Comprehensive Agency Assessment June 2010 Part VI Adjusting Volunteer Placement
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United States Peace Corps
|Intro:||Table of Contents and Acronyms|
|Part I:||Executive Summary|
|Part III:||Background and Assessment Methodology|
|Part IV:||Adjusting Volunteer Placement|
|Part V:||Strengthening Management and Independent Evaluation and Oversight|
|Part VI:||Improving the Recruitment and Selection Process|
|Part VII:||Medical Care of Volunteers|
|Part VIII:||Training of Volunteers and Staff|
|Part IX:||Coordinating with International and Host Country Development Organizations|
|Part X:||Lowering Early Termination Rates|
|Independent Assessments & Reform Plans|
In analyzing the decision-making process on country selection, Volunteer placement and resource allocation among countries, the assessment team looked at three related issues: The assessment team found evidence that the agency takes great care to ensure that its programs reflect the development priorities of the countries in which Volunteers serve, complement the priorities of the United States and leverage the traditional strengths of the Peace Corps. The United States has many strategic priorities that perhaps are most congruent with the Peace Corps’ priorities in the development arena. Interventions in HIV/AIDS, food security, safe water, climate change, basic education, and women’s empowerment are all of strategic interest to the United States and are also compatible with the Peace Corps core expertise. Achievement of the Peace Corps’ mission and three goals is meant to guide decisions on where the agency establishes a presence, the number of Volunteers in each country, and the capacity in which Volunteers serve (Volunteer Placement). However, when the assessment team began to research how the agency makes decisions on Volunteer placement, it found little in the way of written procedures. Documentation regarding past decisions was also lacking.
 IV. ADJUSTING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT TO REFLECT PRIORITY
 A. DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT PROCESS =
 A.1. Introduction
The Peace Corps’ statutory mission “to promote world peace and friendship” is, by definition, global in breadth. As a result, the Peace Corps’ policy has been to respond favorably to all reasonable requests for assistance from interested countries, provided that funding is available and that basic safety and programmatic conditions are met. On the other hand, the agency over the years has received requests for assistance from more countries than it could hope to satisfy given available resources. As a result, the Peace Corps has always faced the dilemma of how best to utilize its scarce resources to maximize the achievement of its three goals. This does not imply that a rational decision making process does not exist. In interviews with management and staff, assessment team members found that there has always been a process for making rational decisions regarding Volunteer placement. Unfortunately, the process has not been well documented, which has made it difficult for the agency to readily answer questions about what countries it serves and with what level of resources. This has frustrated both critics and supporters of the Peace Corps. Consequently, the first step in analyzing the decision making process about Volunteer placement was to understand it and document it.
 A.2. Overview of the decision making process
- The decision to enter or re-enter a country;
- Decisions regarding the allocation of Volunteers and other resources among existing Peace Corps countries; and,
- The decision to depart from a country.
In all cases, three essential conditions must always be met:10
- Country commitment to the Peace Corps – does or will the country support the Peace Corps in a way that will make the agency’s presence in that country a success?
- Safety and Security – does an acceptable, safe, and secure environment exist for Volunteers and staff?
- Resources – does the Peace Corps have a reasonable expectation that it will have the financial resources available to successfully support its program in that country?
Agency staff members look at other variables to determine the anticipated or actual level of success of a program in each country.11 These criteria are examined when the Peace Corps is invited into a particular country and on an ongoing basis once the Peace Corps is operating in a country. They include, but are not limited to:
- The country’s development objectives and their compatibility with the Peace Corps’ core areas of expertise (education, health and HIV/AIDS, business development, environment, agriculture, and youth development);
- The presence and viability of Volunteer projects;
- The cost effectiveness of programs and post management; and,
- The congruence with priority United States interests.
The Peace Corps has letters of request or letters of inquiry on file since 2002 from 27 countries where it has not established a program. The assessment team found adequate records regarding the status of recent country assessments and pending country requests and letters of inquiries. The assessment team also was told that the regional directors carry out periodic informal reviews of the countries that have pending requests or letters of inquiry to determine if there should be any follow-up, however, there was no documentation of these reviews. As discussed in section A.10 of this chapter, the assessment team recommends that the agency review existing country requests within the framework of a broader process that considers new country entries, departures from countries, and the reallocation of resources among Peace Corps countries.
 A.3. Entry or re-entry into a country
A.3.a The decision to conduct a country assessment The sections that follow provide a detailed description of the decision-making process that drives country selection, Volunteer placement and resource allocation.
