November 29, 2011

Reverend David Beckmann Mr. George Ingram The Honorable Jim Kolbe Co-Chairs Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network Dear Reverend Beckmann, Mr. Ingram, and Mr. Kolbe: Thank you for your recent letter requesting information on how the Peace Corps is responding to the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development (PPD). The Peace Corps is proud to be participating in the implementation of the U.S. global development policy and appreciates your leadership of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN). In response to your request for information on the Peace Corps' progress in implementing the PPD, I am enclosing a fact sheet which highlights the agency's efforts related to this PPD and provides some additional information on how we are strengthening our role under this policy. We appreciate the opportunity to contribute to this endeavor during the Peace Corps' 50th anniversary year.

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Aaron S. Williams Director


January 2012

Fact Sheet: Achieving the President’s Policy Directive for Global Development Peace Corps 1. Focusing on Sustainable Development Outcomes Partnership for Growth (PFG) Peace Corps is pleased to participate as an active partner in USG whole-ofgovernment approaches and remains open to exploring new opportunities for collaboration in Ghana, El Salvador, Philippines, and Tanzania. El Salvador: During negotiations on the PFG, the GOES requested that Peace Corps El Salvador provide additional TEFL Volunteers in FY 2012, which falls under the tradables proposal: Human Capital and Innovation; Support and Training for ESL Teachers. Philippines: Peace Corps’ engagement in the education and youth sectors directly supports the Human Capacity Development priority emphasis of the PFG. USAID and Peace Corps look forward to even closer engagement in this sector at the local government level in targeted communities that can play a catalytic role in promoting economic growth. Tanzania: Peace Corps continues to contribute to the PFG in Tanzania through the Feed the Future initiative. Environment Volunteers are working to support agricultural extension workers at the district level in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), a public-private partnership which aims to boost agricultural competiveness by aligning investment in agriculture with existing infrastructure to help farmers improve their production and get products to market. Health Volunteers will now be assigned to work on Feed the Future nutritional efforts in the SAGCOT. Peace Corps has completed Host Country Impact Studies in Tanzania and Philippines and has launched studies in El Salvador and Ghana. The Host Country Impact Studies contribute to Peace Corps’ ability to measure the impact of its Volunteers and are useful in assessing the agency’s ability to build local capacity through skills transfer to host country counterparts and community members and in measuring changes in host country nationals’ understanding of Americans. The studies are unique in that they focus on learning about Volunteers’ impact directly from the host country nationals who lived and worked with the Volunteers.

January 2012

Data from the seven impact studies completed in FY 2011 indicate that Peace Corps Volunteers effectively built host country individuals’ technical capacity (according to 86 percent of 1,606 individuals surveyed). Seventy-seven percent of the host country respondents said they use the new skills daily or weekly in their work, and 83 percent stated that they use the new skills daily or weekly in their personal lives. Ninety percent of respondents participating in the studies completed in FY 2011 reported a more positive view of Americans after interacting with Volunteers. The sustained interaction between Volunteers and host country nationals also led to significant gains in improved understanding of Americans (87%). Focusing on highly targeted, effective interventions Stomping Out Malaria in Africa. Peace Corps Volunteers support and sustain the development efforts of other USG agencies, reaching well beyond the geographic scope of traditional donors. One area of priority programming in FY 2011 that specifically advanced the PPD on global development and reflects Peace Corps’ focus on highly targeted, effective interventions is the Stomping Out Malaria initiative in Africa. In collaboration with PMI, Peace Corps developed a campaign to mobilize more than 3,000 Volunteers across Africa to engage in the fight to reduce the incidence and impact of malaria (including involvement in grassroots awareness campaigns on prevention and treatment; community-level planning and mobilization for universal bed net distribution; and, surveillance and data collection and analysis for monitoring and evaluation). This campaign takes full advantage of Peace Corps’ unique “delivery capacity” at the grassroots level and will be planned and undertaken at the country-level by Peace Corps and PMI, in conjunction with other partners. In its first six months, the initiative has already been launched in 17 high-incidence countries in Africa and will be extended in 2012 to other countries in the region. Peace Corps Volunteers and staff have participated in a two-week “malaria boot camp” in Senegal, with training provided by experts from PMI, CDC, USAID, Malaria No More, Johns Hopkins, the University of South Florida, and other partner organizations.

2. A New Operational Model Protect the health, safety and security of Peace Corp Volunteers

January 2012

Peace Corps has implemented numerous reforms to better protect the health, safety and security of its Volunteers and provide compassionate support to Volunteers who are victims of crime. These measures include steps such as new standardized and comprehensive sexual assault awareness training for Volunteers, development of a new victim-centered approach to supporting Volunteers, and the hiring of the agency’s first Victim Advocate. Alignment of agency activities with the GDP through Peace Corps’ new Performance Plan FY12 to FY14 The new plan reflects the GDP’s emphasis on performance improvement and evidence-based management and includes a focus on strategic partnering and monitoring and evaluation. Respond to Countries’ Needs for Higher Technical Skills The agency prioritizes the recruitment of highly-skilled individuals to meet the evolving technical needs of posts. Through the Masters International Program, the agency partners with colleges and universities to identify skilled applicants and share technical resources. Further, the agency partners with organizations such as City Year and Teach for America to share recruitment resources. Specific initiatives focus on the recruitment of agriculture and education Volunteers. Peace Corps Response has responded to assignment requests for more highly skilled Volunteers by: continuing to increase the number of Response Volunteers placed in the field (nearly doubling the amount of countries that received Response Volunteers in FY11); expanding the pool of higher skilled applicants from which it can draw by allowing individuals who have not previously served in the Peace Corps--but who have the required skills--to apply for Peace Corps Response positions beginning in the fall of 2011; and, providing expedited recruitment and placement methods to quickly place Volunteers into programs that are either new initiatives (such as the Malaria Initiative) or key strategic partnerships. Implement the Priority Recommendations of the Comprehensive Agency Assessment – Peace Corps is sharpening its programming focus in a manner that is directly in line with the new policy on global development. Significant progress has occurred on all six strategies recommended in an independent, comprehensive analysis of ways in which to strengthen and reform Peace Corps’ operations and the recommendations have been integrated into the agency’s new performance plan for FY 2012- FY 2014.

