The Peace Corps in West Africa, 1975


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The Peace Corps in West Africa, 1975
Physical Description:
Chester, John Chapman
Sullivan, John H., 1935- ( jt. auth )
United States -- Congress. -- House. -- Committee on International Relations
U.S. Govt. Print. Off. ( Washington )
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Letter of transmittal
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Summary findings and conclusions
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Background: West Africa and the Peace corps
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    I. Management and administration
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    II. Health care for volunteers
        Page 16
        Page 17
    III. Selection and training
        Page 18
        Page 19
    IV. Program emphasis
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    V. The Nigerian program
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
Full Text







FEBRUARY 23, 1976

- -

Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations




,..J" -

2d Session I


^ii~f, r." ,..
, '. \ *L#// -
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THOMAS E. MORGAN, Pennsylvania, Chairman

L. H. FOUNTAIN. North Carolina
DA NTx' 1. FASCEILL, FluriIda
CHA.LESc. C, DI;GS. JR., Micligan
IoI;O I.:l IT N. C. NIX. 1'nii-.ylrania
I ipNAL.I) M. FRASERt. Minnesota
1.I-:.: H. IHAMILTIO)N, Iii'linina
.I iN.\TIIAN B. BINGIl[AM. New York
GIS YATION, Prpnnsylvania
l06Y A. TAYLOR. North C'arolin:a
1,1:0 J. RYAN, California
ImJNALD W. RIEGLE, JR.. Michigan
DON BONKER. Washington
t;I:itRiY I-. STI'DI)S, Massachliusetts

J. II*RE:I-RT BURKE, Florida
I'j.IRE S. DU PONT. Delaware
EDWARD G. BIESTER, Jl.. Pennsylvania
LA.RRIY W'INN, JRit., Kansas

MARIAxN A. CZARNE-CKI, Chief of Staff
S.\MK.A P. REINA.H.MNIT, -1(IJt A.4sisflait


THO.MAS E. MOli;.\N. I'enin,3y1v'ania. 'huim an

W'IIlII.\M S. Bit0OOMF'IEID, Michigan
EI:iWA .RI) J. DiI:II NNSKI, Illinois

CL.I.:ME':NT J. ZA.\L, CKI, Wi,-,.oi-nin
WAYNE L. HAYS. dlifi,
l.l:11 .1. 1 'YAN. Ciliforlia
I11:1.1:N S. MI:YNP:RIt. NS.w Jvrscy

,]ii\{ ii 'I\ IM \\ : C li.:s'i I'!, o/ lf ('Culmultunlt N II. S I.I.I\'VAN, ,tJiull 5.'ff ('o ka.% ultdatt



Washington, D.C., February 23,1976.
This report has been prepared for the committee by a staff survey
team comprised of Messrs. John Chapman Chester and John H. Sul-
livan, staff consultants to the Committee on International Relations.
The finding contained in this report are those of the staff survey
team, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the members of the
Committee on International Relations.
TiOMAr.s E. MORGAN, ClIa/7wman.
(i) -


FEBRUARY 23, 1976.
Chairman, Committee on International Relations,
Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: There is transmitted herewith a report of a
special staff study mission conducted between November 28 and De-
cember 18, 1975 by the undersigned staff consultants, Committee on
International Relations. This report, it should be noted, is one of two
reports which have been prepared in connection with this assignment.
One of the purposes of our study mission was to take a firsthand
look at certain selected Peace Corps operations in West Africa and
evaluate such factors as: (a) The need for specific programs, (b) the
qualifications of the volunteers assigned to individual projects, (c) the
degree of coordination and cooperation existing between the Peace
Corps and host government officials, and (d) the value of the Peace
Corps contribution to the overall development effort and foreign
policy objectives in the countries visited. The other mission was to
evaluate U.S. supported aid programs in the West African region.
That report is in preparation.
During the course of our trip, we met with host country nationals,
Peace Corps volunteers and staff, and U.S. Embassy and AID per-
sonnel. All received us with great courtesy and contributed substan-
tially to our understanding of Peace Corps operations in the countries
concerned. At all stops on our itinerary, which included Sierra Leone,
Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal, the Peace
Corps had arranged, in conjunction with Embassy officers, a full
schedule of activities, including field trips to outlying areas wherever
feasible. Except in the Ivory Coast and Nigeria where time limitations
did not permit us to travel outside the capital cities, we visited local
projects, schools and training sites.
. We hope that the information contained in this report will be useful
to members of the committee as they review future Peace Corps

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in 2013


Foreword ---- ------------------------- III
Letter of transmittal----------------------------------------- v-------
Summary findings and conclusions----------------------------- ------- 1
Background: West Africa and the Peace Corps------------------------- 6
Volunteers of the mid-1970's-------------------------------- 8------ 8
U.S. Embassy support------------------------------------ 8--------
I. Management and adminiktration---------------------------------- 10
The leadership problem------------------------------------ 10
Staff support---------------------------------------------- 11
Peace Corps vehicles---------------------------------------- 14
II. Health care for volunteers------------------------------------- 16
Coordination between Peace Corps and State Department medical
programs -------------------------------------------------- 16

III. Selection and training------------------------------------------ 18
IV. Program emphasis:
Focus on education----------------------------------------- 20
The TEFL program--------------------------------- 20
Other program sectors:
(a) Agriculture---------------------------- -------------22
Farmer-to-farmer program----------------------- 23
(b) Rural Animation----------- --------------------- -- 23
(c) Health -------------------------------------------- 24
V. The Nigerian program----------------------------------- ------- 26


The following observations are limited to Peace Corps programs in
the five countries visited: Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta,
Ghana and Senegal. They may well, however, point up problems con-
fronting the Peace Corps worldwide.
The Peace Corps program in Nigeria is presently being phased-out-
with only three volunteers left in the country as of December 1975.
Prospects for future Peace Corps involvement in Nigeria are, however,
being studied by Nigerian and U.S. Government officials. This is a spe-
cial case which will be discussed separately under section V.

Peace Corps overseas operations in West Africa have suffered and
are still suffering from: (a) lack of clear direction and firm leadership
at the top; and (b) inadequate staff support.

A major factor in the leadership problem has been the apparent
inability of ACTION/Washington to maintain continuity in the coun-
try director position. In all but one of the countries visited, substantial
vacancies in that position have occurred in the past, are still being
experienced, or are anticipated in the future.
The practice of assigning "acting directors" on an interim basis-
particularly over extended periods-has generally proven to be un-
satisfactory. The mandate of an acting director is necessarily limited
and major administrative and policy decisions often must be deferred.
Moreover, the assignment of temporary Directors from among the in-
country staff usually means that the designee's original staff responsi-
bilities are neglected in the process.'

Staff support throughout the West African region generally hlias been
inadequate because: (a) overseas staff positions have been drastically
cut back in recent years (apparently for budgetary reasons), and (b)
positions which have been authorized often remain vacant for extended
Advance programing and followup on all Peace Corps Volunteer
(PCV) assignments are essential to the program's success. In many
instances, host government requests for volunteers are merely being
routinely transmitted to Washington without prior investigation of
specific job specifications and the conditions under which volunteers
I That Is. unless ACTION formally promotes a subordinate staff member into the Director
position and "fills in from behind." This practice is uncommon in West Africa, however.

will be exl)ected to work. At present, staff resources apparently are
spread too thin to carry out such responsibilities and to maintain a
ret,_,ular program of oii-site visits to insure effective utilization of
Staff members throughout West Africa seem to be spending a dis-
poportionate amount of time setting up) new training programs and
pIVepa;1ring for liew arrivals-at tlie expi)ense of supporting programs
atlrieady ill being.
Tli-re hlias also been evidence of a lack of coordination between Wash-
ington and the field-leading to some confusion and misassigrnment of
voliinteers. One such failure in Sierra Leone produced adverse politi-
cal repercussions. (See page 12.)
A key element in the support of volunteers in the field involves tlhe
question of vehicles-both for staff members and for individual PCV's.
()Owing to the unavailability of service facilities for American-made
vehicless and the difficulty of obtaining sl)are parts, any attempt to im-
plose a "'buyv-Americali" procurement policy onl Peace Corps operations
iii West Africa would tend to exacerbate an already serious main-
tetnance problem encountered throughout the region. This topic is dis-
,cu-sed in greater detail under section I.