In subsequent sections, the assessment team has also documented how the agency ensures that it is responsive to United States interests and makes specific recommendations to improve the overall decision-making process.The process to determine which countries will be considered for new agency programs (or the reestablishment of a program) starts with an official letter of request from the country. When the Peace Corps receives a letter of invitation, the Office of the Director requests a preliminary review to determine if the next step—a formal country assessment—should be conducted. At this stage, the Peace Corps’ staff members make a very early determination of the proposed program’s viability, prior to committing the resources needed to carry out a country assessment. The preliminary review is based on a quick analysis of the three essential conditions (the country’s level of interest, safety and security and availability of financial resources), along with additional criteria, such as the compatibility between the requesting country’s development objectives and the Peace Corps’ core areas of expertise.
- The country assessment was completed in the third quarter of FY 2007. The assessment concluded that the Peace Corps should launch a program in Liberia with Peace Corps Response Volunteers in a first phase.
- A budget for the program was prepared and approved in the fourth quarter of FY 2007.
- The Peace Corps began to staff the program in Liberia in the second quarter of FY 2008.
- The country director arrived at post in the third quarter of FY 2008.
- The first Peace Corps Response Volunteers arrived in-country in the first quarter of FY 2009.
- The first Peace Corps Volunteers will arrive in-country in the fourth quarter of FY 2010.
 A.5. Country closures and suspensions in the last ten years
Of the 23 program closures or suspensions listed in the appendix, seventeen were due to serious concerns regarding the safety and security of Volunteers. The security and safety of Volunteers is of the utmost importance to the agency, and safety and security are constantly monitored and evaluated by the agency’s Office of Safety and Security.15 A.5. Country closures and suspensions in the last ten years The review process in Washington, D.C. adds a regional perspective to the process, and the new Office of Global Operations strengthens the global perspective. Headquarters staff has access to a broad range of tools and information that can be used to measure the performance of a country program and that assists in making decisions on country plans and budget requests. These include formal and informal tools such as the quarterly reports prepared for headquarters by the posts, independent inspector general audits on posts, impact studies, and the Annual Volunteer Surveys carried out by Office of Strategic Information, Research and Planning, Project Status Reports, country level surveys, the Volunteer Reporting Tool, country management’s meetings with staff, the Volunteer advisory committees, and project counterparts.14 This information strengthens the process and helps ensure that increasing levels of resources are channeled towards the most productive countries and programs. The Integrated Planning and Budgeting System (IPBS) is the Peace Corps’ primary program and resource management planning mechanism. It is the principal tool used to allocate resources across the entire agency. A more detailed discussion of the IPBS process is provided in chapter V of this report, “Strengthening Management and Independent Evaluation and Oversight.” 13 Peace Corps: New Country Entry Guide, March 2007
 A.4. Allocating Volunteer and other resources among Peace Corps countries
A.4.a Introduction The allocation of Volunteer and other resources among the countries where the Peace Corps has a presence is driven by a multilevel decision process as well. As in the case of a new country entry, the decision to increase, decrease, or maintain the size of an existing program is driven by the following question: Does the country, and the specific program in that country, contribute significantly to the achievement of the Peace Corps’ mission and three goals? The process also begins with a management review of the three primary conditions: host country commitment, safety and security of Volunteers and staff, and the availability of funding within the agency. How these questions are answered, however, varies significantly from the decision process described in the new country entry section, primarily because of the experience that already exists in managing a program in that country. A.4.b The Integrated Planning and Budgeting System The IPBS process provides a great deal of latitude to country directors and their staff, allowing them to propose how they best can utilize resources and Volunteers. Posts’ staff members are the agency’s main point of contact with Volunteers and their programs, as well as with the host country counterparts. As a result, they are the most effective resource available to the agency to carry out the planning and budgeting process in each country. After reviewing the IPBS process for posts, the assessment team found that the overall process could be improved if it were implemented on a much more interactive basis. For example, after submitting the country strategic plan in their IPBS submissions at the end of the second quarter of the fiscal year, some country directors stated that they received little immediate feedback. Furthermore, when final guidance was provided to posts several months later—which can translate into significant changes in the country program for the next fiscal year—the original country strategic plan is not modified. The assessment team also found some differences among the three regions in the methodology used to analyze the individual country IPBS submissions. In the last ten years, the Peace Corps has closed or suspended operations in 23 countries. A list of the countries and the dates that they were closed or suspended is provided in Appendix IV-3. 14 A more detailed discussion of these management and reporting tools is included in chapter V “Strengthening Management and Independent Evaluation and Oversight.”15 The Office of Safety and Security was established in March 2003 to foster improved communication, coordination, oversight, and accountability for all Peace Corps safety and security efforts. The office is responsible for Volunteer safety and overseas security; information and personnel security; and emergency preparedness, plans, training, and exercises. The office also monitors crime statistics to identify trends and highlight potential safety risks to Volunteers.
