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Peace Corps Small Project Assistance Program USAID (Annual Report) Cooperation PC AID Report to Congress February 1986

Peace Corps Small Project Assistance Program USAID (Annual Report) Cooperation PC AID Report to Congress February 1986

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Peace Corps Small Project Assistance Program USAID (Annual Report) Cooperation PC AID Report to Congress February 1986
Peace Corps Small Project Assistance Program USAID (Annual Report) Cooperation PC AID Report to Congress February 1986

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Published by: Accessible Journal Media Peace Corps Docs on Aug 14, 2010
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08/07/2015

TheSmall Projects Assistance(SPA) program represents
oneof themost effectiveand innovativecooperative
programs introduced by thePeaceCorps and AID .

It is a
uniquepartnershipwhich matches AID funds and technical
assistanceto thePeaceCorps' human resources to
acceleratelocal development.

Initiated in January, 1983, theSPA program provides a
fast method to thePeaceCorps for stimulating and
sustaining small villageprojects identified by Peace
Corps Volunteers and local community organizations, A
SPA fund of $40,000 annually was established in each of
34 countries in Asia/Near East, Africaand Inter-America
for small projects in food production, income
generation, energy and small enterprisedevelopment.
Recently, AID agreed to providethePeaceCorps with an
additional $15,000 annually to each participating country
to support small projects in health. A second component
of theSPA program funds technical and program
assistanceto generatesmall project activity.

Thecriteriafor country participation in theSPA program
aretwofold: 1) both thePeaceCorps and AID havean
officein thecountry and 2) thecountry haveat least 10
Volunteers. Therearefivecriteriafor individual SPA
project activities in-country:

o

Theactivity must bescheduled for completion within
oneyear of approval.

o

TheSPA contribution must not exceed $10,000.

o

Theproject must bein Food Production, Income
Genercition, Energy, Small EntarpriseDevelopment or
Health.

o

Theproject must not encouragerelianceon U.S.

assistance.

o

Theproject must beconceived and implemented in
conjunction with alocal community organization or
group.
It is this last criterion that seems pivotal in the
overall success of theprojects.

In late 1984 and early 1985, the Peace Corps and AID
sponsored a worldwide evaluation of the SPA program.

The
evaluation looked at the attitude of AID and Peace Corps
staff toward the program and certain management issues.
It also reviewed 62 SPA projects in Asia/Near East,
Africa and Inter-America.

The findings of the evaluation

of these projects were as follows:

o

Forty-three of the 62 were rated as successful; five
were unsuccessful and 14 were "too early to tell."

o

Of those actually rated (excluding those "too early
to tell"), 89.6% were rated as successful.

o

An important and measurable relationship exists
between project success and the degree of community
involvement in projects.

A strong correlation
exists between success in SPA projects and the
provision of some cash support from the community

itself.

o

Projects in the sector of small business development
had a lower success rate than other SPA projects,
thus indicating the difficulty of stimulating small
business activity and suggesting a need for greater
technical assistance in this area.

A primary concern of both agencies about the SPA program
(and consequently of the evaluation) is the question of
whether Peace Corps Volunteers should be a source of
money for the communities where they work.

Does this
negate or endanger the traditional values of the Peace
Corps? Does it compromise the effectiveness of the
Volunteers?

The SPA program makes it possible for the Peace Corps to
approve and manage small grants to communities where
Volunteers are stationed.

The SPA evaluation yielded
enlightening and important data to the effect that SPA
grants, if handled properly, provide an essential tool
for community development and contribute greatly to
Volunteer work satisfaction and effectiveness.

This is
the view of an overwhelming majority of AID and Peace
Corps staff as well as of the Volunteers themselves.

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