A Message for Dave Hibbard & Roger Landrum

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 02 February 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: February 6, 2002: White Paper - The New Mandate for the Peace Corps: A Message for Dave Hibbard & Roger Landrum

By Colin Gallagher (colin_gallagher) on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 3:22 am: Edit Post

These are interesting ideas that are being forwarded to Congress. What is fantastic, though, is not so much that Mr. Hibbard and Mr. Landrum have these ideas, but that they have gotten the ear, albeit temporarily, of Congress. This opens the playing field.

So, to Dave & Roger: As ideas come in from various members of the Peace Corps community, I hope you take the incoming comments -- negative and positive -- straight to the top. This organization is nothing if not powered by its members. There really isn't such a thing as an "ex-Peace Corps Volunteer." Keep that in mind.

In that vein, I encourage you to link to the following link for ideas that can be incorporated into the ongoing Congressional efforts for a new Peace Corps mandate:

The above link will lead you to information on proposed language to help Peace Corps remain independent with respect to its mission while allowing for organizational flexibility. I hope to get Mr. Hibbard and Mr. Landrum's comments on this proposed language shortly; if anyone knows their e-mail addresses, please forward this message on to them soon -- things are changing fast.

-- C. Gallagher

By Ken Hill on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 2:08 pm: Edit Post

The “New Mandate” has fostered useful dialogue on the future of Peace Corps. This discussion needs to be continued because there is much in the "New Mandate” that is troubling. “New Mandate” ideas have also been proposed in the form of legislation which, if enacted, would be highly deleterious to Peace Corps.

Excessive detail in legislative guidance threatens Peace Corps non-political, independent status and complicates its ability to respond to situations as they arise around the world. By agreement between Peace Corps, the White House and Congress, Peace Corps traditionally operates with relative independence within general guidance and oversight provided by the Administration and Congress. The “New Mandate” legislation would negate these important agreements. Peace Corps programming and operating policy should not be legislated nor Peace Corps appropriations earmarked.

Traditional Peace Corps programs place high priority on responding to the requests of Host Countries. This is a basic Peace Corps tenet and a key to much of its success. Peace Corps programs and the roles and responsibilities of Peace Corps Volunteers should be determined on a country by country basis in cooperation with Host Country governments. The “New Mandate” proposes that too many of these decisions be made in Washington which would weaken Peace Corps, not improve it.

The legislation proposes an official role in Peace Corps operations for a private, membership organization - NPCA. It would also require Peace Corps to fund various “third goal” NPCA activities that are not now being performed nor funded. This constitutes a form of handout for NPCA and an unreasonable constraint upon the use of Peace Corps funds. Aside from the troubling legal implications, this creates an improper role for the NPCA and would result in its dependency upon Peace Corps. Neither the Peace Corps nor the NPCA should be adjunct to the other and NPCA should have no official role in Peace Corps.

Peace Corps leadership and alumnae – including the NPCA - should oppose the “New Mandate” legislation! It will not strengthen the Peace Corps nor make it more effective, quite the contrary. It’s time to re-think the “New Mandate” and most important, to resist the idea of any related legislation!

Ken Hill, 3/21/02

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