The Peace Corps provides frequent updates to Congress regarding ongoing agency initiatives. The agency regularly consults with authorizing and appropriating committees and other congressional stakeholders on issues related to the Peace Corps’ operations, including the opening, closing, and expansion of the Peace Corps’ programs. In the Senate, the Peace Corps falls under the jurisdiction of the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs as well as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, the Peace Corps, and Narcotics Affairs. In the House of Representatives, the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs and the House Foreign Affairs Committee have jurisdiction over the Peace Corps. Senior management appointees at the agency work closely with offices in the White House to better serve the American public. These include, but are not limited, to Cabinet Affairs, Presidential Personnel, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of Congressional Affairs, and the Office of Social Innovation within the Domestic Policy Council. The Peace Corps also participates in a variety of administration task forces, such as the White House Task Force on Women and Girls.
 A.6. Reflecting priority United States interests
A.6.a Relationship and interaction with the White House In addition, the Peace Corps closed operations in six countries after finding that initial objectives for opening a program in these countries had been accomplished and that the country no longer required the types of skills that the Peace Corps could offer. Most of these countries had also begun receiving large levels of assistance from the European Union, further reducing the demand for the Peace Corps’ programs. Poland, Slovakia, and the Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—were among the countries where the Peace Corps’ programs closed down after a decade of significant progress during a critical period. All had shown significant progress in their levels of prosperity and, consequently, the decision was made to shift agency resources elsewhere. In all of these countries, the Peace Corps left behind a legacy of service, community development, and cross-cultural exchange in line with the agency’s mission and objectives. The Peace Corps relies on three major sources of information for input on priority United States interests— The White House, Congress, and the Department of State. All three entities influence the countries in which the agency has a presence and how resources are allocated among countries. As set forth in the Peace Corps Act, the Director of the Peace Corps reports to the President of the United States. Senior staff within the agency are appointed by the executive branch. The agency also has an appointed White House liaison, who was the first political appointee within the agency and who began shortly after the inauguration of the President in 2009. The liaison works closely with Presidential Personnel and other White House offices to coordinate and advance the Peace Corps agenda. A.6.b Relationship and interaction with Congress The Office of Congressional Relations at the Peace Corps coordinates activities related to all legislative issues and interests and serves as the official liaison between the Director of the Peace Corps and members of Congress and congressional staff. Consultations with Congress occur on an ongoing basis through meetings between the Director and Members of Congress, as well as meetings between the Peace Corps’ staff and congressional staff. Additionally, the Peace Corps regularly receives congressional inquiriesThe Peace Corps maintains on-going dialogue with the Department of State and has done so since its inception. The Peace Corps’ country directors form part of the U.S. Embassy’s country team and have ready access to the Chief of Mission and embassy staff. Embassy personnel coordinate with the Peace Corps’ staff on many fronts, including safety and security and health issues. When conducting a new country assessment or when reviewing ongoing operations, the Peace Corps’ staff members rely heavily on the U.S. embassy in gathering information. “3. Relationship between the U.S. Mission and Peace Corps Staff:” These cables clarify the independent nature of the agency along with the need for coordination and support. Appendices IV-4 and 5 contain copies of two examples. The first of these cables was sent in March 1963 by then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and the most recent example of these cables was sent by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in February 2009.
- Mobilizing Volunteers in the Dominican Republic immediately after the earthquake to assist in a hospital for refugees in Jimani and to assist in organizing and loading relief supplies for shipment across the border.
