                                                               dams, catchments, water systems, and latrines.
                                        Energy                 Peace Corps has 24 programs in 20 countries which involve such
                                                               oroiects as fuel-efficient stoves, solar heat, and bio-qas conversion.




                                        The Chairman, Legislation and National Security Subcommittee, House
Objectives, Scope,and                   Committee on Government Operations, requested that we conduct a
Methodology                             broad review of Peace Corps activities, identifying ways for the Peace
                                        Corps to strengthen its operations and procedures to meet the challenges
                                        it will face in the 1990s. Specifically, we were asked to, (1) review
                                        actions the Peace Corps is taking to respond to the increasing requests
                                        by beneficiary countries for skilled volunteers, (2) determine whether
                                        the Peace Corps is developing adequate assignments for volunteers, (3)
                                        determine how the Peace Corps can strengthen its efforts to recruit
                                        minorities, and (4) ascertain what actions the Peace Corps is taking to
                                        promote a better understanding of other people on the part of the Amer-
                                        ican people.




                                        Page 14                                                       GAO/NSIAIMO-122PeaceCorps
chapter 1
Introduction




We interviewed individuals outside the agency who were knowledgeable
about Peace Corps history, operations, and activities, including repre-
sentatives from the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volun-
teers. We also consulted with three former Peace Corps directors-R.
Sargent Shriver (who served as Peace Corps director during 196 1- 1966);
Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste (1979-1981); and the Ambassador to
Norway, Loret Miller Ruppe (1981-1989).

At Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, DC., we reviewed records
and interviewed numerous Peace Corps officials, including the current
Peace Corps Director. We reviewed documents regarding the Peace
Corps, including our previous reports” on the operations of the agency;
several published books on the Peace Corps; several works on Peace
Corps history issued by the agency; and documents related to the
agency’s legislative history.

We also visited seven Peace Corps posts: Kenya and Senegal in Africa;
Thailand and Fiji in the Far East; Honduras and Ecuador in Latin
America; and the Leeward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean. Except for
the Eastern Caribbean, Peace Corps management identified these posts
as relatively large, well run posts, that were representative of Peace
Corps’ overseas operations as a whole. In contrast, management identi-
fied the post in the Eastern Caribbean as having serious administrative
and assignment programming difficulties.”

At these posts, we reviewed pertinent documents and interviewed Peace
Corps in-country staff, U.S. Embassy officials, host-government offi-
cials, and representatives of private voluntary organizations that work
with volunteers. In each country, we conducted extensive interviews
with a representative group of Peace Corps volunteers. We interviewed
a total of 218 Peace Corps volunteers, using a structured interview for-
mat, from which we compiled information regarding the volunteers’
experiences. We also visited several of their projects and interviewed
the host-country people with whom they live and work.




 ‘Changes Needed For a Better PeaceCorps (ID78-26; Feb. 1979), The Preparation of Volunteers For
 Peace corps $xvice: &me Areas Need Management Attention (IDBl-25; May 1981). and s
 Corps: A StatisticaI Profile, (GAO/mSLAD89-n4FS; July 1989).
 30ur report, Peace Corps: Reorganization in the Eastern Caribbean (GAO/NSIAD-90-93BR; March
 1990), addresses organizational issues we found during our visit to the Eastern Caribbean.



 Page 16                                                        GAO/NSIAWO-122 PeaceCmpa
To compare Peace Corps operations to those of other countries, we inter-
viewed representatives of other countries’ foreign volunteer organiza-
tions, including officials from Japan’s foreign volunteer organization-
Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers.

For fiscal years 1986 through 1988, we assessed the extent to which
Peace Corps met requests for scarce skill and generalist volunteers and
determined the proportion of requests that remained unfilled. We also
conducted a statistically valid random sample4 of volunteer placements
to determine the proportion of positions the Peace Corps filled with vol-
unteers that did not fully meet the qualification requirements for the
assignment. We reviewed the agency’s planning and evaluation proce-
dures and assessed the process for identifying and programming assign-
ments for volunteers. We also assessed Peace Corps efforts to initiate
special targeted programs to recruit volunteers with scarce skills in
demand by host governments. At the Peace Corps recruitment offices in
Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Seattle, we con-
ducted extensive interviews with office management and recruitment
personnel to obtain their views on Peace Corps recruitment efforts and
procedures.

At the 1989 National Conference of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers,
held at Kent State University, we attended workshops and general meet-
ings, and interviewed returned volunteers about their overseas exper-
iences and their perceptions of the Peace Corps’ current and future
operations.

We conducted our review from April 1989 to January 1990 in accor-
dance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




4To determine the number of cases in which PeaceCorps matched candidates with the qualifications
or near qualificatiorw during fiscal years 1986 and 1989, we took a ~atistically valid random sample
from approximately 6,600 placement fiies. In our sample, 24 percent of the “scarce skills” positions
were filled by nominees without formally matched qualifications. Due to sampling variability, we are
96 percent confident that the actual percentage is between 19 percent and 29 percent.



P8ge 16                                                            GAO/NSL4D90-122 Peace Corpe
Chapter 2,

The lO,OOO-Volunteer Objective and the Need to
Adapt to New Realities

                       Significantly increasing the number of volunteers, which was congres-
                       sionally mandated in 1985, may not be a realistic objective for the Peace
                       Corps for the next several years. Meeting this objective will require
                       greater funding than the Peace Corps has received in recent years. In
                       addition, developing countries are becoming increasingly demanding
                       with regard to the skills and qualifications of volunteers. Before the
                       Peace Corps is ready to double in size, it should first improve its systems
                       to recruit volunteers and develop assignments for them. These manage-
                       ment issues are discussed in chapters 3 and 4.


                       In 1981, the Peace Corps was separated from ACTION and again became
The lO,OOO-Volunteer   an independent agency. In 1985, it began focusing on increasing the
Objective              number of volunteers. The International Security and Development
                       Cooperation Act of 1985 added a provision to the Peace Corps’ enabling
                       legislation which established an objective of 10,000 volunteers for the
                       agency. This provision states:

                       “The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States and a purpose of the
                       Peace Corps to maintain, to the maximum extent appropriate and consistent with
                       programmatic and fiscal considerations, a volunteer corps of at least 10,000
                       individuals.”

                       Achieving this objective would have represented nearly a doubling of
                       the number of volunteers and trainees in the Peace Corps in 1985. While
                       the legislation did not establish a timetable for reaching this objective,
                       the Peace Corps Director and congressional leadership, in a subsequent
                       exchange of letters, established a target date of 1992.

                       The Peace Corps director at that time stated on several occasions that
                       the agency was prepared to attain this objective and, during April 1988
                       hearings before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, stated: “Today, all
                       through this agency, the staff is filled with a vitality unseen in many
                       years. We are poised, prepared and moving forward toward the 10,000
                       volunteer goal you set forth in the 1985 public law.”

                       It soon became apparent, however, that the lO,OOO-volunteer objective
                       was not attainable in the established time frame. Despite growth in its
                       budget from $99.9 million in fiscal year 1980 to $153.5 million in fiscal
                       year 1989, the agency never began to approach the 10,000~volunteer
                       objective. The number of volunteers, which was 6,264 in fiscal year
                       1985, increased slightly to 6,312 in fiscal year 1989. In 1988, the agency
                       submitted a new plan to the Congress that envisioned reaching the


                       Page 17                                                  GAO/‘NSL4DSO-122 Peace Corps
                                      Chapter 2
                                      The 10,OOWolunteerObjective and the Need
                                      to Adapt to New Realities




                                      lO,OOO-volunteer objective by 1994. However, statistics on the number
                                      of volunteers and trainees in the field demonstrate that the agency has
                                      not kept pace with expectations. As shown in figure 2.1, the agency to
                                      date has not been able to attain any of the three estimates it established
                                      to reach the 10,000 volunteer objective.


Figure 2.1: Actual Versus Estimated
Number of Volunteers, 1986- 1994




                                       4ooa

                                       3ooa

                                       2ooa



                                          1966           1887       1SW        1989   19BO   1991       1992    1993     1994
                                          YONS

                                                 -        Actual
                                                 ----     1966 Plan Estimate
                                                 m        1988 Aan Estimate
                                                 n ~mm    1990 Fbn Estimate




                                      The Peace Corps now hopes to have 10,000 volunteers by 1995 and
                                      approximately 12,000 by 1996; however, its fiscal year 199 1 budget
                                      request indicates that it will more likely achieve these goals by fiscal
                                      years 1997 and 1999, respectively. The Peace Corps is preparing to open
                                      operations in 9 countries in fiscal year 1990, and anticipates opening
                                      operations in another 20 countries during fiscal years 1991 and 1992
                                      and another 40 countries during fiscal years 1993 to 1996.


Funding Constraints                   On several occasions, the Peace Corps Director has stated that the fund-
                                      ing levels have been inadequate to attain a 10,000~volunteer force.



                                      Page 18                                                       GAO/NSIAD-90122PeaceCorps
                            Chapter 2
                            The 10,09@VolnnteerObjective and the Need
                            to Adapt to New Real&a




                            Despite receiving the appropriations originally requested, the agency
                            was falling far short of its lO,OOO-volunteer objective. In February 1989,
                            hearings before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Peace Corps
                            Director stated: “[The Peace Corps] should be able to have 10,000 volur~
                            teers out there by 1992, but it will take an orderly growth in budget.
                            And it was more than we had projected two and three years ago.”

                            Nevertheless, during June 1989, the new Peace Corps Director testified
                            before the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Committee on Appro-
                            priations, that the agency’s budget request for fiscal year 1990 would
                            not be sufficient to permit it to keep pace with the growth needed to
                            attain the lO,OOO-volunteer objective by 1992 and cited several factors.

                            First, the Peace Corps had originally estimated its budget needs in cur-
                            rent rather than constant dollars, neglecting to include inflation. Second,
                            the agency had experienced escalating medical costs over the past few
                            years. The Peace Corps expenses under the Federal Employment Com-
                            pensation Act, which governs compensation provided to federal employ-
                            ees and Peace Corps volunteers for service-related illnesses and injuries,
                            more than doubled from fiscal years 1983 to 1989, from $3.7 million to
                            $7.5 million, and reflected a 17percent increase from fiscal year 1988 to
                            fiscal year 1989. The agency’s expenses under the Foreign Affairs
                            Administrative System have also escalated. The State Department usec
                            this system to provide administrative support to agencies operating
                            overseas. While the agencies can decide to what extent they use the ser-
                            vices, the State Department determines the cost for each service. These
                            expenditures, for the most part, cannot be controlled by the Peace
                            Corps. Finally, the agency did not foresee the erosion of the foreign
                            exchange value of the dollar which, in effect, increased the costs of its
                            overseas operations.