Tle level of (medical are being afforded to volunteers serving ii
ilih-risk lealtli areas is clearly insufficient. Tlie problem exists in
Sierra Leone, Upper Volta, Niger 2 and Mali --where no American
doc'tol-s are c.urrently assigmled. liistead these countries are serviced(l on
;Ia occasional. irreui' '"lar basis by regional Peace Corps doctors sta-
tioned, in Abi(ljaIl (Ivory Coast) and D)aker (Senegal).
Tlis situation leaves muchli to be desired. We recognize that tie re-
,cr'Iit.ment of compeientent physicians for PIeace Corps service
i- not :il wayvs easy. Several doctors hav'e terl"inated early, in fact.
because there was not enough steady work to do or professional chall-
lenge in the ssigorinent. A reseai ch project or related activity appar-
enily nu--t be Iuilt into the program alongg the lines of the proposed
.Sic ;i Leone imdel. disc.'ssed on p)age 12) if it is to attract qualified
lprofssioiials< for. overseas tours.
Almove all, tlhiere is a pressing need for closer instlitttional planning
Siiid(l < no x-ration Ie't wee n i Peace Coi1rps andl Slate I )epaitment medical
p Ti', n'iins. At p) iesent.. t, lIilreal icrat i rest ri. 1i ins pro)li)it State D)epalrt-
irernt ;;livsirians fr'mn at tending to thie medical needs of volunteers. al-
t llulgh t liev d(1) so ( anl infor11al asis wIN ,in em(,ergencies arise.
Sl,. regilitiois maike little seis-e f~rom ai organizational stand-
,oiint: In eveiril cipli(;ials. l11 Pel'ace Corps alld State I)epartneiit
Ilv-ici a s arie lhea:ia1111:1it tered. wIill' il ot her col3unt rides, no A erincanIi
do)'ctors ;ir. piresniit. It was suggestil. for instance, tlhat thle Peace
Colr-Js d(itor ill Alildjai l rw c I l ,ed it .i;ll N i Nv, Ni.ier, to cover tle
iii'di'-ii:l l(Ieds (Jf all AIe.\ riC;uis SCervi.," ill Niper(, )Upper Volta. a:id
Iisleii .\INli. leIv Dept1 ariihiIdoctor ini \l Abidjaii could then
t:;ike r .etjiiival.iit f Sp1 )li"Isililie,- for :ill 17.S. ])irson) el in the
Ivo\r\" ( 'o:-.t.
(i, rrl,.sI r Ii 1,i !i li/ it if of fdl i;i11 fi d dl elic l resources
oni ;i I(leW Iou il hPisi- ; j lio g oveidile.
2 f iri trlri-".v not k-ied f iv I,. stInI f siiri'v tfenm.

In the Peace Corps of 1975, training is the basic mechanism for
selection of volunteers. Preliminary screening procedures within the
United States are now practically nonexistent. Trainee applicants are
merely directed to report to staging areas within the United States
and then are sent directly to their countries of assignment.
This procedure leaves the task of selecting out unacceptable candi-
dates to the overseas staff, which is rarely up to full strength and over-
burdened with other responsibilities. As a result, trainee attrition has
remained at a generally high level.
To alleviate this situation to some degree, Peace Corps Directors in
West Africa have recommended the institution of a so-called "split-
level" training program, whereby trainees-especially generalists
with bachelor's degrees-would receive a concentrated course of tech-
nical instruction in job-related activities at selected training sites
within the United States. This initial phase of the training cycle
would then be followed by language and cross-cultural training in-
If adopted, such a procedure might be expected to produce the
following benefits:
(1) Technical training could be standardized and upgraded.
(2) Preliminary screening procedures could be made an integral
part of the program and hopefully serve to reduce high trainee attri-
tion rates.
(3) Medical and related administrative processing could be com-
pleted prior to trainees' departure overseas.
(4) The advantages of in-country language instruction and cul-
tural orientation (set forth on page 18) would be retained.
While we recognize that the cost of such a split-level training pro-
gram will be a major consideration, we believe the proposal has suiiffi-
cient merit as to warrant further study.
Overseas training costs (especially the technical trainingll phase of
each training cycle) are rising since in most instances qualified in-
structors or specialists have to be imported from abroad. Any feasi-
bility study along this line should, therefore, incl(lude a comllparisoni
of such costs with those projected for similar programs which might
be set up on a contract basis with selected educational and vocational
training instNtittions in the United States-preferably tho:-e located
near maior ports of embarkation.
Training and selection are, in our judgment, the key to successful
programming and both are in need of substantial ul)pgrading. Prelimi-
nary screening procedures, in particular, are less thorough and less
effective today than at anytime in the past.

In all but one of the countries we visited in West Africa. the over-
whelming emphasis in Peace Corps programing is in education-pri-
mnarily in tlhe so-called TEFL programs (teaching Englishl as a foreignl

Ill all TEFL programs, there is a need for greater selectivity-both
as to individuals and institutions. In secondary schools, the focus
should be onl those institutions which are preparing students for higher
educati-on or for training abroad. Teaching assignments should be dis-
continued in those schools which have demonstrably failed to utilize
PCV teachers successfully. Throughout our travels we heard sufficient
complaints from volunteer English teachers (particularly from those
who lad no prior teaching experience) to conclude that closer monitor-
iutt of individual ai.signments is clearly inll order.
Within thle education sector generally, future programing emphasis
will )e on increased involvement with teacher training in mathematics
and science, vocational education and research and away from direct
cla.-srooil teaching. We believe this trend should be encouraged and
even accelerated.
The agricultural sector throughout West Africa could usefully ab-
Sorl]) more P1(V's with farm backgrounds or agricultural training. In
all of the countries visited bv the survey team agriculture is the main-
stay of the economy and most in need of development. To date, how-
ev"er, the Peace Corps has not been successful in recruiting volunteers
for 1uch1 service to the extent desirable-possibly because of a lack of
convcentrated effort.
As will l)e discussed elsewhere in this report, a relatively low level
of technical input into tlhe agricultural sector by the Peace Corps can
produce positive results in much of West Africa. Soil conditions are
generallyv favorable for growing a variety of vegetables and grains.
With tl.e benefit of some intensive training in rudimentary techniques
of irrigation and cultivation, volunteers-even those with limited farmn
(xpe(rielnce-could( be usefully employed in rural areas.
Farmer-fo-fiirmer program
The International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1975
(now Public Law 94-161) provides for increased funding of the so-
called "farmer-to-farmer program, which is designed to bring the ex-
p(ertise a(nd experience of working farmers-as opposed to academic
agriculturalists-to bear on the problems of farmers in the less devel-
oped countries. In approving this provision, the conferees noted that:
* nothing in the amniendment is to be construed as authorizing any activities
dtplircating or competing with those of the Peace Corps, or as weakening the
coordination with Peace Corps activities required under section 406(a) (5) of
Public Law 4.SO * *. The Peace Corps hias a well demonstratedd capability to
,'adniinister such a program and is expected to have an important role in the
effective operations of a "farmer-to-farmer" exchange.
O )r own observations indicate the wisdom of leaving the imple-
m e taftion of the fariner-to-farmer program to the Peace Corps.
If propIhrly utilizedl, funds provided inder this program could serve
to st reilgtlhe, :111(d improve thle Peace Corps role in agriculture by at-
tract ing mnore working farmers into the prograin. A separate and com-
pet ji,, rg, _jZat oial strict iure, on the other hand, could have thIe effect
of dliii.Iin,, I t the et'ectiveness of both I)rograils.
Al I tii]gh t l tIe Peace Corps in A frica Nay not. be moving ahead in the
agri,'ult ural sector as fast -,s it might, it. still has considerable experi-

ence in using the talents of practical farmers to aid farmers in poor
countries. (See examples set forth on page 23.)

