Getting rid of paper processes at the Peace Corps

[Thanks to Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) for the ‘heads up’ on this item.]


April 28, 2011 — The Peace Corps is modernizing the last of its global infrastructure networks this year and then it’s time for a break…sort of.

Dorine Andrews says the 50-year-old agency will take a step back and reassess the status and health of its IT infrastructure and systems.

Andrews, who’s been CIO at the agency for about nine months, said her staff of about 70 federal employees at the headquarters in Washington will start looking at back end administrative systems and changing the agency’s overall strategic approach to IT.

Andrews said the Peace Corps is starting a pilot with Microsoft’s SharePoint software to move paper processes to electronic-something she said should have been done years ago.

The end goal, she said, is to move the agency’s email system into the cloud and reduce the amount of hardware the Peace Corps manages.

From a strategic standpoint, Andrews is refocusing how her office works with its customers. She created two new organizations, one working on customer support of the back end technology, and the other working on the front end of program development.

Andrews said all of this comes under the need to be more mobile across the entire agency. She said Peace Corps offices in many countries have better access to cell technology than electricity.

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  • The old computer maxim still rules, “GIGO,” or garbage in, garbage out. Technology does not change bad habits and misguided policies it only increases the damage they do.

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