The assessment team analyzed programs in those Peace Corps countries that scored the highest on the HDI and found compelling reasons for maintaining programs in those countries. However, the team did not feel As discussed in section A.5 of this chapter, the agency has closed operations in 23 countries in the last ten years, seventeen of which were for safety and security reasons. The remaining six countries were closed after determining that the initial objectives of the Peace Corps’ mission in those countries had been accomplished. Of these six, four currently fall in the first quartile of the HDI distribution—Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and the Slovak Republic. Latvia and Russia are in the second quartile. While the development status of these countries was not the only reason for closing the programs—the agency faced budget reductions at the time—their relatively high ranking on the HDI vis-à-vis other countries where the agency maintains programs was an important criteria in the decision to graduate these countries. countries where the Peace Corps is present ranked in the top quartile. This distribution is consistent with the nature of the work that the agency undertakes. To test the degree to which the Peace Corps’ resources are channeled towards countries that have the greatest needs, the assessment team ranked the countries where the agency maintains programs against the 2009 Human Development Index (HDI) developed by the United Nations Development Programme.19 The analysis revealed that approximately 70 percent of the agency’s programs are in countries that fall in the bottom half of the HDI rankings (See Figure IV – 2). Only 29 percent of the agency’s posts fall in the second quartile, and even in those posts, the majority of Volunteers are in underserved areas. None of the Peace Corps Programs by HDI Quartile Figure IV-2 17 A predominately Muslim country is defined by the Peace Corps as a country with a population that is at least 40% Muslim. 18 Peace Corps’ ability to expand into any new country is dependent on a written expression of interest from a senior host government representative, as well as a positive country assessment and the availability of funds as explained in section A.2 of this chapter. A.7.a Introduction Within two weeks of the earthquake, the agency was exploring new assignments for Peace Corps Response personnel with the American Refugee Committee as well as with international NGOs. All potential partners were interested in the Peace Corps’ ability to field Haitian Creole-speaking returned Volunteers to work as translators and assist in other areas.
 A.7. Country need versus Volunteer and other resource allocation
The Peace Corp reviews a country’s level of development in determining whether it should enter into or maintain operations in a country. The Peace Corps’ first goal, “Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women,” demands that there be a strong need for the types of skills that Volunteers offer. The needs that match Volunteer skills are most in demand in less developed countries that cannot acquire the resources or alternatives that Peace Corps Volunteers can provide. Bottom Quartile A.7.b Review of the results of the HDI distribution The assessment team recommends formally incorporating the HDI as a criteria in deciding country selection, Volunteer placement, and resource allocation among countries. At the same time, the assessment team cautions against using the index as a hard rule to qualify or disqualify a country. The exception to this would be countries that fall in the highest quartile of the HDI—the agency should not be present in these countries. For those Peace Corps countries that are ranked in the upper half of the second quartile, the agency needs to articulate a clear rationale to be in that country. For example, the agency could justify a program in a relatively high HDI country if the program focuses on a sector of interest (e.g. environment, HIV/AIDS). The agency might also justify a program in a relatively high HDI country if the program focuses on selected underserved regions needs within those regions. Other programs could be explored in relatively high HDI countries if there is a significant level of cost-sharing with the host country or if the host country is interested in creating its own volunteer program to serve alongside Peace Corps Volunteers. 19 The Human Development Index developed by the United Nations Development Programme was first introduced in 1990. It serves as a measure of development by combining indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income in one index. For purposes of this analysis, the assessment team used the 182 countries included in the Index and broke them out into quartiles.
As stated in the beginning of this chapter, the agency’s statutory mission “to promote world peace and friendship” is, by definition, global in breadth. As a result, the Peace Corps’ policy has been to respond favorably to all reasonable requests for assistance from interested countries, provided that funding is available and that basic safety and programmatic conditions are met. However, due to limits on funding, the number of countries requesting assistance has been greater than the number of countries that the agency has been able to assist. The Volunteer surveys, input from country directors and regional managers, and the impact studies described above provide the agency with important feedback that can be used to monitor and evaluate program impact and adjust programs accordingly. The Peace Corps has been working on tools to measure program impact since it began periodically to survey active Volunteers in 1973. The most of important of these is the Annual Volunteer Survey that asks specific questions about work toward Goals 1 and 2. To complement the Volunteer surveys, the Peace Corps under the direction of the Office of Strategic Information, Research and Planning launched a series of studies to measure the impact of Volunteer activities with regard to the Peace Corps’ first two goals. As described in further detail in chapter V, the country-level studies evaluate the impact of Volunteers on the host country nationals with whom they live and work, as well as the organizations with which they are assigned to cooperate. The studies focus on Volunteers’ efforts to transfer needed skills to host country counterparts (Goal 1) and to promote a better understanding of Americans among host country nationals (Goal 2). The agency reviews its programs in every country and allocates resources across programs, countries and regions as part of the annual IPBS process introduced in section A.3 of this chapter, which is discussed in greater detail in chapter V. Utilizing the Integrated Planning and Budgeting System (IPBS) process, the agency has closed programs, particularly when the agency faced resource constraints. However, the assessment team found that the agency does not have a periodic formal review process to verify that its programs in high HDI countries are meeting the needs of an underserved population and verify that those needs will not be met if the Peace Corps were to terminate its programs in that country. The assessment team feels that Office of Global Operations should perform such a review annually and document the results. Recommendations on how this review would be carried out are discussed in section C of this chapter that the agency’s documentation in these situations communicated its rationale adequately. The Peace Corps needs to do a better job of articulating why it continues to allocate resources in countries that rank relatively high on the HDI.