The Changing Needs of the   The changing nature of the developing world is also affecting the Peace
                            Corps attainment of its lO,OOO-volunteers objective. When the Peace
Developing World            Corps was created, recruitment and programming were relatively easy;
                            the agency would recruit generalists and ask them to perform “commu-
                            nity development” work. Now, as Peace Corps beneficiary countries
                            become more developed and capable of identifying their own needs, they
                            are asking for volunteers with more specialized skills. They often have
                            long-term development plans and ask for more skilled volunteers to
                            assist in fulfilling them.




                             Page 19                                          GAO/NSIAD90-122PeaceCorps
              cbpter 2
              The lO,WWol~teer Objective and the Need
              to Adapt to New I&slitiea




              We found that other countries’ volunteer services are already more
              development-oriented than the Peace Corps. Virtually all of the nations
              of Europe, as well as Canada, Japan, and a number of advanced devel-
              oping countries, such as Indonesia and Nigeria, have overseas develop-
              ment services. In addition, the United Nations operates an international
              volunteer service. These services tend to be smaller and much more
              technically oriented than the Peace Corps. They tend to seek trained
              specialists to fill specific needs of developing countries and, thus, are
              better able to meet the needs of these countries for skilled volunteers.
              For instance, the Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers provides
              technical skills in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, civil engineering and
              architecture, health and welfare, education, and sports.

              Nevertheless, many individuals with whom we spoke, while acknowl-
              edging that the foreign volunteer services reflect the developing world’s
              need for more highly trained volunteers, would not hold up these organi-
              zations as a model for the Peace Corps. The other service organizations
              tend not to share the Peace Corps’ intercultural goals. While their volun-
              teers may have more specialized training, they do not have the cross-
              cultural responsibilities of Peace Corps volunteers nor do they generally
              operate at the grass roots level as do Peace Corps volunteers, character-
              istics that contribute to the uniqueness of the Peace Corps.

              Peace Corps officials have stated that expansion must proceed with a
              focus on program quality and the availability of recruits. However, the
              agency is still in the process of revising its operations to meet this
              changing demand. The Peace Corps experiences difficulty, at the current
              level of volunteers, in recruiting the skilled volunteers requested by ben-
              eficiary countries and ensuring that they have well-structured assign-
              ments. The agency is attempting to evolve from one that provides
              generalists with certain types of life experiences and some technical
              training to one that increasingly fills countries’ requests for generalists
              and specialists with moderate to extensive technical experience in cer-
              tain areas, thus achieving a balance between the two types of volunteers
              in response to country needs.


Conclusions   mentally employing a “business as usual” approach. The agency first
              needs to obtain the funding and put into place the mechanisms needed to
              attract, train, and place 10,000 volunteers that will meet the needs of
              beneficiary countries. As will be discussed in subsequent chapters, the
              Peace Corps must change the way it recruits volunteers and develops


              P8ge 20                                            GAO/NSIAD!)O-122PeaceCorps
clupter 2
Tbe 10,OOWolmteer ObJecthe and the Need
to A&pt to New Realitim




assignments in-country for them. The agency itself has deferred the
timetable for the lO,OOO-volunteer objective. After the Peace Corps has
resolved these management concerns, it may appropriately attempt to
develop more realistic budgets and plans for reaching the lO,OOO-volun-
teer objective.




  Page 21                                       GAO/NSIAD-ml22   Peace Corps
Chapter 3

Peace Corps Can Improve Attainment of Its
First God by Strengthening Recruitment

                      The Peace Corps’ system for recruiting, selecting, and placing volunteers
                      has not been able to fully meet countries’ requests for highly skilled
                      (scarce skill) volunteers.1 Beneficiary countries have increasingly
                      requested volunteers with scarce skills-often with advanced degrees-
                      but, because of its recruitment strategies, the Peace Corps has been una-
                      ble to recruit enough of these individuals. Since the 196Os, the Peace
                      Corps’ recruiting efforts have largely focused on generalists. Peace
                      Corps headquarters has not adequately supported specific programs to
                      increase scarce skill trainees but has attempted to match recruits who
                      do not necessarily meet the skills and/or qualifications requested by the
                      beneficiary countries. Its area recruitment offices lack the information,
                      time, and human and financial resources needed to recruit scarce skill
                      volunteers. Further, until recently, it offered no incentives or rewards
                      for recruiting such individuals.


                      Peace Corps’ Volunteer Delivery System consists of recruiting, selecting,
The Recruitment and   and placing candidates in assignments for 2-year tours of service. Dur-
Placement Process     ing fiscal years 1986 to 1988, Peace Corps’ approximately 100 recruiters
                      sought to recruit an average of about 2,930 recruits. The Office of
                      Recruitment has primary responsibility for determining whether a
                      recruit has the qualifications to become a trainee. Once a recruiter deter-
                      mines that an applicant meets the qualifications of an assignment area,
                      the recruiter nominates the applicant to serve as a trainee/volunteer
                      and forwards the applicants file to the evaluation unit at Peace Corps
                      headquarters for review.

                      The evaluation officer clarifies areas of question or concern, and obtains
                      any necessary documentation to ensure that needed application, legal,
                      and medical reviews can be conducted. The Office of Medical Services
                      ensures that the individual is physically capable of serving in the Peace
                      Corps. The Office of General Counsel ensures that the individual is clear
                      of any actual or potential noncompliance with financial or legal obliga-
                      tions. Upon reviewing each applicant’s file and determining that each
                      candidate meets Peace Corps’ qualifications, the evaluation officer for-
                      wards the complete file of each “qualified nominee” to the Office of
                      Placement.




                      ‘Peace Corps defines “scarce skill” volunteers as those in assignment areas such as crop extension.
                      home economics, or unique skills areas in which the agency has experienced difficulty recnutu$ due
                      to the lower availability of such candidates.



                      P8ge 22                                                           GAO/NSIAD90-122 Peace Corps
                         chapter 3
                         Peace Corpe Can tiprove Attainment of Its
                         Fimt Goal by Strengtbenlng Recruitment




                         The Office of Placement is responsible for matching and selecting nomi-
                         nees to serve as trainees. Placement officers (1) match qualified nomi-
                         nees to specific job requests, (2) invite the candidates to serve in the
                         Peace Corps, and (3) invite the individuals to pre-departure training
                         events for orientation. The final decision on trainees’ selection to serve
                         as Peace Corps volunteers rests with the country staffs, who base their
                         decision on the trainees’ performance during the 6 to 8 weeks of in-coun-
                         try pre-service training.


                         Countries have increased their requests for scarce skill volunteers, such
Countries Requesting     as doctors, veterinarians, education specialists, and crop extensionists.
ScarceSkill Volunteers   Peace Corps data show that from 1981 through 1989 requests for scarce
                         skill volunteers ranged from 54 to 63 percent of total requests. In fiscal
                         year 1989, for instance, an estimated 61 percent of requests were for
                         scarce skill volunteers. Even these are understated, because initial coun-
                         try requests actually reflect greater demand for scarce skill volunteers.
                         Peace Corps in-country staff are encouraged by headquarters to negoti-
                         ate with host countries to arrive at “easier-to-fill” requests (i.e.,
                         requests for someone without the skills or qualifications originally
                         requested by the beneficiary country).

                         Peace Corps has been unable to meet even these “easier-to-fill” requests,
                         however. While Peace Corps’ overall placement rate has improved con-
                         siderably since fiscal year 1981, when it met 60 percent of the scarce
                         skill requests, it continues to experience difficulty meeting such
                         requests. From fiscal years 1986 to 1988, Peace Corps filled about 84
                         percent of requests for scarce skill volunteers, whereas it filled 98 per-
                         cent of requests for generalists. About onequarter of these scarce skill
                         requests were met using an “almost match” process, whereby the
                         agency matches recruits that do not have all the skills and qualifications
                         established by the Peace Corps for that assignment.


                         The Peace Corps initiated several efforts during the 1980s to better
Headquarters             meet host countries’ needs for scarce skill volunteers. These included the
Recruitment              University Collaboration and Associate Volunteer programs and a 2
Initiatives              year agreement with AID to establish a Farmer-to-Farmer program. How-
                         ever, due to management, staff, and budget limitations and difficulties,
                         these efforts have not met expectations. Instead, the Peace Corps has
                         had to rely on more loosely matching volunteers to assignments (not
                         guaranteeing requests for certain scarce skills and instituting an “almost



                          Page 23                                          GAO/NSLADfIO-122 Peace Chrpe
                    chapter 3
                    PeaceCorpe Can Improve Attainment of Ita
                    Plmt Goal by Strenethenine ikmkment




                    match” procedure) in response to increasing requests for skilled
                    volunteers.


Targeted Programs   The University Collaboration program seeks to (1) recruit better trained
                    individuals in scarce skill areas, (2) develop relations with universities
                    and the private sector, and (3) promote recruitment of minorities.
                    Through this program, Peace Corps established cooperative agreements
                    with eight? universities over fiscal years 1987 through 1989. This pro-
                    gram affords interested graduate students an opportunity to combine
                    their academic studies with 2 years of Peace Corps service.

                    Peace Corps has placed very few volunteers through the University Col-
                    laboration program. Since Peace Corps has not monitored, documented,
                    or evaluated this program, we are unable to determine exactly how
                    many individuals have been placed each year, in what countries, the
                    types of assignments, or how well their tours of service have fared. Dur-
                    ing fiscal year 1989, Peace Corps placed 8 volunteers and 25 potential
                    volunteers were “in the pipeline.”

                    Peace Corps established an Associate Volunteer program in October
                    1987. The program provides an opportunity for highly skilled U.S. citi-
                    zens to serve as volunteers for 3 to 18 months; however, it met with an
                    unsteady existence due to staff and budget cuts during fiscal years 1988
                    and 1989. The number of host country requests for Associate Volunteers
                    for fiscal year 1989 tripled to over 350, from 108 in fiscal year 1988.
                    During fiscal year 1988, only 10 volunteers were placed in 7 countries
                    under the Associate Volunteer program. In fiscal year 1989, Peace Corps
                    placed 51 Associate Volunteers in 7 countries.