Our report to the committee on selected Peace Corps programs in
four Asian countries, issued in February 19)73, included the following
observation, which we believe is equally applicable to West Africa in
If the Peace Corps is to survive in the 1970's it must face the fact that quality
is an absolute prerequisite to success and that if highly qualified personnel can-
not be supplied in the numbers desired * some retrenchment in the program
will become unavoidable.
This is not the message being received in the field from ACTION
headquarters in Washington. Instead, Peace Corps Directors are still
being urged to accommodate as many volunteers as possible within
their respective jurisdictions-on the dubious assumption that the
level of congressional support for the program as a whole is directly
proportional to the number of Americans the agency can place
In our view, the Peace Corps should be judged by its overall per-
formance, rather than by its numerical strength. In West Africa, in
particular, the Peace Corps has a valid and useful role to play in the
development process-a fact which is widely recognized by Chiefs of
United States diplomatic missions as well as by host country officials.
Success in the African context (as distinct from the Asian) does not
depend on a high level of technical expertise; generalist volunteers
who are properly trained can perform usefully and contribute substan-
tially to progress in that part of the world.
There. is, however, a continuing need for careful, selective program-
ing-the matching of volunteer qualifications, and personal qualities,
with specific job specifications and requirements. If this results in a
smaller organization, it does not mean the Peace Corps is any less ef-
fective. On the contrary, one qualified, well-trained, and effective vol-
unteer (and we met an impressive number of this type) is worth sev-
eral marginal contributors. Conversely, one. Peace Corps failure can
bring discredit upon an entire program.
At. the same time it must be recognized, bothli by the administration
and by the Congress, that if qualitative improvements are to be made
in the program, it will require corresponding improvements in the
overseas support function. Moreover, any reduction in the number of
volunteers placed in the field-however small-will inevitably result
in a higher ratio of staff to volunteers, a trend ACTION officials are
understandably reluctant to publicize in their annual presentations to
Again, statistical arguments can be artificial and misleading. In
the last analysis, results are what count. A smaller, more effec-
tively supported organization, which develops a reputation for ex-
cellence, is more likely to receive both the recognition and candidates
it seeks. Any less meaningful effort by the Peace Corps overseas is, in
our judgment, of questionable value.

Tlhi. report is designed as a followup to the study mission we con-
dlucted in November 1972 to four countries in East Asia. That mission,
t lhe first comprehensive review of Peace Corps activities undertaken by
tlih coimmiittee, lresuIlte(d in a report which was published as "Thhe
Peace Corps in the 1970's" in February 1973. The purpose of that
asigiinment wzi to evaluate thle New Directions program, which lihad
1'leel conceived in tlhe early 1970's by former ACTION Director Joseph
Blatchlford as an attempt "to meet the higher priority needs targeted
by the developing nations." Under that program, greater emphasis
was placed on the recruitment of volunteers with a higher level of
t technical expertise and experience.
On tlhe basis of our observations of Peace Corps operations ill tlhe
five countries we visited.1 our conclusion is that tihe New Directions
concept is essentially inoperative in West Africa. Although Peace
Corps volunteers (PCV's) with advanced academic degrees or spe-
cialized skills are being assigned to the region wherever practicable.
their minmblers are small inl relation to tlie program as a whole. In ac-
tuality, tlhe Peace Corps in West Africa is built around the tradi-
tional "A.B. generalist" (ABG), that is. a liberal arts college grad-
uate-usinally in his or her twenties-whose technical preparation is
ioriiiallkv limited to several weeks of in-country training after arrival
ove rseas.2
There are, for instance, no volunteer families 3 assigned to any of
tlie' countries we visited-which means that the more highly skilled
id experi'enced target group (in the thirties age group) is effectively
preclluledl from service there to any significant extent.
The prepond(lerance of ABG's in West Africa stems in part from
bu1dgetarv considerations (volunteer families are more expensive to
place andl maintain in tlie field) and in part from tlhe difficulties
ACTION recruiters have encountered in attracting mi(ldle-level tech-
nical pe,(ple for Peace Corps service abroad.
There are, however, other valid and practical considerations: W1est
Africa is not at tlhe samlle .stage of development as are those Asian
countries we visited in the fall of 197"2 or as is much of Latin America
today.. iThi i is particularly true of the vast, highly traditional rural
:1reas which a re emote from-and often have little formal contact
withl-tlIe capital cities or otlier major urban centers. Life in such re-
Lions is often reduced to the barest essentials nee(led for survival;
hJ -4.alt a: ul (d. ieati )nal facilities a tre iliher lii ited or nonexistent.
A .,riu'il Ir, i-v only :argi:llv pro(ihiutive. Within this context, AB-
( ;ciI('ralists with a ,iininuiu, of training in s(uchl fields as hygiene, nutri-
A t4 iiliil i, .viii.I'. thi' \i--:L .i, prii: ':ini j I E','1.'l(d s p;atrnitely Ulndrr s ctilon V.
2''[1 ,. .tni- tiin ;i@' tlh'. rInrn lti,, vTwliiiit'Ir" VI il trinl t ,en A u lt1n,. .i f;.i in ly I. d1iim'i iiiI a ;4 a .rrliid n ,i iple h witi at leau t ( ip child.

tion, irrigation, and basic agriculture can be usefully employed and
contribute substantially to the development process.
In Sierra Leone. for example, we inspected a model swamip) rice
project which had been developed largely by the efforts of a single
volunteer, whlio was a political science graduate from the University
of Tennessee. With only a few weeks of in-country training in basic
irrigation techniques (mainly the design and construction of rudi-
mentary ditches and small cement culvert danis), the latter was able
to help approximately 40 villagers in the Masiaka district (about (610
miles from the capital city of Freetown) clear and develop some 45
acres of previously uiminisedl riceland. Moreover, on one 3-acre demon-
stration plot near his own village of Manioa, this same volunteer was
able to tripl)le tihe yield of rice after thle first year of cultivation (from
10 to 30 bushels per acre).
Similarly, in the remote Upper Volta village of Gourcy, a key traiii-
ing program in nutrition has been established in a rural imaternity-
child-healtih clinic to combl)at such prevalent diseases as;,orko,,
(protein deficiency) and marasmums (general condition of undernour-
ishlinent). Under this program, mothers with young children suffering
the effects of malnutrition are instructed over a. period of 10 days or 2
weeks in basic methods of diet improvemnent-based on ingredients
which are available locally. Again, a single volunteer without a formal
education in medicine has played a key role in the development of this
facility, which is designed as a model for similar clinics to be estab-
lislhed elsewhere in the country.
These are merely two examples of the kind of local impact which
can be produced by a relatively modest technical input on the part of
thlie Peace Corps. Too much expertise, in fact, has been known to back-
fire: for example, in one country we visited. several highly qualified
civil engineers terminated early because they were unable to obtain the
necessary logistical support and equipment they needed to fulfill their
assigned tasks.
While the Peace Corps role in West African development does not,
therefore, require a high level of technical competence, there is. never-
theless, a continuing need for careful selective programing-the match-
ing of volunteer qualifications, backgrounds and personal cliaracteris-
tics with specific job specifications and requirements. Greater tIni-
pli)hasis, in our judgnmient, should be accordedl the concepl)t of q(ilality
)programin r and less to the numimbers of volunteers assio'ned al)road. As
noted previously, the "numbers game" is still being played by ACTION
headquarters in Washington-wherebyv success in the field is often
measured in terms of how many volunteers can be placed overseas. The
resultant statistics are then iied to bolster the agency's ca-e with
In West Africa, tlie Peace Corps is in de fact competitions with other
national and international volunteer or-anizat ionIs-sti.lh as the Brit iil
VSO's, the Canadian CUSO's. the German. I)utch, anl Freiclh voliii-
teer groups. To remain viable and to maintain credibility witli host
governments, the Peace Corps nust p1rodhce results, not merely
good(lwill. A large, visible Aierican presence can. in fact. becoi e a
liability in this regard-especially when problems arise.