 A.8. Meeting country needs – measuring impact
The impact studies, introduced in 2008, provide the agency’s management with an independent assessment of the Peace Corps’ programs by host country counterparts and beneficiaries. In just a short time, the impact studies have become an important tool that enhances the decision process used to allocate Volunteer and other resources among countries. These studies, carried out by independent, host-country nationals, are also relatively inexpensive to conduct. A.9. Conclusions In analyzing funding options for expanding into new countries, the agency has been reluctant to look at reducing or even closing programs in existing countries. This may be because the agency’s mission
The proposed portfolio review analysis would greatly enhance the current IPBS process. As noted in section A.4 of this chapter, one of the greatest strengths of the IPBS process is that it provides a great deal of latitude to country directors and their staff to propose options for their posts. Posts’ staff members are the agency’s main point of contact with Volunteers and host country counterparts and as a result are best positioned to make recommendations on the programs in their respective countries. By carrying out the analysis prior to the start of the annual IPBS process, the Office of the Director could provide the regions and individual posts with clearer guidance on how to prepare their respective IPBS submissions. This additional guidance would provide country directors with a greater level of guidance than is currently provided, injecting a greater level of strategic thinking into the overall IPBS process. The assessment team also observed that most decisions on new country entries, country closures, and resource allocation among existing countries are made in a series of independent decisions. For example, the agency makes a decision on whether to establish a program in each country upon completion of the country assessment. This decision is made independent of decisions on other possible country entries or future country assessments, and is made independent of decisions that affect resource allocation among existing countries. supports a broad global presence. This may also be because a decision to reduce operations or close a country does not free up resources immediately. It takes several years to reduce the size of a post given that Volunteers are at post for 27 months. It can take up to five years to totally withdraw from a country. The assessment team believes that the decision process on country selection, Volunteer placement, and resource allocation among existing countries would be greatly enhanced by an analysis of all possible options concurrently. This portfolio review, which should be conducted annually prior to the start of the annual planning and budgeting cycle, would provide the agency’s decision makers with a comprehensive view of all possible options regarding potential new country entries, country closures, and existing countries and would lead to better resource allocation decisions. The assessment team recommends that the agency carry out the annual portfolio review utilizing specific criteria. These criteria would include a country’s ranking on the Human Development Index and a measure of programmatic impact as described in sections A.7 and A.8 of this chapter. The Office of Global Operations has already begun to gather the information required to undertake the first review. A description of each of the criteria, as well as the source for the information and responsible office is provided in the matrix following the recommendations below.