                    Peace Corps established its Farmer-To-Farmer program in September
                    1987 for a 2-year trial period. The program, funded by AID, sought to
                    provide 50 agricultural expert consultants each year to farmers and
                    Peace Corps volunteers with whom they work. The Volunteers in Over-
                    seas Cooperative Assistance, a private, nonprofit organization recruits
                    and funds American farmers or agricultural professionals to work on
                    Peace Corps projects. Extended through December 1989, the program
                    operated on a budget of $392,700 and had two full-time employees to
                    coordinate and filI requests from the field largely through the nonprofit

                    ?he universities include: Rutgers-the State University of New Jersey-Camden, Boston University.
                    University of Alabama at Bim&gham, University of South Carolina, University of the District of
                    Columbia, Colorado State University, Yale Univemity, and Texas Woman’s University.



                    Page 24                                                         GAO/NSIAD9&122 PeaceCorps
                  Chapter 3
                  PenceCorpo Can Improve Attainment of 1t.a
                  FInat Goal by Strenethening Recruitment




                  agency’s recruitment network. We noted that the program had a slow
                  and difficult implementation and did not meet its initial objective of
                  placing 50 volunteers in each year but, instead, placed a total of 28 con-
                  sultants during fiscal years 1988 and 1989.

                  There also is a proposed “ROTC-style” program which we believe would
                  strengthen Peace Corps efforts to attract scarce skill and minority vol-
                  unteers Introduced in the House of Representatives on February 9,
                  1989, this proposal, called the “Peace Corps Volunteer Education and
                  Demonstration Program Act” (H.R. 985), would permit Peace Corps to
                  competitively select undergraduate students who complete 2 years of
                  study toward a bachelor’s degree and agree to serve as a volunteer at
                  least 3 years. Special consideration would be given to minority students
                  and to students who work in specialized areas related to Peace Corps’
                  scarce skill needs. Students would complete a training program through
                  Peace Corps while completing their degrees at their respective institu-
                  tions. Each student would receive educational benefits covering tuition,
                  room and board, books and fees. Near the end of their college studies,
                  Peace Corps would provide students with an assignment related to their
                  area of study and concentration and where Peace Corps has ongoing and
                  increasing needs.


Loosening Match   Because of the problems with attracting scarce skill recruits, Peace
                  Corps sought to increase its flexibility in meeting scarce skill requests.
Procedure         The Peace Corps (1) informed its country staff that it would not guaran-
                  tee filling requests for volunteers in certain scarce skill areas or those
                  with language requirements, (2) instituted an “almost match” proce-
                  dure, and (3) expanded its assignment area skill requirements.

                  An internal Peace Corps agreement was worked out between the Office
                  of International Operations and the Office of Volunteer Recruitment and
                  Selection, whereby the recruitment office would not guarantee place-
                  ment in five scarce skill areas: (1) agriculture education, (2) industrial
                  arts, (3) home economics (degreed), (4) health and nutrition (degreed),
                  and (5) university English teacher. The agreement also stressed to Peace
                  Corps overseas staff that requests would be better met if they permitted
                  the applicant to have the minimum skill requirements and no foreign
                  language skills. The recruitment office asked the International Opera-
                  tions Office to work with countries to revise assignments for easier
                  recruitment.




                  Page 25                                           GAO/NSLADW122 PeaceCmpe
                 In an effort to provide placement officers with the ability to more
                 loosely match applicants’ skills and qualifications to skill requirements,
                 Peace Corps instituted the “almost match” process during the early
                 1980s. In cases where the qualified nominees’skills and qualifications
                 nearly match an assignment description’s skill requirements, or the
                 qualified nominee has skills and/or experience equivalent or similar to
                 the qualifications required, recruiters or placement officers could con-
                 sider the applicant an “almost match” to a particular assignment. For
                 example, an individual may have been skilled in an assignment area but
                 without the degree requested by the beneficiary country, or the individ-
                 ual may have had fewer than the required credits in the assignment
                 area. Our analysis of a sample of matched scarce skill volunteers for
                 fiscal years 1988 and 1989 indicated that 24 percent were almost
                 matched placements.

                 The Peace Corps also broadened the skill requirements for certain
                 assignments. Peace Corps instituted “Assignment Area Skill Clusters”-
                 education and skill requirements by assignment area-during the late
                 1970s or early 1980s. These skill cluster requirements are used by
                 recruiters and placement officers to match recruits to assignments. The
                 first major revision to the skill cluster requirements occurred during
                 July 1989, when 35 of 55 skill clusters were revised to broaden the level
                 of qualifications requirements. The majority of the revisions occurred in
                 scarce skilI assignment areas.

                 In April 1990, after we had completed our review, the Peace Corps
                 informed us that, beginning with fiscal year 1990, each area office was
                 assigned several scarce skill program areas on which to focus recruit-
                 ment activities. The agency also informed us that, in conjunction with its
                 new emphasis on scarce skill recruiting, it redefined its scarce skill
                 assignment areas. It said that of the 60 new assignment areas, 44 are
                 defined as scarce skills and 16 are defined as generalists. The Peace
                 Corps said that, using these new definitions, it is currently filling about
                 90 percent of scarce skill requests. Because these actions were taken
                 after we completed our review, we have not evaluated their
                 effectiveness.


                 Peace Corps recruiters encounter difficulty recruiting scarce skill volun-
PeaceCorps Can   teers largely because they use a strategy of recruiting undergraduate
Better Assist    students at liberal arts colleges and, hence, generate an abundance of
Recruiters       applications from generalists. They do not make adequate use of the
                 targeted programs that aim to attract scarce skill recruits.


                 Page 20                                           GAO/‘NSIADfHhl22PeaceCorpe
                         Chapter 3
                         Peaceti~‘W CM hPmve Attainment of Ita
                         F’IIWGorl by Stmwthenhg Barrnitment




Recruiting to Attract    The Peace Corps’ recruiting is “generalist-driven,” and recruitment per-
                         sonnel do not have the resources or opportunities needed to engage in
Generalists              innovative recruiting to target and attract scarce skill recruits. All the
                         recruitment area offices we visited had recently engaged in more
                         targeted recruiting, but they informed us that they are limited in their
                         efforts because they have insufficient information on how to recruit
                         scarce skills.

                         Recruitment campaigns have primarily focused on targeting generalists
                         because prior to fiscal year 1990, the agency required recruiters to pro-
                         duce a certain number of nominees and trainees within a given season.
                         As a result, the recruiters’ incentive was to meet overall goals for train-
                         ees rather than engage in “targeted” recruiting. Recruiters typically vis-
                         ited the same generalist-producing schools they visited in the past.


Additional Recruitment   The recruitment process also faces systemic problems that detract from
                         recruiters’ ability to target scarce skill volunteers. First, the new Man-
Problems                 agement, Planning, and Budgeting (MPB) process sets scarce skill goals,
                         but information and human and financial resources needed to target
                         scarce skill recruits are not provided. Second, until recently, the Peace
                         Corps did not offer recruiters incentives or rewards for scarce skill
                         recruiting. Third, advertising is not directed toward recruiting scarce
                         skill volunteers. And finally, the high turnover rate among recruiters
                         impedes recruitment efforts.

                         During fiscal year 1989, the Office of Volunteer Recruitment and Selec-
                         tion instituted the MPB process, a new approach to planning and budget-
                         ing for recruitment activities based on assignment area goals, including
                         scarce skill and generalist goals. Specifically, the process requires
                         recruitment managers to plan and budget for recruitment activities to
                         meet trainee goals. Although recruitment personnel expressed optimism
                         about the new approach, they voiced concerns about its implementation
                         due to the emphasis on goals without accompanying information needed
                         to establish scarce skill recruitment campaigns. Also, while the MPB pro-
                         cess establishes goals for recruiting scarce skill volunteers, the goals are
                         based on the small number of trainees from previous years. This means
                         that recruiters will continue to recruit to past goals instead of develop-
                         ing new markets of potential scarce skill candidates and changing their
                         overall approach to recruitment.

                         Recruiters and managers have difficulty targeting scarce skill recruits,
                         largely because they lack demographic and market data. Some recruiters


                         Page 27                                           GAO/NSuDSO-122 Peace Corpe
Chapter 3
Peacehrpa Can Improve Attainment of Ib
Eket God by Stmngtbedng Becroitment




indicated that they do their own research to determine which scarce
skill organizations exist and which colleges or universities have larger
concentrations of certain academic degree areas. Peace Corps headquar-
ters expects the area offices to develop demographic and market data.
We found, however, that the designated responsibility for this function
was unclear.

According to personnel at the offices we visited, they have neither the
time nor the systems to track and monitor recruitment and/or advertis-
ing activities to determine if targeting scarce skills was making a differ-
ence in their office. Recruitment personnel stated that the offices do not
have procedures to monitor and track nominee and trainee production to
match with recruitment goals.

Financial constraints also impeded recruiters’ ability to conduct targeted
recruiting. According to the Peace Corps recruitment office, it had to
reduce funding for all activities, other than salaries and overhead costs,
about 8 to 9 percent for fiscal year 1990.

Peace Corps’ officials acknowledged that they needed better and more
targeted advertising for scarce skill recruits to attract these highly
skilled individuals. At the time of our review, the Peace Corps was in
the process of ex amining this issue and meeting with a consulting firm
about ideas for targeted advertising for scarce skill and minority
trainees.

Another problem is that the high turnover rate among recruiters, aver-
aging 18 months, limits efforts to attract scarce skill volunteers. We
were told that this high turnover rate occurs for several reasons, but
that the pay level and lack of long-term career potential is the most
prevalent. Peace Corps recruiters are hired at Foreign Service pay level
seven (currently about $20,400). They work long hours and, until
recently, worked on weekends without compensation. Because of the
salary, many recruiters told us that they have no incentive to stay with
Peace Corps very long. Recruiters overwhelmingly told us that they
would be more productive and would consider staying with the Peace
Corps longer if they saw that recruiters were given opportunities to (1)
refine their organizational management, leadership, and administration
and/or budget skills and (2) receive additional recruiter training and
needed computer training to enable them to use their office’s current
software and hardware.