In many respects, the Peace Corps reflects the changing times. If the
glamor days of the early 1960's are over, so, too, is the U.S. involve-
minent in Indochina. The Peace Corps no longer represents an alterna-
tive to military service as it once did to some draft age youths. Demon-
strations by individual volunteers against the leaders and policies of
their own Government also appear to be a. phenomenon of the past.
Volunteers serving today seem to recognize that the focus of public
attention is no longer on their activities. One joins the Peace Corps
now for personal reasons and because of a desire to serve, not in
expectation of public recognition or hometown publicity.
The volunteers we met appeared to be practical, realistic, job-
oriented individuals-not. "escapees" from their own society and cul-
ture. The Peace Corps prol)lems which will be discussed in the pages
which follow should in no way detract. from the solid achievements
being recorded by those many volunteers who have persevered and suc-
cee(led-often under difficult circumstances.
Finally, it should be pointed out that living conditions in most of
West Africa-especially in the rural areas-are at best austere and
the health risks considerable. A comparison of pay scales (including
allowances) in all of the countries visited reveals that Peace Corps
volunteers live less well and receive less compensation for their serv-
ices than do any other national or international volunteer participants.

In all of the five countries visited, we found an unsuallv favorable
cliiiiate of cooperation between thle Peace Corps an(i tle U.S. Eilbas-
sies. This contrasts strikingly with conditions we observed in 1972)
it some. of the major Foreign Service establishments in East Asia,
where diplomatic personnel were frequently unaware of precisely
\w-iat tille Peace Corps was (101oig within tilicr respective julris(ldictions.
There are compelling, practical reasons for these attitudinal differ-
eiiles: diplomatic li!sioiis in West Africa aire generally smaller and
more tiglitl~y organized than are their counterparts in the Far East.
Moreover, in most of West Africa, the U.S. AID effort has been
drastically reduced inll the last decade or reprogrammed along regional
lines. Tlhe Peace. Corps, therefore, represents a significant U.S. pres-
(',ece in these (ounttries, a factor which undoubtedly has focused
Emba.,ssy attelition on tlie Peace Corps operations there.
U.S. Anlmbassadors and their deputies were invariably well informed
lxiit. Pea,'e (C'orlps prograils M their co'lltries ;(1l 4leternliiled to
fst(er tlie lost e.lle'ectiv'e i ,se of wA i at tl.e,' olviiously perceived to be ail
iiiPol at ilt resouri'e. Mli[y of tlie observatiloi s coiiatiied( in this report
; blsc on i 1Ill ( : c X I*C55(lcoicerlnis-anld Alt I r ong vie ws-of tliese mi1s-
sioI .iief, i heir principal sulbor(dinates, and oilier "country team"i"

I'lle following report. attempts to focus on specific aspects of Peace
Corps operations i I West Africa which we believe arc in need of im-
proveminent. It hlias been organize(l, therefore, along topical or "func-
ti onal"--rather than geographic-lines and does not inctide a country-
by-count ry analysis, as (lid our previous report.

We have attempted, however, to draw upon our observations in all
of the countries visited in the material which follows-with geo-
graphic identification and emphasis as appropriate to the subject
under discussion. The format is as follows:
Section I deals with management and administration of Peace Corps
operations abroad.
Section II discusses the related, but distinct, question of health care
for volunteers in the field.
Section III discusses selection and training procedures currently in
effect for incoming Peace Corps recruits.
Section IV reviews Peace Corps programing emphasis in the five
countries visited by the survey team.
Section V reports on the current status of the Peace Corps program
in Nigeria-which is a special case requiring separate treatment.

(~5-S4E~-76 3


Peace Corps overseas operations in West Africa have been hampered
in recent years by: (1) A lack of clear direction and firm leadership
at the top; and (2) inadequate staff support.

A major factor inll the leadershipp problem has been the apparent
inability of PC/Washington to maintain continuity in the "Country
I)i rector" position. In most of tlhe countries we visited, substantial
vacalicies. inll that position have occurred in the past. are presently being
experience, or are anticipated in the future.
The practice of assigning "acting directors" on an interim basis,
particularly for long or iiidefinite periods, has not proven to be a
satisfactory procedure. The. mandate of an acting director is neces-
sarily limited; major policy and administrative decisions cannot be
made with the assurance that they will hold up over the longer term.
Moreover, the assignment of temporary acting directors from among
the in-cointry staff usually means that the designated staff menm-
.ers origial,, l responsibilities are neglected in tlhe process. Some ex-
ample s of this trend are as follows:
(a) PC/Sierra Leone presently hias a vigorous, well qualified coun-
tr\ director with a biisiness-baiking bl)ackground and with prior ex-
1 erienc.e ;s director of the prograin in Malwai. Prior to his arrival last
Aiiawiit. ho\wv\er, the position had been unfilled for almost 15 months
(with various acting directorss assigned on a temporary, TDY basis).
l)During the traiisitional period, moreover, a major assignment mixup
oc'lrred'l \vlli'l will l)e dliscssed below.
(b) PC/Ivory Coast also has a full-time French-speaking director
who is on leave of absence from thle political science department of
("California State College in Los Angeles. When hler 30-month Peace
C rs ,ot ract expires in May of this year, sche will definitely have to
leave, as slhe lias alreaddy overstayed thle maximum leave period nor-
Inall,% granted ,by her university. As of this date, no replacement for
he.r hais ee(mI found. If an acting director is to fill the "gap," the logical
ldesigil.e would bIe tlie program' training representative, who currently
-pe. ,,i mst 4f lis lim(e (o i the roaid ailiiiinistering the rural develop-
ililt p) ro I:,ii. In tlis 1si. aln ai litioMnal conplication arises because
tl1e rin.iii "nssciate director for ptiblic administration" is a host
,'intry 11 1tionl l. (For a 111111er of practical reaso.nIs-in cli dinlg the
iee'd for access to classified material-it is essential for even an acting
dire tmr ti, be a U .S. citizen.) Tius. it appears likely that if a new
director lias not. ],eni swori in by1 tlie date of the incumbent's de-
|,,irt i'.. -1, ie T'')Y ;ation will beeco-lme a (necessity.
( 10)