Recommendation IV-1: The assessment team recommends that the agency modify the existing process used in analyzing what services it provides to countries and at what levels. The agency needs to make decisions on potential new country entries, possible country departures, as well as the level of resources allocated among all countries in one integral process. This analysis should take place annually and should be prepared for the Office of the Director by the Office of Global Operations with the support of the regions and Office of Strategic Information, Research and Planning. Specifically, the analysis should review:
Recommendation IV-3: The assessment team recommends that the agency clearly document and better communicate the overall country selection and resource allocation process described in recommendations IV-1 and IV-2 above. Additionally, the agency needs to improve the documentation of individual decisions made as part of the overall process (e.g. decisions to carry out country assessments, enter into a new country, country closures, etc.). Recommendation IV-2: The assessment team recommends that the agency add two new criteria to those currently used in the country review process described in IV-1: HDI and Impact. The criteria to be used in carrying out the annual analysis would include existing criteria, as well as the addition of two new criteria: a measure of need or development status, which would be HDI; and a measure of impact, which would be quantified primarily through the agency’s impact studies, the Annual Volunteer Survey, and Project Status Reports. Finally, as pointed out in the earlier sections of this chapter, the agency has not been consistent in documenting the decisions made about new country entries, program closures, or how resources are allocated among countries. The assessment team also recommends that the overall resource allocation process needs to be articulated, documented, and divulged more openly. CRITERIA – ANNUAL PORTFOLIO REVIEW
CRITERIA – ANNUAL PORTFOLIO REVIEW (CONTINUED)
The assessment team believes that the resource allocation process used by the Peace Corps to decide which countries it serves, and at what levels, can be significantly improved. Specifically, the current process: C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION The Peace Corps has embarked on a project to implement new budgeting software for the agency that improves the overall budgeting process. The agency has purchased the software rights to Hyperion Planning, a leading budget planning and analytics software application recently acquired by Oracle. This system will be integrated with the Peace Corps’ current financial management system, which will also automate part of the budgeting process that in the past was handled manually. The system is expected to roll out in July 2010. The assessment team believes that the creation of this office, charged with overseeing the departments that are directly responsible for the placement of Volunteers and the programming and training support that these Volunteers require, will further strengthen decisions on Volunteer and other resource allocation. In October 2009, the Office of Global Operations was established to provide overarching strategic support and management to several aspects of the agency’s direct Volunteer operations. This new office aims to encourage efficiencies by streamlining agency operations, disseminating best practices across the regions, providing an organized and cohesive voice to agency leadership, and by coordinating the activities of all overseas operations. In the last twelve months, the agency has made some important changes in the overall resource allocation process. The most important of these revolve around the creation of the Office of Global Operations and improvements that are currently being made to the agency’s Integrated Planning and Budget System.
 B. RECENT CHANGES
 B.1. The Office of Global Operations
The Office of Global Operations provides leadership, staffing, and resources to foster alignment, manage development, coordinate initiatives, and track the progress and the impact of the Peace Corps’ overseas operations. In addition to the Peace Corps’ three geographic regions (Africa; Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia; and Inter-America and the Pacific), the Office of Global Operations also includes the Office of Overseas Program and Training Support, the Office of AIDS Relief, and Peace Corps Response.
 B.2. Improvements to the Integrated Planning and Budgeting System (IPBS)
The agency has also refined the Integrated Planning and Budgeting System (IPBS) process for FY 2011 planning. Because posts received guidance almost six weeks earlier than in previous years, posts had additional preparation time. The Office of Strategic Information, Research and Planning also held a workshop with members of all the regional country desk units about information that can provide context for the IPBS submission development. This workshop demonstrated ways in which Volunteer survey data, early termination data, and other information can be used to guide planning and development of future IPBS submissions by posts.
 C. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION
 C.1. Summary of findings and recommendations
- Is not well documented, not transparent, and difficult to justify;
- Is carried out through a series of discrete decisions as issues surface and opportunities arise rather than as one integral process; and,
- Can be strengthened by analyzing potential new country entries and potential country closures in one process and by introducing additional selection criteria in the decision process.
 C.2. Strategy for implementation of the recommendations
also should make a preliminary recommendation on possible actions to rectify the problem, provide a preliminary recommendation on possible new country entries for the current and next countries that have expressed an interest in the Peace Corps and where an assessment would need Recommendation IV-1: The assessment team recommends that the agency modify the existing process used in analyzing what services it provides to countries and at what levels. The agency needs to make decisions on potential new country entries, possible country departures, as well as the level of resources allocated among all countries in one integral process. This analysis should take place annually and should be prepared for the Director’s office by the Office of Global Operations with the support of the regions and Office of Strategic Information, Research and Planning. Specifically, the analysis should review: 1a New entry opportunities in countries where an assessment has been carried out, as well as for to be updated, or where an assessment would need to be carried out. The review would need to fiscal years, as well as on country assessments to be carried out in the next six to twelve months. 1b Programs in existing countries where the agency is not achieving the desired impact. The review including reorganizing, reducing or terminating the program in that country.
Recommendation IV-3: The assessment team recommends that the agency clearly document and better communicate the overall country selection and resource allocation process described in recommendations IV-1 and IV-2 above. Additionally, the agency needs to improve the documentation of individual decisions made as part of the overall process (e.g. decisions to carry out country assessments, enter into a new country, country closures, etc.). The revised country review process described above will provide the Director of the agency with the global perspective required to make rational resource allocation decisions among countries and regions. The process will also result in greater guidance to the different units within the agency during the annual IPBS process, strengthening resource allocation decisions across the entire agency. Recommendation IV-2: The assessment team recommends that the agency add two new criteria to those currently used in the country review process described in IV-1: HDI and Impact.