Page 28                                           GAO/NSIAD9@122PeaceCorps
                                                                                                -
                       chapter 3
                       PeaceCocpoCan Improve Attainment of It9
                       Fleet Goal by Stmutbenlng   Ikcraitment




                       Recruiters must develop and maintain relationships with universities
                       and colleges, particularly in scarce skill areas, to ensure long-term
                       recruitment success for highly skilled candidates. However, recruiters
                       are unable to build long-term relationships due to the high recruiter
                       turnover rate and their busy workloads, which keeps them from docu-
                       menting recruitment approaches and activities that work to attract
                       scarce skill candidates.

                       In April 1990, Peace Corps officials told us that they have now begun to
                       instruct recruitment offices to focus all of their energies on developing
                       scarce skill and minority applicants for Peace Corps service. They stated
                       that the flow of generalist applicants can easily be maintained with little
                       effort. They also told us that tracking and monitoring production result-
                       ing from recruitment and advertising has become a major focus at the
                       area offices and at headquarters. Also, headquarters has increased its
                       emphasis on the use of incentives to promote enhanced activity in
                       recruiting scarce skill and minority applicants. Because these actions
                       were taken by the Peace Corps after we had completed our review, we
                       have not evaluated their effectiveness.


                       Many recruits, particularly those who are highly skilled, are unwilling
Rapid Application      to wait the 6 months to 1 year it normally takes the Peace Corps to place
ProcessingInitiative   volunteers in a country. Recently, in an effort to increase the numbers of
                       scarce skill and minority recruits, Peace Corps began a procedure for
                       placing such candidates more quickly than generalist volunteers. This
                       procedure, called “Rapid Applicant Processing Initiative” was developed
                       to assist in resolving the following problems: (1) the underrepresenta-
                       tion of Peace Corps’ minority volunteers, (2) lower trainee production
                       relative to the higher demand for trainees in scarce skill areas, and (3)
                       the potential that scarce skill and minority volunteers would accept
                       outside offers before Peace Corps offers them an invitation. Under this
                       proposal, minorities and scarce skiIl candidates would be processed
                       immediately and, if cleared, would be offered a position up to 1 year in
                       advance of their overseas departure rather than 6 months before, as is
                       presently the case.


Conclusions            meet its first goal of providing trained men and women to beneficiary
                       countries. To do so, however, the agency needs to strengthen its overall
                       recruitment system, particularly by supporting targeted approaches to
                       recruitment. Recruitment area offices lack the necessary guidance from


                       Page 29                                           GAO/NSLAU9@122PeaceCorps
                          Pw    cm-p@can r.mproveAttahnent of Ita
                          Pht   God by StnngtheW   lhmkment




                          Washington, as well as information, human, and financial resources to
                          efficiently recruit those with scarce skills. Consequently, their efforts
                          until very recently had been concentrated on recruiting generalists.

                  -
                          We recommend that the Director of the Peace Corps:
Recommendations
                      . redesign the agency’s recruitment strategies and programs to attract
                        volunteers with scarce skills;
                      . provide recruitment personnel with demographic and market studies to
                        help recruiters to better understand their availability market(s) and
                        allow them to define and target their recruitment and advertising
                        efforts, particularly for scarce skill recruits; and
                      l provide recruiters with incentives and rewards for meeting and/or
                        exceeding their targeted scarce skill recruitment goals.

                          In view of the problems the Peace Corps has encountered in recruiting
                          sufficient numbers of minorities, as discussed in chapter 5, these recom-
                          mendations should be implemented in conjunction with the recommen-
                          dations made in that chapter regarding the need to address equal
                          employment opportunity concerns.




                           Page 30                                           GAO/NSIADWl22 PeaceCorps
PeaceCorps Can Improve Attainment of Its
First God by Strengthening
Assignment Programming
                       Until recently, the Peace Corps had no centrally managed policy for
                       evaluating and monitoring assignments. Instead, Peace Corps relied
                       upon various mechanisms for evaluating programs, none of which
                       required country management to take actions on the basis of the evalua-
                       tions. As a result, in-country managers were, for the most part, on their
                       own to develop evaluation or monitoring systems for their program-
                       ming. While we observed many worthwhile assignments, we also visited
                       with volunteers who had little or nothing to do, or who had spent 6 to
                       12 months of their 2-year tours developing their own assignments. We
                       also interviewed volunteers who were not receiving sufficient host gov-
                       ernment support or lacked adequate language skills to conduct their
                       assignments. These problems contribute to the relatively high rate of
                       volunteers who return before the end of their tours.

                       The Peace Corps recently implemented a comprehensive assignment
                       programming and training system, which aims to alleviate many of the
                       above problems. This system has not been in place long enough to assess
                       its effectiveness. However, if properly implemented, we believe the sys-
                       tem will be a valuable aid to improve programming and assignment
                       management.


                       In its 1989 Congressional Presentation, the Peace Corps stated that “A
Program Planning and   special emphasis has been placed on developing sound programming
Evaluation             methods, and then evaluating our programs to ensure that they maxi-
                       mize both the volunteers’ efforts and better meet the countries’ needs.”

                       We found that, historically the Peace Corps lacked an adequate agency-
                       wide program planning, evaluation, and follow-up system. Peace Corps
                       headquarters has oversight responsibility over the posts but, until
                       recently, has exercised little management authority. While an agency-
                       wide planning system has existed for several years, knowledgeable
                       Peace Corps officials indicated that many posts did not use it since it
                       was not Peace Corps policy to do so. Each post was on its own to
                       develop a planning system.

                       Program planning is very important for the Peace Corps because it
                       needs to guarantee that there are real jobs for volunteers who go over-
                       seas, to see that they are capable of doing those jobs, and to make sure
                       that the best possible support is available. This is especially true for
                       scarce skill volunteers who, according to Peace Corps officials, tend to
                       be more demanding of their assignments. The Peace Corps recognizes
                       that its volunteers function most effectively in places or sectors that


                       Page 31                                          GAO/NSWW122     PeaceCmpe
chapter 4
PeaceCmpe Cm Imkmve Attrlnment of Iti
Pine God by Strengthening
Adgnment ProgmmW




have some institutional framework into which the volunteers can be
placed. A January 11, 1989, Peace Corps-sponsored report entitled Part-
nership for Peace, stated that “Peace Corps is only now starting to deal
on a program-wide basis with . . . programming and program support
required by [scarce skill] volunteers].”

Peace Corps has started several evaluation or monitoring efforts over
the years, beginning in the early 1960s with a group of journalists that
had wide latitude and reported directly to the first Peace Corps director.
Since then, the Peace Corps has had 16 separate evaluation systems, and
started its seventeenth evaluation effort in February 1989. The Peace
Corps conducted agencywide surveys for many years, but discontinued
them in 1981. Since then, it has piloted several survey mechanisms, but
never institutionalized them.

The Peace Corps depended largely upon the individual country posts to
monitor and evaluate their activities, but Peace Corps officials acknowl-
edge that these did not occur consistently. While the agency compiled
information on accomplishments, the information was often inaccurate
and was not used to evaluate the effectiveness of its operations. The
agency required posts to submit Country Management Plans and Budg-
ets, which included outlines of the posts programs, budget estimates,
and “strengths and weaknesses” of current assignments. However, these
were not developed in a methodologically rigorous and consistent man-
ner and have been characterized as “guesstimates.”

The Peace Corps also conducted ad hoc targeted assessments of pro-
grams that appeared to be experiencing problems, or to support a deci-
sion to initiate a new program. However, these were not consistently
done and, according to one knowledgeable official, were not always
applied to improve the projects. Some country directors brought
together all volunteers at certain times to conduct self-assessments and,
based on the information, set priorities. Also, some in-service training
included evaluation of Peace Corps operations, and the close-of-service
conferences contained some program evaluations. However, this infor-
mation was not compiled and provided to headquarters. Some posts
required volunteers to provide monthly reports but, again, no effort was
made to compile this information and provide it to headquarters.

The lack of a consistent agencywide evaluation system hinders the
resource and volunteer allocation process. Because there were no consis-
tent and methodologically sound planning and evaluation mechanisms,
resource allocations were not based on factual information regarding the


 Page 32                                         GAO/‘NShUMW122PeaceCorps
              CbApter 4
              PWX carp Can Impnwe AttAinment of Itr,
              Pirat God by Strenethening
              Adgnment   Rocpammine




              relative levels of success of the various country programs. Instead, allo-
              cation decisions were based upon the intuitive knowledge of the regional
              directors, with input from the desk officers at Peace Corps
              headquarters.

              In January 1990, Peace Corps instituted the Integrated Planning and
              Budgeting System (IPBS) and Program and Training System (PATS). IPEIS
              seeks to (1) promote long-range planning and ensure the program con-
              siderations drive the budget, (2) institutionalize the decision-making
              process, and (3) develop an annual operating plan. PATS aims to create an
              agencywide evaluation, and follow-up system. Use of this system by the
              posts, for the first time, has become Peace Corps policy. It requires the
              posts to rigorously develop assignments to ensure that they provide vol-
              unteers with a positive, well-structured working environment. It also
              requires posts to plan and design a monitoring and evaluation system,
              and discusses how to collect and analyze information, present the
              results, and take follow-up action.


Assignment    (APCDS)should develop projects that are consistent with host countries’
Programming   development goals and objectives, produce long- lasting results, and will
              be self-sustaining after the volunteers leave. To program volunteer
              work, Peace Corps directs its APCDSto develop long-term plans and then
              to establish what volunteer assignments are needed to meet plan objec-
              tives. APCDSare responsible for determining the specific tasks and volun-
              teer skills required for each assignment and for preparing volunteer
              assignment descriptions using this information. These descriptions are
              then compiled with other information into the Country Management
              Plan and Budget, which is submitted to headquarters annually. Once
              projects have been established, APCDSare also responsible for monitoring
              volunteer work and evaluating overall progress in meeting project
              objectives,

               The posts have substantial latitude in programming assignments for vol-
               unteers. Assignment programming refers to the planning and develop-
               ment of volunteer assignments and projects. The Peace Corps needs to
               program well-structured assignments that meet the skills and qualifica-
               tions of the volunteers; one knowledgeable official characterized current
               Peace Corps programming as “vague to non-existent.” Many volunteers
               arrive in country with no positions, or do not receive the support of the
               host government.