(C) PC/Upper Volta, now served by a French-speaking, full-time
director, suffered an 8-month gap prior to the latter's arrival last sum-
mer. According to this incumbent, the Peace Corps headquarters had
been badly mismanaged during the interim period. Records, he claimed,
had not been kept properly and the office was in a state of almost total
neglect, filth and disrepair. (It should be emphasized, however, that
the Survey Team had no independent means of verifying the accuracy
of these charges.)
(d) PC/Senegal has been served by an acting director since October
of 1975-with no replacement, in sight. The acting director had been
in charge of the education program in Senegal prior to undertaking
her current responsibilities and has not been replaced in that former
capacity. As will be discussed in section V, problems have evidently
arisen in connection with the TEFL program which require more
attention than the incumbent acting director is currently in a position
to give them.
(e) PC/Ghana is the one country we visited which has successfully
avoided the transitional problems set forth above. Since March 1973,
at least, PC/Ghlana has been headed by an able, full-time director on
leave of absence from private industry, who is not scheduled to termnii-
nate in the immediate future.
ACTION officials in Washington agree that the timely recruitment
and processing of country program directors has been a continuing,
frustrating problem. They indicate that the process of obtaining White
House clearances has been an occasional stumbling block. White
House officials have evidently adopted the attitude that country direc-
torships are in the same category as ambassadorships, requiring spe-
cific Presidential approval in each case.
At the same time, ACTION spokesmen point out that the agency
has not had enough referrals of qualified applicants from any source-
both within and outside the administration.
In addition, they note. the agency is hampered by a plethora of ad-
ministrative and other requirements. After a nomination is approved,
for instance, a full field investigation must be conducted on each such
nominee-a cumbersome, time-consuming process at best. Then the
nominee and his family must. be medically examined and cleared for
overseas service. Moreover, in Francophone Africa there is the addi-
tional requirement for fluency in French, a standard many otherwise
acceptable candidates cannot meet. (In Senegal, for instance, Am-
bassador Aggrey has insisted-and properly so in the opinion of the
Peace Corps-that a basic capability in French is an absolute pre-
requisite for the Peace Corps Director in that country.)
The staff survey team does not pretend to have a ready solution to
these difficulties. Unless and until one is found, however, we are con-
vinced that Peace Corps overseas operations will continue to suffer.

Peace Corps staff positions have been (drastically cut back in recent
years (apparently for budgetary reasons)--leading to inadequate staff
support for overseas operations. Advance programing and followup onil

all PCV assignments is essential to the program's success-and this
element has been notably lacking in many of the countries we visited.
It is our impression, for instance, that more intensive investigation
should be undertaken by Peace Corps in-country staff prior to the
1l)acemnent of PCVs in specific assignments; a regular program of on-
site visits should also be carried out to insure the effective utilization of
volunteers. At, present, staff resources are spread too thin to carry out
Sli,'L dilties, which are admittedly time consuming and involve
extended periods of travel away from the central office.
Il the past. moreover, there has been evidence of a lack of coordina-
tion between Washington and the field. To some extent this results
from the tendency of overextended staff members merely to pass on
host government requests for volunteers to Washington without suffi-
cient firsthand knowledge about specific job specifications and the con-
diti iis ulllnder which volunteers will be expected to work.
Among the more notable examples of such failures are the following:
(1) In mid-August 1975, 186 education volunteers arrived in Sierra
Leone. although a maximum number of 130 had initially been re-
quested. Of the 186 arrives. 5 terminated before the completion of
training and an additional 45 departed the country within the next 6
months. Clearly, the post was not able to absorb an influx of this
I'The simultaneous arrival of such a large contingent of volunteers
also brought expressions of concern and protest from Sierra Leonian
officials, wlho were embarrassed by the American invasion which
appeared to be taking place at the country's main airport.
Although staff members directly involved in that program were no
lol0,e.r servixig in Sierra Lvoie during o0r stay there, various post
11,orltel-; were offered 1)b way of explanation: PC'Sierra Leone had
e.idently been pressured I,- PC/Wash!ington to take as many addi-
tional new traimee-. as poslble, owing to the unexpected cancellation
(of n I)rogram in Ethiopia. PC/Sierra Leone responded that tlhe post
wo 1l(1 try to a'commodate a maxiiiimumini of 150. As it turned out, an
additional 36 people were included in the trainee contingent which
a tually a rri 'ved.
WIe were told, in fact, that even the original request for 130 trainees
was probably inflated-in the expectation that considerably fewer peo-
ple would actually be available. The hazards of such an approach to
voluimteer placement are obvious.
(2) 11ntil last fall, large numbl)ers of Peace. Corps trainees were ar-
rivii.r iin Ghlana without Ihaving completed tlhe series of inoculations
anid vaccinations required by Ghanaian law. Aks a result of Ambassador
Bl'ik- s, rS)I g (I) jections, the practice lias sinie been discontinued.
Tlhe problem, arose, we were told, in part because Ghanaian health
riegulatioiis are inore stringent than those existing in other West Afri-
,'a, ,coutries-as a coionsequence of Ghana's failure to ratify the 1973
W:'id I health Organization (WHO) agreement. Under WHO regula-
tlions, for instance, a(lmission is granted to foreign nationals who have
received certain initial inocdulations (from nonepidemic parts of the
,world, like thlio UTnit4'd States). The full series may then be completed
a after arrival in-country.

Also, because Peace Corps trainees currently undergo very minimal
screening and orientation prior to their departure overseas, their medi-
cal processing is rarely completed by the time they leave the United
States. (This problem will be discussed at greater length under sec-
tion III).
Ambassador Black, who has maintained a deep personal interest
in all aspects of the Peace Corps program in Ghana. cited another
example of inept administration: Shortly after the arrival of a new
trainee contingent, an emergency message was received by the Em-
bassy for transmittal to one of the new arrives. At that point it was
discovered that PC/Washington had never sent the post a list of
names (or other accompanying data) of the trainee participants; con-
sequently no record of the volunteer existed in Ghana. Fortunately,
she was located after a personal search was made of the training sites.
Since its inception as an action-oriented, volunteer organization, the
Peace Corps has harbored an institutional resistance to management
and administration-terms often associated with bureaucratic con-
cerns rather than with people. This traditional view is undergoing
some revision: In three of the countries we visited (Sierra Leone,
Upper Volta, and Ghana) Peace Corps directors are to be found with
executive-management backgrounds. All are concerned with organiz-
ing their limited resources to produce better results.
In our view, the task of administering the overseas operations of
the Peace Corps should be a high priority objective. Good programs
and successful projects usually don't just happen; they have to be or-
ganized, coordinated both with host government officials and with
PC/Washington, planned and monitored. Requests for volunteers re-
ceived from host government ministries need to be investigated thor-
oughly before they are transmitted to ACTION headquarters in
In Senegal, for instance, we were informed that 25 new volunteers
are scheduled to arrive in March of this year for eventual placement
in the rural animation program (an innovative, but also high-risk un-
dertaking involving the placement of PCV's in remote rural areas for
village development). As of mid-December 1975, however, PC/Sene-
gal had received no information from the Senegalese authorities as to
where these individuals would be placed or under whlat conditions.
In the meantime Washington-based recruiters, who require consider-
able lead time, are already in the process of selecting participants for
the program on the basis of what would appear to be inadequate
Finally, it would appear that staff members throughout West
Africa are spending a disproportionate amount of time setting up
training programs and preparing for the arrival of new contingents
of volunteers-at the expense of supporting programs already in
being. We recognize, however, that the in-country training burden is
a considerable one-requiring as much staff attention as any other
single aspect of the program. A partial solution to this problem will
be discussed under section III.


