May 1, 2002 - Washington Monthly: The two-and-a-half year rule at the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 05 May 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: May 1, 2002 - Washington Monthly: The two-and-a-half year rule at the Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 01, 2002 - 8:26 pm: Edit Post

The two-and-a-half year rule at the Peace Corps

Read and comment on this excerpt from Charlie Peter's Washington Monthly on the two and a half year rule he saw applied at the Peace Corps when he was head of the Evaluation Division in the 1960's at:

Tilting at Windmills*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Tilting at Windmills

DID YOU READ ABOUT THE PENtagon civil servant who used her government credit card for $12,000-worth of personal expenses? The bureaucratically innocent may assume that she was fired. Those who know the civil service know better. She has transferred, but she still works for the Pentagon. She wasn't even asked to repay the $12,000. Can anything be done about this problem? Do we have to keep incompetent or misbehaving civil servants forever? There is an answer to the problem, and it comes from the Peace Corps, which has a system of two-and-ahalf-year appointments. It's still hard to get rid of the bad apples immediately, but you don't have to keep them around for life.

When their appointments are up, you simply don't renew them

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Peace Corps Washington



By jwseymour on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 11:36 am: Edit Post

This 2 1/2 year rule is arbitrary, mindless stupidity.

Clearly, time limiting anti-bureaucratic measures help insure that individual deadlines are met and project goals move forward while keeping the P.C. organization lean. Seems fair enough.

However, this rule ignores the fact that good development work very often takes longer than even the best planning windows. And cycles of fresh volunteers frequently do not provide for the steady, seamless transition of replacement volunteers for on-going projects.

What's so magical about 2 1/2 years max? Nothing!

Keeping in mind the goal of providing technical assistance and our commitment to aiding developing communities-- we must allow the flexibility for individual volunteers to extend their time in order to deliver on their promises.

Country Directors & APCDs should be allowed to make decisions for PCV extensions on a case-by-case basis. It's pratical, makes sense, and still honors the spirit of limiting bureaucracy.

Justin Seymour
RPCV Bolivia '95-'98

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