               Page 33                                          GAO/NSIAlMO-122PeaceCorps
                     Chapter 4
                     PeaceCorps Can Improve Attainment of Ita
                     l%at God by Strengthening
                     cent      Pmw-Wl




1‘oar Assignment     The agency has suffered from uneven assignment programming among
Pro9ram&ng-a Long-   posts, a problem that has persisted for many years. For example, a 1971
                     report on the Peace Corps, A Moment In History, The First Ten Years of
StaGding Problem     the Peace Corps, stated: “[Llarger and more profound criticisms of
                     sloppy programming, volunteers out of their depth, and host country
                     unhappiness . . . were largely ignored to create a bigger and bigger Peace
                     Corps.”

                     A report entitled Twenty Years of Peace Corps reported that

                     “[Vjolunteers working in community development were sometimes ‘parachuted’
                     (sent out on their own to a local society with the vague invocation to ‘participate.‘).
                     . Many ended up feeling frustrated, disillusioned, and generally ineffective.”

                     In February 1979, we reported’ that many volunteers were dissatisfied
                     with the quality of support they were receiving from the host govem-
                     ments, and a 1978 report entitled Peace Corps: Myths and Prospects also
                     found that volunteers skills were being misused because of poor assign-
                     ment programmin g. It stated: “In the absence of clearly defined pro-
                     grams, projects, or even volunteer assignments, let alone job
                     descriptions, hundreds of [volunteers] roamed about in the host coun-
                     tries seeking meaningful activity.”

                     In 1987, a pilot Peace Corps Program Evaluation Volunteer Survey of
                     664 volunteers in 9 countries found that a substantial number of volun-
                     teers were still not being kept occupied by their intended assignments.
                     Over one-third of the volunteers recommended that the goals of their
                     projects be revised. Many said that their projects lacked defined
                     endpoints and objective indicators to measure progress; 20 percent
                     reported that tasks were not adequately defined at the beginning of
                     their assignments; and almost one-third said they could be easily
                     replaced by host country nationals. A separate survey taken of volun-
                     teers in the Eastern Caribbean found that almost half of the respondents
                     stated that their assignments did not have clearly defined goals. The
                     October/November 1987 edition of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
                     of Washington D.C. Newsletter stated the following about volunteers in
                     Central America: “There were too many volunteers working 20 minutes
                     aday.. . They were often AWOL from their posts, and nobody in Peace
                     Corps cared because there was nothing for those volunteers to do
                     anyway.”


                     ‘ChangesNeededFor A Better PeaceCorps,(ID7826; Feb. 1979)



                     Page 34                                                     GAO/lWAD-W122 P-        @W
                     chapter 4
                     PeaceCorpmCan Improve Attdument of Ita
                     Pint Goal by Slmmgtbenhg
                     Adgnment Pmwmmhg




                     Many of the returned volunteers with whom we spoke at the Kent State
                     Conference complained of poor assignment programming. For example,
                     one volunteer said that when she arrived in Kenya there was no project
                     for her and it took several months before one was developed. Some vol-
                     unteers who were assigned to the Eastern Caribbean stated that they
                     did not have real assignments and felt frustrated because they had noth-
                     ing to do. A volunteer, who had worked in Korea, complained about not
                     having the skills to perform his responsibilities as a special education
                     therapist. A volunteer assigned to Lesotho during 1980 to 1982 stated
                     that his project was delayed for a year after he arrived in country and
                     he had to search around for his own project. A volunteer, who was in
                     the Philippines from 1984 through 1986, found that he could not fulfill
                     his assignment objective of helping villagers market their fish harvests
                     because they barely harvested enough fish to feed themselves.


Current Assignment   Some volunteers continue to arrive in-country only to find that their
                     assignments have not materialized, are very different from what they
Programming Can Be   were led to believe, or that they would not be receiving the promised
Improved             support from the host government. We found that three things usually
                     happen in such situations. Volunteers who are highly motivated and
                     who are fluent in the language are able to develop assignments very
                     quickly. Volunteers who may be less motivated or who experience lan-
                     guage difficulty take as long as 6 to 12 months to develop assignments.
                     Others spend their 2 years unproductively or terminate their assign-
                     ments before the end of their 2-year tour.

                     Poor assignment progr amming results, in part, because the in-country
                     APCDShave more volunteers assigned than they can manage. While the
                     Peace Corps’ rule of thumb indicates that a manageable span of control
                     would be 30 volunteers for each APCD,we found that some APCDSare
                     responsible for as many as 47 volunteers. As a result, they have been
                     unable to adequately develop programs or provide supervision and sup-
                     port for volunteers. A 1987 Peace Corps survey of volunteers found that
                     they want more visits and better support from their APCDS.The 5year
                     rule, which limits the time an American staff member may work for the
                     Peace Corps, results in high turnover among APCDSand contributes to
                     this problem.

                     Poor language capability also presents a problem. The Peace Corps’ ena-
                     bling legislation states that




                     Page 35                                         GAO/NSIAl%9&122PeaceCap6
                                                                                 -
chapter 4
Pun Cmpa Can Improve Attainment of Its
First Goal by Stnmgtbenhg
Aiwignment Rocpunmlne




“No person shall be assigned to duty as a volunteer under this Act in any foreign
country or area unless at the time of such assignment he possesses such reasonable
proficiency as his assignment requires in speaking the language of the country or
area to which he is assigned.”

Despite this, APCDs are encouraged to submit trainee requests without
language proficiency, thus impeding the Peace Corps’ ability to ensure
that volunteers have adequate language proficiency. Volunteers often
graduate from training and are placed at their work site with only rudi-
mentary understanding of the local language.

We found uneven assignment progr amming in the countries              we visited.
In Ecuador, agency officials and volunteers identified many           problems.
For example, some volunteers were unable to perform their             assignments
because they lacked adequate Spanish language proficiency.             Some vol-
unteers cited poor job definition as a problem.

In Honduras, the management staff wanted to focus on the quality of
assignment programmin g but, instead, had to focus on developing
assignments for the large number of recruits they receive. This
detracted from their ability to strengthen assignment programming. The
APCDSin Honduras experienced substantial span of control problems.
They primarily liaisoned with ministry officials in the capital city and
sent volunteers to their posts with only a letter of introduction. Some
volunteers found that their local supervisors were unaware that they
were scheduled to arrive and had nothing for them to do. Some assign-
ments were poorly designed. Others had little development value. Some
volunteers were actually working for wealthy land owners. Other volun-
teers stated that their assignments no longer served a useful purpose.
Volunteers also complained about not having local counterparts who
would continue the work of the volunteers after they departed. Some
volunteers complained that their assignments actually took jobs away
from local nationals. Many volunteers also cited language as a major
problem in accomplishing their assigned objectives.

In the Leeward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean, agency officials and
volunteers identified many problems concerning assignment program-
ming. They stated that the Peace Corps was experiencing difficulty pro-
gramming the types of development projects that actually permitted a
transfer of skills from the volunteer to a local national. In a sense, the
Peace Corps was simply providing free labor to help compensate for the
“brain drain” experienced by that region of the world. We found that
even host government officials sometimes considered volunteers to be



Page 36                                                 GAOflS~~122      PeaceCorps
PeaceCarpa CM Improve Attdument of Itr
FlmtGodbyStragtkW
Au4m-t    W




“free or cheap labor” because it costs them nothing to have a volunteer
working for them. Some of the volunteers we interviewed saw them-
selves as cheap labor and found themselves working in roles that they
did not expect when applying for the Peace Corps.

We found the situation in Kenya much like the situation in Honduras.
Peace Corps staff relied heavily on volunteers to structure their own
assignments rather that take a very active role in defining volunteer
responsibilities and coordinating their efforts with the local supervisors.
Peace Corps/Kenya did not have long-term plans that linked the efforts
of successive generations of volunteers in program sectors and coordi-
nate these efforts to accomplish program objectives. Both staff and vol-
unteers in Kenya cited lack of job definition and program continuity as
problems limiting volunteer effectiveness in contributing to Kenya’s
development. Some volunteers were frustrated because they could not
find enough work. Several volunteers in Kenya did not believe that their
work would be sustained by Kenyans after their departure.

The Peace Corps in Senegal, which previously used an approach similar
to Kenya’s, modified and improved its programming process. It devel-
oped long-term plans, which coordinate the efforts of a series of volun-
teers placed in the same geographical areas. It also identified specific
tasks Peace Corps volunteers would perform during their tours. Senegal
has modified the way it defines volunteer job responsibilities so that vol-
unteers know specifically what they are supposed to do. It has also
established work groups in each project so that volunteers with more
technical training or experience can assist lesser skilled or experienced
volunteers. APCDShave also made an effort to provide volunteers with
defined job duties. Peace Corps staff informed us that volunteers on the
modified assignments are more satisfied because they know what to do,
and do not have so much unfilled time. Despite this progress, poor lan-
guage skills remains a problem in Senegal.

The Thailand Peace Corps post also experienced some of the same diffi-
culties we saw in some other countries. Once potential sites were
selected, APCDSand program specialists visited the sites. During these
visits, the staff briefed the potential Thai supervisor on the appropriate
roles and responsibilities for volunteers and discussed the activities that
the supervisor envisaged for the volunteer. Despite these positive
actions, only about one-quarter of the volunteers we interviewed, who
had 12 months or more experience, believed that they were significantly
contributing to both the developmental and cross-cultural goals of the
Peace Corps. Volunteers reported that the lack of job definition limited


Page 37                                           GAO/NSIAD9@122PeaceCorps
                           Chapter 4
                           Peacehrpe CM I.mprwe Attainment of I~J
                           Plmt Goal by Stmgthening
                           Adgnment    prolpuamlne




                           their ability to contribute to their projects and that their limited lan-
                           guage skills affected their ability to conduct their assignments. They
                           also complained of not having counterparts. Since Peace Corps/Thailand
                           does not conduct comprehensive program evaluations, it is difficult for
                           the management staff to determine whether programs, particularly
                           those that have been ongoing for many years, are still effective and
                           meeting their goals and objectives.

                            In Fiji, most volunteers we interviewed believed that they were contrib-
                           uting to the Peace Corps’ first and second goals. The Fiji Peace Corps
                           post has a Memorandum of Understanding with the host government
                           that provides for project monitoring and evaluation, specifies qualifica-
                           tion and training of volunteers, volunteer supervision and support, pro-
                           ject and performance review, and replacement or extension of
                           volunteers. The Country Director requires written project plans for each
                           project and task analyses for extension projects. Volunteers on Fiji were
                           generally pleased with their assignments and the level of support from
                           the Peace Corps and the host government.