A key element in the support of volunteers in the field involves the
question of vehicles-both for staff members and for individual PCV's.
Owinr to substandard road conditions in much of West Africa, all
vehicles are subject to considerable wear and tear-and they depreciate
rapidllv. Budgoetary 'restrictions have. however, been imposed on the
purchase of replacement vehicles and all posts are currently feeling
t II. effect.
Althoilluh economy measures in this aspect of Peace Corps opera-
tions are unquiestionablyv desiral)le, three )points. we feel, are worthy of
mnvlittion : First. there 1is a clear and ldenmonstral)le need for those
ellhicles preselitly in use in the countries visited. This is particularly
true for volunteers in outlying areas who require transportation to
reh-al titir a.sine(d job-sites. Often su h locations are remote from
t- eir r(esl)et ie living llquarters.
Wherever feasible. PCV's use small motorbikes or scooters for that
purpose--ven where roads are of very poor quality. In certain regions.
however, wWhere traffic. conditions are hazardous. the Peace Corps has
had to call a halt to this modle of travel.1
Similarly, Peace Corps staff members have a well-defined need for
thficial transportation if they are to carry out thlieir support and over-
sight resl)onsib)ilities effectively. As previously noted, staff in-country
travel should, if anything., be increasedl-a trend which depends largely
on the availability of transport.
Second. it should be noted that lost governments have, in many
istance(s, agreed to supply voluiteers with official vehicles as part of
tleir in-kindl contrilbutions to tlhe program. Often. however, vehicles
provided by lost government ministries have suffered from inadequate
11 inti itela lice and are ilusal)le for extended periods of timnie.
Finally, we 1becae(. colivinced that tliis maintenance problem-
which exists even under the best of condlitions-would b)e exacerbated
by- any atteml)t to impose a buy-American policy on Peace Corps oper-
atioms il West Africa. There has been very little penetration of the
alttol)lobile niarket 1by I.S. manufacturers tlhrougliout the region.
As a reslt, -ver'ice facilities are virtually nonexistent for Akmerican-
Ilmade vehicles. Moreover, spare parts are not available locally and
inist 1he ordered directly from tle I' iited States. Slhip)ment of such
parts. we were told. takes a min im 1111 f3f monothls andi more often.
iup to 6 1moltiths-d( lin, i which p period vehlicles lI01enia inoperative.
In November aii d De)lember 197.5 A('TION's chief of property,
,11,.,oIpIiiie(d Il\-. 2 c'oiit i;t explerts-blotlh with over 20 years of
experience' in tlhi vehicle m aiihtena ce and procurement field-visited
10 Africdan oin m ries includingg 3 of tlee 5 we covered) to make
;I first -;ild a assessment (if this situatiot1 alnd (letei'minie to what extent
;1 II1 v-.\ii i,.ri i l plic, ,iV_1i, t lbe it iiplelw(ilte(. liTheir coiclusionis were
e irely e(g;tie,: Service 1faeilitie, tley reportedd. ere bad enough
I'for .st id(',I vehli,'lees of British, Frenchl, a1md ,Japanese manufacture,
S I rn l \,,i'y ('ai-t. l f,, ulfr 1r 1i i , .4r1,i,, ii | ?iia 'i, iii p ii.,id I iiat wirr siari arrir ip lit i w1|
f;* :.."il. l u ,' :Il. (Il .*.. r.., i IrlL' al iu: itv .i.i-, -i 1 I n fan l v'r.i'fl i|'-"f 1 .v .ry otili"r w,'k
vpr ;1 i.'r'i,,i,1 f i' il li ,-M 1 lh;if Ia II'hi- I'v ii". ,ii'.-tnr'hi1t" il I li t 4 lint ry 0 'ru l'r'u l l il list' of
.i,'l, (,.h 1i'1J,,,, flii..,.iil- | 111 th lI,,,'-il. ,,f I l ,- ,ils i,'v.\ t'o-iii ', i.\,| l l l', 1 iKc %% ith ill'v nllg
.... ,llitl,,1 1 In A llidij.ain till-, iovl l iV'| .;ir., to |l ;t v ,vv i ji,,ifilfi d.


but altogether unavailable for U.S. models. Two American vehicles,2
they noted-both purchased on a trial basis by Peace Corps/Liberia
in April 1974-had completely broken down and had to be disposed of
at a loss. In West Africa, they concluded, the imposition of a buy-
American procurement policy is essentially incompatible with the
Peace Corps operational requirements.
In this connection, ACTION officials point out the buy-American
principle is being adhered to wherever feasible. In Latin America, for
instance, where service facilities are interspersed throughout the
region, the Peace Corps currently owns and maintains up to 14:2 U.S.-
made vehicles, as compared with only 14 of foreign manufacture. In
the NANEAP region whichh includes all of North Africa, the Near
East, Asia, and the Pacific) the breakdown is: 89 U.S.-miade vehicles
versus 49 foreign-made vehicles. In Africa. however, for the reasons
set forth above, the proportion is reversed, that is, 212 foreign as com-
pared with only 10 U.S. vehicles.
In view of all these considerations and on the basis of our own
personal observations of the meager service facilities currently being
maintained in the countries we visited, our conclusion is that
ACTION's position on this issue is not unreasonable.
2 One was an International Harvester Scout with 10,000 miles; the other a Ford pickup
truck with 38,000 miles.

Deep concern was expressed to us. both by Peace Corps Directors
and U.S. Ambassadors in the countries most affected, about the lack
of adequate medical (are being afforded to volunteers serving in high
liealtli-risk areas. At present, no American doctor is present in Sierra
Leone. Upper Volta. Niger1 or MIali1. Instead these countries are
serviced on an occasional, irregular basis by regional Peace Corps
doctors stationed in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Dakar (Senegal).
This situation leaves much to be desired: In Upper Volta, for in-
stance, thliere is a history of illness and disease which has resulted in the
death of at least one Amnerican and tl.he emergency medical evacuation
of a former American Ambassador. In recent months, a Peace Corps
volunteer suffered a "cardiac arrest" (i.e. Illis heart stopped beating
nmomentarily)-allegedly from an accidental overdose of malaria pills.
The latter's life was saved by an Egyptian physician who happened to
lo immediately available.
In Sierra Leone, there has been an outbreak of lassa fever during
the past year-a potentially fatal tropical disease. At the strong urg-
ini of A.mbassador Sanlivts, the Peace Corps is now in the process of
r1eirll itin g an American doctor from the Communicable Disease Center
(('ICDC) in Atlanta to perform a.^a fever research in Sierra Leone,
while attending to the medical needs of volunteers on the side.
This is the type of arrangement which needs to be explored in other
areas. According to the Embassy physician in Dakar (who had pre-
viously served as a Peace Corps doctor in the Ivory Coast), it is diffi-
cult to recruit qualified Peace Corps doctors for the sole purpose of
attending to the medical needs of volunteers. Doctors formerly as-
signed to Niger and (Upper Volta, in fact, terminated after a year or
less in thle field because there simply was not enough work to do or
professional challenge in tihe assignment. A research project or similar
activityv-along thle lines of tlie Sierra Leone nod(el-may have to
be bIilt into tlie program if it is to attract competent M.D.'s.

W' found a p1ressin1g nee1 for closer institutional planning and co-
operatrli, 1 I et.weeI lPea'e Corps and State D)epartlment medical pro-
gIriamlls. Akt p)r('selInt there are b)i reaticratic restrictions oni thle medical
sPe'vie's w hi' ch caln be adlministeredl to emlbassy-country team and
]I e Cormps personnel, respectively. A State D)epartment directive
of last. August specifically prohibits State Department medical per-
s0on1)el from treating Pleace Corps volunteers, although they do so on
an inforuma1], uml imtanmitarian basis when ell'ergencies arise. As one
SCountries not visited by the staff survey team.