January 2012

Target our resources: Country portfolio review data was used to inform decisions about potential country openings, country closures, as well as the allocation of Volunteers. The goal is to target agency resources in order to maximize Peace Corps’ grassroots development impact and strengthen relationships with the developing world. Data was collected in areas such as country need, safety and security, and host country commitment and engagement. The process will be further refined and integrated into posts’ and the agency’s annual planning and budgeting cycles in order to inform strategic decisions. Focus on key sectors and train for excellence: The agency is focusing on a targeted number of projects with the greatest impact and training Volunteers to perform more specialized work. The agency is in the process of developing program guidance and training packages that can be used all over the world. The first training package will be Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Implement a dynamic recruitment strategy to attract the best and brightest of America’s diverse population: In response to the Agency-wide assessment, Peace Corps is moving ahead with strategic, structural, and process changes to effectively and efficiently attract, recruit and retain talented and diverse applicants. These recommendations include realigning Regional Offices, analyzing the diversity of the agency’s applicant pool and developing new initiatives to increase the numbers of ethnically diverse volunteers, and improving the application process to allow for more applicant choice, a standard applicant rating system and the ability to pool applicants in order to achieve greater selectivity and increase the quality of our Volunteers. Innovate to meet host country needs of today and tomorrow: Peace Corps Response will soon be launching a pilot program to open up PCR assignments to non-RPCVs who are highly skilled professionals with at least 10 years of experience and the requisite language skills and cross cultural experience. Elevate our third goal: Peace Corps has unveiled a new “Engage. Expand. Enlighten.” campaign which encourages RPCVs to help the agency achieve its Third Goal by: sharing their Peace Corps experiences in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary classrooms in their communities through our Coverdell World Wise Schools Speaker’s Match program; helping Peace Corps staff recruit the next generation of Volunteers through local recruitment events and our new online “Increase Peace” referral program; and, uploading a story and/or photo to the Peace Corps Digital Library. Peace Corps recently began issuing monthly Peace Corps Update newsletters, which promote all of Third Goal and career/education initiatives, to all current and returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

January 2012

Finally, the agency has recently hosted 8 regional RPCV events which promote all of our Third Goal and career/education initiatives. Strengthen management and operations: The agency is emphasizing evidencebased decision making, focusing on a more targeted number of highly effective technical interventions, providing updated training to staff and Volunteers on safety and security, working with Congress to seek additional authorities for Personal Services Contractors and conducting studies of operational activities and staffing patterns of key staff offices. In addition to completion of the new Performance Plan FY 2012-2014, the Integrated Planning and Budget Submission process was redesigned to align field-based strategic plans with agency-level strategic planning and performance-based management. 3. A Modern Architecture for Development Cooperation Expand engagement with USG and non-governmental actors through strategic partnering - In keeping with the emphasis placed on whole-of-government approaches by the new global development policy, Peace Corps has sought innovative ways to increase its impact both domestically and abroad through the expanded use of strategic partnerships. In FY 2011, Peace Corps entered into partnerships with 9 organizations (NGO, USG, and multilateral), bringing the total number of agency partnerships to more than 30. These partnerships - which include the U.S. Department of State, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and USAID - allow the Peace Corps to leverage the expertise of its partners who provide training, technical input, and resources to Volunteers. For example, the Peace Corps has enhanced its collaboration with USAID through the implementation of three agreements that promote capacity building and host country priorities: the Global Food Security Agreement, the Small Project Assistance Agreement, and the Global Education Framework Agreement. Under the Global Food Security Agreement, posts are working in support of wholeof-government efforts to support food security activities in priority areas. In addition, there is frequent informal collaboration with other agencies. For example, Peace Corps has worked closely with DOD and DOJ in developing its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, including formulation of a strategic plan, training modules, and the development of a response team. The Peace Corps-PEPFAR partnership continues to expand with 30 Peace Corps posts now included in either Country or Regional PEPFAR Operational Plans.

January 2012

Strategic and highly cost-effective assignments of two-year, 3rd and 4th year extension, and more technically-advanced Peace Corps Response volunteers are being pursued and will continue to expand across multiple countries to directly contribute to the PEPFAR priorities of country ownership and sustainability. Peace Corps is also actively contributing to the roll out of the Saving Mothers’ Lives program under the Global Health Initiative by rapidly recruiting highly skilled Response volunteers to assist with district-level data collection, demand creation, and logistics to ensure transport for safe, attended births.

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