                           Often, Peace Corps’ coordination with other agencies or organizations
                           provides structure needed by the volunteers. Peace Corps coordinates
                           extensively with AID in such areas as micro-enterprise development. Vol-
                           unteers are also working in collaboration with the staff of the World
                           Bank, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and other U.S. govem-
                           ment agencies, such as the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and
                           State. They have also worked with such relief agencies as CARE, Catho-
                           lic Relief Services, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and
                           Lutheran World Relief. These organizations tend to place great emphasis
                           on up-front planning and goal setting. Such coordination could enable
                           Peace Corps to enter into program relationships through which it could
                           ensure regular assignments of volunteers according to jointly deter-
                           mined programs and institutional goals.


Inconsistent Programming   we* pro@amming       contributes significantly to the number of volun-
                           teers who return before the end of their 2-year assignments. While there
Contributes to Early       is no standard by which attrition can be judged, it is generally agreed by
Returns                    the Peace Corps that the current rates of attrition-33     percent overall
                           and over 60 percent for older volunteers-are costly. The higher rate of
                           returns for older volunteers is a particular problem for the Peace Corps,
                           which created a task force in 1986 to address this issue. Older volun-
                           teers often experience difficulties in training, especially with language;



                           Page 38                                          GAO/NSIAD9O-122PeaceCorps
                     ChApter 4
                     PeaceC+xp6Can Improve Attainment of Itd
                     F’ht God by Strengtbenlng
                     AAgnmentProa




                     reduced ability to suffer difficult logistics; and a greater need for a cor-
                     rect fit between the assignment and the skills of the volunteer. Our
                     interviews with numerous volunteers indicate that early returns not
                     only hurt the volunteers, who may feel a sense of failure at not being
                     able to complete their tours, but also the host government, which may
                     have been counting on a volunteer to perform a specific task, and the
                     Peace Corps, which is seen as unreliable.


                     The Peace Corps, at the time of our evaluation, had no systematic means
Conclusions          of assuring that its individual country posts had comprehensive pro-
                     gram plans for contributing to their host countries’ development or max-
                     imizing the volunteers’ usefulness and resourcefulness. We found
                     inconsistencies in program planning efforts and poor utilization of vol-
                     unteers among the countries we visited, logical outgrowths from the
                     absence of systematic planning requirements. The majority of the posts
                     we visited were not assuring that volunteers had assignments when they
                     arrived in country, or that assignments were sufficiently structured and
                     defined to give the volunteers clear understanding of their responsibili-
                     ties. Peace Corps in-country staff, in some cases, were not assuring ade-
                     quate local supervision or the presence of local counterparts that could
                     carry on the work after the volunteers’ departure. The result was
                     instances of malassigned volunteers. Greater attention to program plan-
                     rung by the country posts would yield increased contributions to the
                     host countries and better assignments for the volunteers. Various Peace
                     Corps initiatives, such as the PATS and IPE%S
                                                                 systems, may contribute to
                     more systematic planning by the country posts, but at the time of our
                     review these initiatives were not yet in place and functioning.


Recommendation       atic procedures are put in place to ensure that each country post
                     develop periodic, comprehensive program plans that, at a minimum,
                     provide for

                 l clear, workable contributions to the countries’ continuing development,
                 . well-developed assignment plans for the utilizition of volunteers upon
                   their arrival in country,
                 . adequate oversight of the volunteers’ projects,
                 . a host government commitment to support continuation of the work,
                   and
                 l data upon which to evaluate the posts’ and their volunteers’
                   contributions.


                     Page 39                                             GAO/NSIAL%Wl22 PeaceCorps
Chapter 6

The PeaceCorps Can Better Achieve Its Second
God Through Recruiting More Minorities

                      We found that the Peace Corps has been generally successful in achiev-
                      ing its second goal (i.e., to teach foreign peoples about the American cul-
                      ture). Peace Corps volunteers have accomplished this by working
                      directly on a people-to-people basis in the small towns and rural areas
                      where they serve. Nonetheless, full attainment of the second goal has
                      been hampered by the Peace Corps’ difficulties in recruiting sufficient
                      numbers of minorities to serve as volunteers. As a result, the Peace
                      Corps does not show a complete picture of the diversity of American
                      culture to the peoples of beneficiary countries. This is fundamentally a
                      recruitment issue but, because it also has second goal and equal employ-
                      ment concerns, it is discussed separately in this chapter.


                      Peace Corps management recognizes that, as part of its second goal
PeaceCorps Needs to   responsibilities, the agency needs to show the diversity of the American
Show Diversity of     culture to peoples in beneficiary countries. This issue has become impor-
American Culture      tant to some Members of Congress. It was brought up on several occa-
                      sions during the April 1989 confirmation hearings for the new Peace
                      Corps Director, and the Congress has made it clear that it would like to
                      see a better racial mix of volunteers.

                      While recognizing this responsibility, the agency has historically experi-
                      enced great difficulty attracting sufficient numbers of minorities to
                      serve as volunteers. The number of minorities as a proportion of total
                      volunteers and trainees has never been above 10 percent. As shown in
                      figure 5.1, in January 1989, minority volunteers and trainees comprised
                      only about 7 percent of the total number of volunteers and trainees. Vol-
                      unteers and Peace Corps management believe that increasing the num-
                      bers of minorities would help to show host countries that the United
                      States is composed of very diverse groups of people.




                      Page 40                                           GAO/NSLADBO-122
                                                                                      Peace Corps
                             chapter 5
                             The PeaceCorps Can Better Achieve Its
                             SecondGoalTtmmgb Recndting
                             More lwnorities




B&kground,   January 51999
                                                                                  Native Americans

                                                                                  1.9%
                                                                                  Asian Americans

                                                                                  2.4Oh
                                                                                  African Americans


                                                                                  28%
                                                                                  Hispanic Americans




                                                                                  All Others




                             The “All Others” category Includes Amencans from European, North Africa, or Middle Eastern back-
                             grounds, and those not wishing to disclose their backgrounds.




Economic and Perception      According to Peace Corps officials, there are numerous reasons for the
                             long-standing problem of not having adequate minority representation
Reasons                      among volunteers. They point out that minorities generally have had a
                             worse economic status than non-minorities. Consequently, minorities
                             believe that they cannot afford to volunteer 2 years of their lives to
                             Peace Corps service. In addition, private industry and the military are
                             offering greater career opportunities and college tuition assistance for
                             minorities than the Peace Corps.

                              Minorities also tend to see the Peace Corps as a white, middle-class
                              organization. In 1986, the Ted Bates Advertising Company prepared a
                              study of the attitudes toward Peace Corps among African American stu-
                              dents and parents in five large cities in the United States. The study
                              indicated that both parents and students tended to perceive Peace Corps
                              volunteers as traditionally coming from upper middleclass, white fami-
                              lies. They could not see an economic benefit to joining the Peace Corps.
                              The study concluded that if Peace Corps was to become viable in the


                              Page 41                                                           GAo/NsLubm122 Pun come
                      chapter 5
                      The PeaceCmpa Cm Better Achieve Its
                      SecondGoalThrooeh~ting
                      More rmnorltIea




                      minority community, it needed to provide the community with positive
                      information and make clear that Peace Corps offered specific benefits
                      for all Americans.

                      Peace Corps officials acknowledge that the small number of minorities
                      in policy-making positions within the agency could have worsened this
                      perception problem. There were no minorities in the 20 Senior Executive
                      positions at the Peace Corps during 1988. Of the 52 Peace Corps Coun-
                      try Directors. 5 were minorities. Of the 103 American Associate Peace
                      Corps Directors, 11 were minorities. In April 1990, the Peace Corps
                      stated that this situation has improved since 1988, and that it now has 5
                      minorities in top management positions. The Peace Corps also informed
                      us that it currently has 58 County Directors, 9 of which are minorities.

                      Peace Corps established a Minority Concerns Committee in 1984 to make
                      recommendations on increasing the number of minorities in the agency.
                      The group met for 6 months and developed a list of recommendations
                      for Peace Corps management to improve the minority profile at the
                      agency. We were unable to determine how management responded to
                      those recommendations; however, after 6 months of operating, the com-
                      mittee was disbanded because management said it was too costly.


Racial Tensions In-   The perception that the Peace Corps is a white, middle-class agency is
                      exacerbated by the sometimes negative reception from host country
Country               nationals some minorities receive when they arrive in-country. Informa-
                      tion for fiscal years 1983 to 1986 indicates that the early return rate for
                      minorities is slightly lower than for other volunteers. However, minority
                      volunteers, including those with whom we spoke at the National Confer-
                      ence of Returned Volunteers, told us of their negative experiences in-
                      country. Panelists at a workshop on minority issues concluded that
                      minority volunteers, in addition to their regular needs as volunteers,
                      have special needs as minorities. Peace Corps recruiters told us that vol-
                      unteers who experience these problems discourage potential minority
                      recruits from volunteering to serve.

                      Peace Corps was sufficiently concerned about this problem that it
                      tasked a former volunteer to evaluate minority support services over-
                      seas. The study, completed in April 1989, stated that over the past 20
                      years, Peace Corps had heard concerns raised by minority volunteers
                      that refer specifically to experiences in which there were culturally
                      insensitive attitudes and behaviors within the Peace Corps community.
                      Many minorities who experienced negative treatment while volunteers


                      Page 42                                           GAO/NSIAD&blZ2 Peace Carp
                        c-P-5
                        ThePeaatCorpaCanBetterAchieveIta
                        secondGoaIThNmgIlRecndtlng
                        blon MinoIaiea




                        commented that Peace Corps did not provide support services for them
                        and that minorities are not adequately represented as staff or
                        volunteers.

                        The report concluded that lack of communication among minority and
                        non-minority volunteers; lack of awareness of minority issues; poor
                        preparation of trainees to deal with certain behaviors and attitudes of
                        foreign nationals, and the low numbers of minorities in Peace Corps
                        overseas cause minority volunteers to either terminate their tour early,
                        or have a far less rewarding Peace Corps experience. The report made a
                        number of recommendations: (1) the Peace Corps should provide in-
                        house sensitivity training for all volunteers on understanding U. S. sub-
                        cultures as part of pre-service training; (2) sensitivity and cultural train-
                        ing should be offered to headquarters, recruitment, and overseas staff
                        as part of development training; and (3) efforts should be made to incor-
                        porate a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure the implementation
                        of the recommendations. However, the Peace Corps took no actions on
                        these recommendations.