American doctor put it: "If a Peace Corps volunteer comes to me
with a real medical problem, it really isn't very practical to read him
or her a State Department airgram !"
Department of State doctors are, however, troubled by the possi-
bility that the U.S. Government will fail to back them in such situ-
ations-leaving them vulnerable to legal suits. A request from the
Department for a legal opinion along these lines has so far produced
no clear-cut response.
Those restrictions also make little sense from an organizational
standpoint: In several capitals, both Peace Corps and State Depart-
;ment physicians are headquartered, while in other countries, no
American doctors are present. It was suggested, in fact, by the Peace
Corps doctor in Abidjan that he could be reassigned to Niamey to
cover Niger, Upper Volta, and Eastern Mali (which is closer to Upper
Volta than to the Mali capital of Bamako). The State Department
doctor in Abidjan could then be authorized to treat PCV's in the Ivory
Coast on an emergency basis (while the Peace Corps doctor in Niamey
could attend to the medical needs of all Americans within his juris-
diction). This arrangement would at least help the Sahelian posts to
some extent and avoid duplication of services and facilities.
Clearly, some rationalization of U.S. medical resources on a regional
basis is long overdue.


Ill the Peace Corps. as it exists today, training is the basic mecli-
anism for selection of voliiuteers. 1Preliminary screening procedures
in thle United States are now practically non-existent. Trainee ap-
plialiants are merely directed to report to "starjinf" areas within tlhe
Iilited States and then are sent directly to their countries of assir'n-
ment. Thle so-called "PRIST" sessions, which were conducted in thlie
early 1970's. as well as "'full field" background investigations (a basic
reqllirenmtlent for all Federal employees, including PCVs, until tlie
beginninll of fiscal year 1973),2 are no longer features of the selection
proess-priniarily because of tlhe cost involved.
This leaves tlhe task of "selecting out" unacceptable candidates lo
the in-coiuntry staff, whiclh-as noted in the foregoing section-is
rarely up to full strength and overburdened with other responsibilities.
In (aclh of the countries we visited, we heard complaints about tlhe
smliall handful of touristst" which inevitably appear in each new train-
i;lr cycle. (A "tourist" is defined as a trainee w-ho elects to return home
after less than a week at his or her training site. Although new re-
,criits wlio find the realities they are confronted with in West Africa
more ltha ll they canl cope with. are not-and should not-be pressure
to stay onl. the pres',.imption is unavoidable tl'at anyone who leaves so)
soon after arrival was not seriously committed to tlie program in the
first place.)
I)( spite tlthese s.lort.olin.llys, there is much to h)e said for tlie concept
1;f in-cointry training.. ACTION officials ,contend that the practice-
wihich adiNittedlly involves a ,lii 'lcr risk of trainee attrition-is still
cheaper overall than woiild be tlie e.taiblishiment of PCV training cen-
tel:rs within the nilited States.
S,-,(o l,. tle tr'ailii IIg can lbei made more reltevant to the trainees' re-
,''wt ivye filtillu a ssi-nmeits. Duriir, their training, for instance,
traitlees .Iave' tlie o)portiiuity to visit job) sits('5 atid mieet host colluntlry
nitionals witIi wltoit ihey eyventvtally will work. La iI trlare instructions
cia ;Also be, tailored e ct)r losely to illdividinal li, eds INy focusing u111)011O
re.nrIo(Ial dialect-' or intonatliol.
Most imp,.rti:alltly, tlie voluinteers are si iecetvd to direct exposure to
tle c,'ltalilrl elivironm.ent in which they will be required to serve and
(ai1n aialke a or1r0,e realistic( 1)trsoltal ev'alliation of whether ithey are ill) to
tlie '.allen(1 ge.

S t I'l T ,' ; un iron Iii ni nIIm lla tiir "pr 'irvinviatiluin:il t ,rinr." ind w ns a prnr-Pilirp for
lIrI.i, H ilui;trv ,rr'-iiriL' hii f r'!ii' ,,. I\rpi l l tii. imintiri s r I' r',I f J','v. ,p ,;vrp0 rvl 1 in n in a '1iawllt pr'I-
rti air lr .iaiii "l i 'l j:i il"ii ,r viiilrv 'I'ITh -;s.-iii' :l I (i r 2 1 ir- dig'* t i it l ii t. wer, htield
in fll r 0 '| l' .Il : 1di,'- ..' i r|I v \c,'r i i, 'li- il Im lh l ei f I IInili'rl v t h (**I lilflliltfv w itll ti111 prou rn ill
In '' i,'h W h1 v li. l ,1r1.--,.I' :ili lil;i'l :1 t'r Il j n1ii inilth, l',eib l re I'irl'ij.. stn fe'r.'; li mnnlk' jlreliil-
ii., r ,v. I ui f:i tf I j I ie 1i.l it.- : i till 11 i iill i tlll.- i, r I ,iii. it liil:ill t fr "r mFrtll iilar nst i .mlan nnilr I .
I 1 er 1:",': rI -tl-i in i -l. i,,- l r'ii iii i. 11:1 l. i j ;i].] liivt lv l In *uiliIil-t'*rl i t -II otvri'r- n. Iro 'lni s.
W#T i i lf-li rt to oi rle.'!l etfl.liH \willii \ierv I- liI Il \V-' r-lilt.P I'IlS1 ''S liort. lOiwevp r. gxnPleol lvr
to r',i,. r14 1ir 1 ,,-i0I.|l r'l,,I > I.|,1l : i na ;lllt'u"ll r- i:tnlltm l i, ,'r.:itiol i, l. iiand aire viihiiorilil ton
fi l l ;.,.l:,i',. utlt In Ii ,, l jl" ,'ir 'r illl
sA lalui'h-':iB rro. hofwiirll, ol il '*-tf lie ;i pri'- iier'l] nli' k n wn w4li th- "N' ntlnnni A rPFll .v
(I'lj" ', t l <'lt' ;nuili fl, |i.h'.r Iill !i ''1r ;r- li ie iii I ;i l ii i on IL'1 w itl I' ui'rliil illwv'tsthl .- lvr '
;i it' li' i i'-.

Each training program consists of the following basic elements: (1)
Language instruction (both in world languages, like French, and in
local dialects); (2) cultural adaptation (also known as "cross-cul-
tural orientation") ; and (3) technical training in job-related activi-
ties. Although phase (3) may be cut back or even eliminated altogether
for the more experienced and highly skilled volunteer specialists, it is
of major importance for ABG's who comprise the core of the program
in West Africa.
It is the technical training phase, moreover, which is becoming an
increasingly costly feature of the program, since in most instances,
qualified instructors or specialists have to be imported from abroad for
each training cycle. This is even true in Ghana, we learned, which has
a. highly developed university system and where most training is sched-
uled for the summer months when Ghanaian faculty members are on
leave and in a position to take on additional part-time assignments.
In the light of these developments. Peace Corps Directors in Africa
have been advocating the institution of a "split-level" training
Under this proposal, trainees (especially ABG's) would receive a
concentrated course of technical instruction (only) at selected training
sites within the United States. (Land grant colleges and teacher train-
ing institutions which are located close to major embarkation ports
would be particularly desirable). This initial phase of the program
would then be followed by language and cross-cultural training in-
If adopted, such a procedure might be expected to produce the fol-
lowing benefits:
(1) Technical training might be standardized and upgraded.
(2) Preliminary screening procedures could be made an integral
part of the program and hopefully serve to reduce the high trainee at-
trition rates now being experienced. (At least some of the "tourists"
and obvious misfits could be identified more easily and selected out of
the program).
S(3) Medical and related administrative processing could be com-
pleted prior to the trainees' departure overseas.
(4) The advantages of in-country language in!t iction and ciltin'al
orientation would be retained.
Obviously, the cost of such a program will be a key factor in any de-
cision which is reached along this line. We believe, however, that the
idea has sufficient merit as to warrant serious study.
3 Thi, rnent w wA% -z un'ilrtand. one of tho key is Peace (orpc Direetors Confernc., held in Toinziir., in Aii.g,:t 1975.



