Third Goal Activities and the role of RPCVs are part of the
Draft Strategic Plan. I have underlined the two items that
caught my attention. Rather than the all RPCV run agency that Dr.
Robert Textor envisioned with his “In, Up and Out” policy”,
the Peace Corps agency will “Establish a competitive internship program where exceptional RPCVs compete for year-long positions within the agency and its strategic partners.”
The other interesting item is the plan to engage
RPCVs in a network “similar to a college alumni model”.
I found the reference to college illuminating. I am beginning
to think that the institutional model that best describes the
Peace Corps best is that of a university. The “traditional”
Peace Corps Volunteer is the undergraduate. The RPCVs in
the lower level positions are the graduate assistants, soon to be
replaced by the proposed “interns.” The
other employees are the adjunct professors, on board
briefly, always looking for a new “gig.” The favored few
who are not subject to the so-called Five Year Rule are
the tenured faculty. The main purpose of alumni groups
is first to promote the institution. And, of course, a
university does not archive undergrad term papers. This
would explain the almost total lack of archived field
material directly from the serving Volunteers.
To read the Draft Strategic Plan: http://www.peacecorps.gov/open/plan/
Go to the page and click on the orange colored heading to see the list of Strategies and Activities, for this item as well as all others.
To comment on the Draft Strategic Plan, until December 2nd, go to
5. Continuation of Service:
Fully engage returned Volunteers in advancing the mission by fostering a vibrant alumni network and providing opportunities for them to share their experiences and promote volunteerism and public service.
Rationale: Over 215,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers since 1961 – a significant “domestic dividend” of skilled and dedicated individuals who continue serving the American public and the overseas communities where they lived and worked long after they return home. The Peace Corps provides opportunities for returned Volunteers (RPCVs) to continue advancing the Peace Corps mission, including encouraging them to share their experiences with family, friends, and the public; build and maintain connections between American and host country individuals and communities; and, recruit the next generation of Volunteers. Additionally, a significant number of RPCVs continue their service as international development or foreign policy specialists. The agency prepares RPCVs to continue their service academically and professionally by aiding in the transition back to the United States.
Strategies and Activities:
Establish a “Third Goal” and RPCV engagement strategy, similar to a college alumni model
Obtain a waiver from OMB on contacting RPCVs or have interested RPCVs sign a request to participate in Peace Corps surveys
Develop more effective methods for contacting RPCVs, including improving the quality of RPCV contact information
Develop an RPCV survey to gather regular feedback from returned Volunteers, track their professional and academic progress, and develop tools to help them continue their service in their profession
Actively promote agency-sponsored “Third Goal” activities, including Peace Corps Week and Coverdell World Wise Schools, to RPCVs and RPCV groups
Establish a competitive internship program where exceptional RPCVs compete for year-long positions within the agency and its strategic partners
Provide career services to returned Volunteers, including resume-writing, career fairs, and an online job portal