                        Many Peace Corps officials, returned volunteers, and others we inter-
Attracting Minorities   viewed generally agreed that the Peace Corps has not provided suffi-
                        cient commitment to the recruitment of minorities. They point to the
                        large reservoir of minority students at colleges and universities as evi-
                        dence of minority availability. Statistics from the U.S. Department of
                        Education show that in 1988 (the most recent year for which statistics
                        are available), 13 million students were enrolled in institutions of higher
                        learning, and that at least 2.4 million, or 18.5 percent, were minorities.
                        In addition, many minorities not connected with colleges or universities
                        have the skills and experience in demand by developing countries.

                        To determine the number of institutions with significant minority enroll-
                        ment, we identified schools with an enrollment of 3,000 or more, and
                        considered that those schools with 20 percent minorities have signifi-
                        cant minority enrollment. We found that, as of fall 1986,161 schools in
                        26 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia had significant
                        minority student enrollment. Of those institutions, 91 had significant
                        African American enrollment; 67 had significant Hispanic American
                        enrollment; 14 had significant Asian American enrollment, and 2 had
                        significant Native American enrollment. Our list of identified schools did
                        not include most of the historically black or hispanic colleges and uni-
                        versities because total enrollment at many of these schools is less than



                        Page 43                                            GAO/NSIAIMO-122   PeaceCorps
                   Chapter 5
                   The PeaceCorps Can Better Acideve Ita
                   SecondGoalThroaghRecndti.na
                   More MInorItIea




                   3,000 students. However, there are large numbers of smaller minority
                   dominated institutions with potential candidates for Peace Corps.

                   Peace Corps has set a lo-percent, across-the-board minority recruitment
                   goal for each of its area offices throughout the United States, but none
                   of the offices have ever achieved that lo-percent minority goal. Peace
                   Corps has not done an availability analysis to determine appropriate
                   goals for each area office. Recruiters say management expects them to
                   recruit minorities but, in many cases, they do not know how or where to
                   recruit, and management does not give them information on minority
                   recruitment. Peace Corps officials told us that the area offices are now
                   meeting the lo-percent goal, though we could not verify this statement.

                   Many recruiters told us that Peace Corps needs to offer more incentives
                   and guidance to recruiters, and that creating positions for minority coor-
                   dinators in each recruitment region would help. Recruiting officials
                   stated that because of the high turnover rate among recruiters, there is
                   little time to establish “inroads” into the minority groups, associations,
                   and communities in a effort to recruit minorities.

                   Without the incentives and tools to make a concerted effort to attract
                   ethnic minorities, we found that area recruiters have taken some actions
                   on their own, such as making contact with minority leadership on col-
                   lege campuses and placing advertisements in some of the minority news-
                   papers. Their efforts are focused on minority institutions generally
                   during special events such as Black History Month and Hispanic Week.
                   However, some Peace Corps recruiters say that these are probably the
                   worse times, especially if nothing has been done during the year to culti-
                   vate good will at these institutions. During these observances, various
                   companies and the military services visit the institutions to recruit tal-
                   ented minorities, which puts the Peace Corps in direct competition with
                   these companies.


                   Over the years, the Peace Corps has undertaken several efforts and
Past Efforts and   commissioned several studies to strengthen its ability to attract minori-
Studies            ties Perhaps the most notable effort at a systematic approach for
                   minority recruitment, according to a former Peace Corps administrator,
                   was the establishment of the Masters degree program at historically
                   black colleges and universities. This program began as a two-phase, pilot
                   program at Atlanta University in January 1970, in which the Peace
                   Corps paid tuition and room and board costs for recruits who joined the
                   program. The first group recruited for the program spent the spring


                   Page 44                                          GAO/NSLAD9@122PeaceCorps
Chapter 5
The Peacetim Can Better Achieve Its
!h?cmdGoaThnmghRecruItIng
More MInorltles




semester of 19’70 at Atlanta University, 2 years in the Peace Corps as
volunteer teachers in Ghana and Sierra Leone, and an additional year at
the university, after which they received Masters degrees, A second
group went to Liberia after spending the fall semester of 1970 at
Atlanta University. However, Atlanta University withdrew from the
program and it was transferred to Texas Southern University for the
second phase. Of the 23 students who enrolled in the first program, 11
completed the program. Over a 3-year period (1971-1973), Texas South-
em University recruited 58 students to become math and science teach-
ers, and 39 of these students, or 69 percent, served in the Peace Corps. A
Peace Corps evaluation of the Masters degree program concluded that,
even though the program was costly, it had great potential for providing
minority recruits to the Peace Corps.

Various committees established by the Peace Corps have developed sev-
eral recommendations to improve minority recruiting. Peace Corps cre-
ated a group called the Project Teams, which came together to discuss
ideas for improving the minority participation in scarce skills areas and
in Peace Corps generally. The group functioned for about one year
before Peace Corps management decided it was not productive and dis-
banded the group.

In March 1987, a number of college and university presidents and Peace
Corps senior staff held meetings at Stanford University to discuss,
among other issues, Peace Corps’ difficulty in recruiting representative
numbers of minority group volunteers and ways to improve its
approach to change this situation. They suggested that the Peace Corps
enhance its image as a career path for minorities, appoint more minori-
ties to policy-making positions, develop more undergraduate and gradu-
ate opportunities for exposure to overseas service, and expand
internship programs for undergraduates.

During the mid-1980s, Peace Corps created a position aimed at helping
to improve its relations with colleges and universities and making
inroads with minority institutions. One recommendation that emerged
from this effort was that Peace Corps identify influential persons at six
or eight colleges and universities with large minority enrollments and
educate them about the Peace Corps. Peace Corps officials thought this
was a good idea but said the implementation of this kind of program
would be too costly.

During the course of our review, the Peace Corps took several steps to
address the problems discussed in this chapter. During early fiscal year


Page 45                                          GAO/‘N3I.AD9Il-122Peacetiw
                 chapter 5
                 The Pfsce Chrpe Cm Better Achieve Its
                 !3econdGoalThm@h!ruMng
                 More Minorltlea




                 1990, the Peace Corps hired a Minority Recruitment Coordinator, set
                 aside $200,000 specifically for minority recruitment, and tasked him to
                 develop a Plan of Action for minority recruitment. As part of this plan,
                 the coordinator is to prepare a budget for the next 3 years, and ask all
                 of the Peace Corps area offices to submit strategies for minority recruit-
                 ment. Further, the coordinator is to create from these strategies a
                 National Minority Recruitment Strategy, and examine the current lo-
                 percent minority goal for each office and make necessary adjustments.
                 The coordinator plans to study the demographics and recommend set-
                 ting goals based on where minorities are located. The Peace Corps has
                 also identified minority recruitment coordinators in each area office.
                 The agency is also taking action to address in-country racial tensions,
                 including training and support for “cross-cultural consciousness rais-
                 ing,” and has appointed a hispanic Deputy Director and African-Ameri-
                 can Associate Director for Management.


                 The Peace Corps needs to increase the number of minorities who serve
Conclusions      as volunteers by devoting adequate time and resources to attracting
                 minority volunteers and developing a realistic and comprehensive
                 national strategy for recruiting them. Efforts to improve the Peace
                 Corps’ minority profile in the past have been short-lived and sometimes
                 costly. In addition, the agency needs to address the underrepresentation
                 of minorities in staff and policy-making positions. It is clear that the
                 Peace Corps needs to take a long-term approach to this problem, and
                 commit the proper time and resources. We agree with the Peace Corps’
                 current efforts. Establishment of an office to deal with minority issues
                 is a first step towards improving the minority profile at the Peace Corps.
                 This office, which must have the full support of the agency, has been
                 tasked with developing a national plan for the recruitment of minority
                 volunteers.


                 We recommend that the Peace Corps Director follow through on his
Recommendation   efforts to develop a long-term strategy to attract more minorities. This
                 strategy should include realistic minority goals for volunteers and staff,
                 a concerted effort to deal with the perception of minorities that the
                 Peace Corps is a white, middle-class institution, the provision of better
                 demographic information to recruiters, better training, and targeted
                 advertising and recruitment campaigns to attract minorities.




                 P8ge 48                                           GAO/‘NSIAD9&122PeaceCm-pa
ch8pter 5
The Puce Cmp8 Cur Better Achieve It8
secondGo8lThroneh-ting
More lwnorltlea




We recognize that the Peace Corps’ efforts to increase minorities may be
made more complicated by its need to place greater emphasis on recruit-
ing more volunteers with scarce skills. Therefore, this recommendation
should be implemented as part of the agency’s efforts to redesign its
overall recruitment strategies as we recommended in chapter 3.




P8ge 47                                         GAO/NSIAD-90-122PeaceCorps
Chapter 6

PeaceCorps Can Better Achieve Its Third Goal


                     Each of the Peace Corps’ three goals appear as being equally important
                     in its enabling legislation. However, the agency has traditionally focused
                     little attention on achieving the third goal. When first established, the
                     agency envisioned that volunteers would serve their tours overseas,
                     return home, and automatically teach the American people what they
                     had learned in the Peace Corps. Consequently, a major mechanism to
                     systematically carry out this goal was not established. While the Peace
                     Corps, has over the years, developed several third goal (or “develop-
                     ment education”) programs, these programs have received only minimal
                     funding and have not received much attention from Peace Corps.


                     The Peace Corps currently has three programs which seek to attain its
PeaceCorps’Current   third goal. These programs historically have received only about 2 per-
Activities           cent of the Peace Corps’ budget, although Peace Corps officials told us
                     recently that this funding has increased to about 10 percent. The most
                     structured of these is the Partnership Program, which was created in
                     1964. Through this program, American citizens, usually organized by
                     schools, community groups, foundations, or corporations, become part-
                     ners with citizens of developing countries by funding small-scale
                     projects managed by Peace Corps volunteers. Americans learn about the
                     countries’ cultures and the development process through the exchange
                     of letters, music, photos, and other items reflective of the cultures and
                     lifestyles.

                     Currently, the Partnership program has a staff of five at Peace Corps
                     headquarters, and a small budget. Peace Corps encourages volunteers to
                     get involved in partnership projects activities, many of which are con-
                     ducted as secondary to the volunteers’ primary assignment. The volun-
                     teer, along with the local community, write the proposal for the
                     partnership project and Peace Corps/Washington circulates the project
                     proposal through its channels for funding. During fiscal year 1988, 101
                     partnership projects were funded with privately donated cash and
                     pledges of $222,294. For fiscal year 1990, host country communities
                     submitted 127 project proposals, 94 have been funded with privately
                     donated cash and pledges of $226,156.

                     Another third goal effort, established in 1987, is the Volunteers in
                     Development Education (VIDE) program, which was developed in con-
                     junction with two U.S. state governments. Virginia and Ohio were the
                     first to participate in this pilot program, and Peace Corps is planning to
                     expand it to nine other states. Through this program, recently returned
                      Peace Corps volunteers, based on the perspective of their Peace Corps


                     Page 48                                           GAO,fNSWW122 PeaceCarp
                        chapter 6
                        PeaceCorpe Can Better Achieve Ita
                        ThirdGod




                        experience, give presentations and conduct sessions on global issues in
                        schools, churches, and other community organizations for 6 months. VIDE
                        is funded by the states and, thus, operates at no cost to the Peace Corps.
                        By 1989 only two states and nine returned volunteers were
                        participating.

                        The Peace Corps is also providing some assistance to the development
                        education efforts of the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Vol-
                        unteers and local returned Peace Corps groups. The National Council,
                        which was incorporated in 1979, hired its first staff in 1987 and is now
                        active in supporting issues related to the Peace Corps. Its publication
                        serves as a clearinghouse for information on third goal and other activi-
                        ties of local returned volunteer groups. Using $142,650 in grants from
                        the Peace Corps, the Council provides mini-grants to finance develop-
                        ment education projects. Only seven mini-grants of $5,000 have been
                        granted each year. The Peace Corps also conducts mailings for the Coun-
                        cil, using its database of the names and addresses of 42,000 returned
                        volunteers.

                        In addition to these three, Peace Corps recently introduced the World
                        Wise Schools Program, which seeks to link the 6,000 Peace Corps Volun-
                        teers in 69 nations with 6,000 elementary and junior high school classes
                        in the United States. The Peace Corps informed us that as of April 1990,
                        this program had linked nearly 1,000 classrooms in 36 states with 1,100
                        active volunteers. Through the exchange of letters, artifacts, and other
                        educational materials, the volunteer serves as a window for U.S. stu-
                        dents to view and experience new countries and cultures. Peace Corps
                        officials said the program reflects the diversity of the American popula-
                        tion, and thus far, at least 50 school superintendents have been asked to
                        participate. Peace Corps was still working out details of the program
                        when we completed our review; however, we believe the World Wise
                        Schools Program should be an excellent opportunity for Peace Corps to
                        involve a number of volunteers in schools.


                        Section 18 of the Peace Corps Act, as added by the Foreign Operations
Additional Assistance   Appropriations Act of 1988, encourages the Peace Corps to do more to
for Returned            promote third goal activities, and while not specific, it encourages the
Volunteers Could Be     Director to facilitate and assist activities carried out by former volun-
                        teers in furtherance of the third goal. Members of the National Council
Provided                and local groups believe the Peace Corps could do more to assist them.
                        Peace Corps officials stated that, as of January 1990, the agency had



                         Page 49                                          GAO/NL3IAIM@l22PeaceCot-~6
                        Chapter 6
                        PeaceCorpeC~~~BetterAchieveItrr
                        ThlrdGoal




                        not done anything specific to respond to section 18. However, represent
                        atives of the National Council with whom we spoke made several recom
                        mendations. For example, they believe Peace Corps could

                    l more effectively serve as a clearinghouse for information on third goal
                      activities of the local returned volunteer groups;
                    l provide additional financial support and staff resources for third   goal


                      activities by setting aside funds to assist the Council and help finance
                      newsletters to inform the local returned volunteer groups about the
                      activities within the Peace Corps;
                    . obtain Privacy Act clearance from its list of 42,000 returned volunteers
                      so that it could provide their addresses to the Council; and
                    . make an effort to locate the approximately 80,000 volunteers for which
                      the agency has no known addresses.


                        A reverse Peace Corps, a program tried in the mid-1960s was also
The Reverse Peace       intended to help accomplish the third goal by bringing individuals from
corps                   developing countries to work in America. During the mid-1960s the
                        United States sponsored a pilot program entitled Volunteers to America
                        Under this program, the United States enlisted volunteers from other
                        countries to work in the United States in programs similar to Peace
                        Corps programs in developing countries. Created as a 2-year pilot pro-
                        gram in 1965,64 volunteers from 12 countries were recruited and sent
                        to various parts of the United States during the first phase of the pro-
                        gram. A total of 105 volunteers participated in the 2-year program. Vol-
                        unteers were highly qualified individuals skilled in a variety of
                        disciplines, and served as teachers and in other capacities throughout
                        the United States before returning to their home countries.

                        The program was initially part of the Department of State and was
                        funded by the federal government, states involved in the program, and
                        host countries. However, the Congress did not appropriate additional
                        funds for the program when it was transferred to the Peace Corps with-
                        out congressional consent, and consequently, it was terminated upon
                        completion of the pilot program. Members of the National Council of
                        Returned Volunteers expressed interest in reinstating such a program,
                        and stated that, if asked, they would assist the Peace Corps in establish-
                        ing assignments for volunteers in the United States.


                        Peace Corps has traditionally focused little attention on achieving the
Conclusions             third goal in a systematic way. It was envisioned by early Peace Corps


                        Page50                                           GAO,‘Nf3LUMO-122PeaceCo-
Chapter 6
Pufc Corps Can Better Achieve 1t.a
ThirdGoal




planners that volunteers would return to the United States and automat-
ically teach what they had learned overseas. The Peace Corps Partner-
ship program is the oldest structured third goal mechanism; however,
more programs have been initiated, such as VIDE and World Wise Schools
program. Recently, the National Council of Returned Peace Corps Volun-
teers was formed to engage in third goal activities. Peace Corps could
improve its participation by supporting the National Council.




 Page 51                                       GAO/NSIAD9@122PeaceCorpe
Ppe

‘&$tries                            With PeaceCorps Volunteers, 1988



 African      Region              1961162    1964     1966      1966     1970   1972   1974   1976   1978   1980   1962   1984   1986   1988
                                                                                                                                          ,
 Benin

 Botswana

 Burundi
 Cameroon

 Cape Verde

 Central African       Republic
 Chad

 Equitorial     Guinea

 Gabon
 The Gambia

 Ghana

 Guinea-Bissau

 Guinea (Conakry)
 Kenya

 Lesotho

 Liberia

 Malawi
 Mali

 Mauritania

 Niger

 Rwanda

 Senegal

 Sierra Leone

 Swaziland

 Tanzania

 Togo
 Zaire




                Periods durmg which the Peace Corps had operations m country.




                                                             Page 52                                                  GAO/NSIAIMO-122PeaceCot-~
                                                        Appendix I
                                                        Countries With PeaceCorps ~o~~tmu, 1988




Inter-American     Region:        1961,62   1964     1966     1968      1970                    1972    1974                      1976     1976        1980     1982   1964

Anguilla

AnliguaiBarbuda
Barbados
                                                                                                                 :

Belize

Costa Rica
Dominica                                                                                                   .:          ..            .:.


Dominican      Republic

Ecuador
Grenada

Guatemala
Honduras

Jamaica                                                                          ..’     ”     I’                            ...\ .~
                                                                                                                  .;        ;:., .:y. :

Montserrat

Paraguay                                                                         :      ‘,    8.
                                                                                .,           ..:.,                                                     ..
St. ChristopheriNevis                                                                                           ...        :                            .’ .:

St. Lucia                                                                   :          ::,,.. j.: .::      i: :        j        :g’, ,;
                                                                                                           ,:.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
                                                                                                                                              :.   i




m            Periods    during which the Peace Corps had operations   in country




                                                        Page 53                                                                                                  GAO/NSIAMO-122 PeaceCorps
                                                     Appendix I
                                                     countries with Peace corps VOhlll~la,                          1988




North Africa, Near East,
Asia and Pacific Region:        1961162   1964     1966      1966    1970              1972   1974          1976           1976   1960   1962   1964   1966   1966

Comoros
Cook Islands
                                                                                  ..
Fiji

Kiribali                                                                                ..I

Marshall      Islands

Micronesia
Morocco

Nepal

Paklslan

Palau
Papua New Gulnea

Philippines

Seychelles                                                                  : .. . ::
Solomon       Islands
                                                                          ,: .t I’.                  ‘,>..’
                                                                                                          .:.
                                                                                                     ,.~, x :r.
Sri Lanka                                                                 ;: ::,. :::i:.
                                                                                      :                                                                       1
                                                                                                     . .:. ....:.
Thailand
                                                            ,. ,:.       :. :.. :..y..,...:      ,:., ,: ;.
Tonga                                                                       :.:. “’:>>                                            .
Tunisia

Tuvalu

Western       Samoa

Yemen Arab Republic




               Periods durlng which the Peace Corps had operations   in country.




                                                          Page 54                                                                          GAO/NSLAD9@122Peace Carp
Appendix !I

Major Contributors to This Report


                                         Assistant Director
National Security and    ~~sve’FaF!c;l,
                               p4p; chio. Evaluator-in-Charge
International Affairs    James R. Lee, Evaluator
                         Maria Sanchez-O’Brien, Evaluator
Division, Washington,
D.C.
                         Oliver G. Harter, Regional Assignment Manager
Dallas Regional Office   Michael E. Rives, Site Senior
                         Stacey W. Goff, Evaluator


                         Ronald A. Kushner, Assistant Manager for Operations
European Office          James R. Hamilton, Site Senior
                         Christina L. Warren, Evaluator




                         Suzanne P. Nagy, Evaluator




(472188)                 Page 55                                         GAO/NSIAD9@122PeaceCorps
Requests for copies of c+.%odeports should be sent to:

U.S. General Accounting     Office
Post Office Box 6015
Gaithersburg, Maryland      20877

Telephone   202-275-624 1

The first five copies of each report   are free. Additional   copies are
$2.00 each.

There is a 2V0 discount     on orders for 100 or more copies mailed to a
single address.

Orders must be prepaid by cash or by check or money order made
out to the Superintendent of Documents.