In all but one of the countries we visited in West Africa, the over-
whelmina eml)hasis in Peace Corps programing is in tihe education
sector. (The exception is Ul)pper Volta where approximately 78 PCV's
were working in agriculture and rural development as compared with
only 7 in education.) Tlhe country-by-country breakdown is as

Number of PCV's
In all other
Country In education sectors

Sierra Leone--------------------------------------------------------................................................................ 181 21
Ivory Coast.................. ....................---------------------------------------------------------. 56 21
Upper Volta------------------------------------------......... --------------- 7 78
Ghana------------------------------------------------------------..................................................................... 191 38
Senegal ---------.....................................-----------------------------------------------------------.. 58 34

To a large extent, education programs have taken l)recedence over
all other programs in West Africa because the host governments
wanted it that way. African leaders in the early post-independence pe-
riod tended to regard the education and training of their own nationals
as the essential first step in the development process-from which all
otlier benefits would flow. Given the skilled manpower shortage which
.till exists throughout the region, that traditional outlook persists
today. There is. however, increasing recognition that more attention
shouldd be accorded to techlinical subjects (such as mathematics, science,
;and agr (Jnomy) in wliclh local skills are in particularly short supply.

Beginning in 1961, when tlie first Peace Corps volunteers (world-
wilde) arrived in Ghlana. dedication programs have centered around
tie TEFL program (an acronym standing for "teaching of English
a.s a foreign language").
There are two basic reasons for the predominance of TEFL in Peace
Corps pr ogralg in Wes.t Africa: First, host government leaders
'il.,Iv r('eognlize thle i1)liltanlce of a world language, like English, in
1,I. edilucation process gei.rally. English. like French, is the interna-
tioj,;I1 l;Igr;ig,( f"or ,ilti.s. traicdl, industry, science, and scholarship,
;M]1 i- c'rai il as being (,Ces.entianl for world communication and com-
pel it ion. It also tends to promote national unity in former British
SSi-'. ;n.t'jl I't'V utremiith IS j ii lje.t to constant (even d(hlly) chalinge, the above figures
ar,u. v wit of dlte. They nrp provided merely as ,pproximatlons-as of October to
Nirv*inveicr 17.,--for iliFrpo. of Kgeneral comparison.


colonies still divided by tribal rivalries and a multitude of distinct
dialects and cultures.
Even in Francophone Africa, the teaching of English as a second
language is being encouraged as a matter of official policy. In Senegal,
for instance, English is a standard requirement in all of the secondary
schools. Moreover, countries like the Ivory Coast, surrounded by
English-speaking neighbors, consider the mastery of English by a
substantial elite to be the key to regional economic and political
Although the TEFL program is thus welcomed and endorsed by
WVest African governments, there is a second, more practical reason
for Peace Corps involvement: The key word is "availability."
A.B. generalists, with liberal arts backgrounds, can be recruited with
relative ease within the United States to fill English teaching posts
abroad, even if they lack experience in other fields. With the benefit
of some basic instruction in teaching techniques and use of standard
syllabuses-a PCV can be turned loose in the VWest African secondary
school system in relatively short order and in large numbers-with
satisfactory results. At least, that has always been the presumption.
On the basis of our contact with a group of TEFL volunteers in the
Senegalese port city of Saint Louis, we have some doubts about the uni-
versal applicability of this theory. A number of volunteers we inter-
viewed were obviously dissatisfied with their teaching assignments and
felt they had been inadequately prepared to cope with them. For fe-
male volunteers especially (operating in a male-oriented Muslim so-
ciety) maintaining discipline in the classroom was evidently a prob-
lem. Others complained about a lack of direction and backup from the
school administration. In some cases, we were told, institutions which
had been notably unsuccessful in accommodating American teachers,
continued to receive new contingents of volunteers-on an automatic
Evidently the TEFL program has developed a certain inertia.
Volunteers keep coming not because a conscious policy decision has
been made to maintain the program at its current level but because
TEFL positions are easier to fill.
In general, we found that those TEFL volunteers who hliad had prior
teaching experience-or had become interested in teaching as a profes-
sion-were quite satisfied with their respective assignments. Several
noted that the experience they were receiving, both in an alien environ-
ment and in an unfamiliar educational system, had broadened their
horizons and enhanced their professional qualifications.
In all TEFL programs, however, there is a need for greater selectiv-
ity-both as to individuals and institutions. Many programs evidently
are too large. In secondary schools, the focus should be on those
institutions which are preparing students for higher education or
for training abroad. (Some volunteers, for instance, complained
about the futility of teaching English to students who had no future
outside their respective localities and in schools which were experienc-
ing high dropout rates.) Again, the need for followup and monitoring
of individual assignments by Peace Corps staff members was clearly in


Within the education program generally there is, however, an in-
creased tendency by the Peace Corps staff throughout West Africa to
shift away from direct classroom teaching and into other areas. In
Ghana. for instance, the education program is being redirected to in-
crease Peace Corps participation in agricultural extension training,
lesea'rc.lh institutes. vocational education and teacher training in math
and science-all fields of activity which may be expected to produce a
greater "multiplier effect."
We believe this trend should be encouraged and even accelerated.



If education programs in West Africa require greater selectivity and
some reprogramming, other sectors are suffering from a shortage of
'Il is is particularly true of agriculture, which could usefully utilize
more PCV's. In all of the countries we visited, agriculture is the main-
stay of tlhe economy and most in need of development. Except in the
d(rolglit-affected areas of U paper Volta and Senegal. soil conditions are
rgellerallv favoral)le for the growing of a variety of vegetables and
graiins. Nevertheless, all of these countries are net importers of food-
sttuffs to Sii)pport their constantly expanding populations.
Aks has been noted earlier in this report, a relatively low level of input. into the agricultural sector by the Peace Corps can
prollduce positive results in much of West Africa. While PCV agricul-
tirall socialistss'" 2 (i.e. tlose with agricultural degrees or with exten-
siv' experience in farm management) are in notably short supply.
molte "generalist" volunteers-preferably with some limited farm
lakgrolindl anld/or intensive training in rudimentary techniques of
irrigation and cultivation-could be usefully employed in the tradi-
ti oinal, ligily underdeveloped riural areas.3
ro (idate, however, the Peace Corps lias not been successful in recruit-
ing v-oluntiteers for such service to any al)pprecial)le extent-possibly
eca I.use of a liack of concept rate(l effort. The following statistics are re-
vA.;[11 (with UplUper ,"')olta again constituting tlme exception) :

Number of PCV's
In agricultural
or rural
development All other
Country I program sectors

Sierra Leone........................... ...... .... ..... 21 181
Ivory Coast............ --... -.......--..-- .... .... ... ..-- .--.-- 12 65
Upper Volta ........... ......................... .......- ..-.-- .- ..- 78 15
Ghana -..... ... ..- ... --- ....... .. ....... ..... .... ..... 2 227
SeneRal ........................... .. ........... ..... ..... 34 58

I Again, these figures are approximations, based on October to November 1975 estimates.
Vliintirt.r In this. vfii i.',rv nrv' ,t' illy iis erl. iEtl f A lho ,t o"niil rv '- Psf rrl'h iIns Itltiiltes Ar
tralliIi .ilifr- Vlji' r lih,,r 'xll-'r'tl-'c c't iI lilvo ilinxliiiiii iii ijti t on n countrywide
aT ,hi-. ro it -illv I lnronl In 'vi .It i,,lrrrn Ayi, irlcn Ti grl'illiirril I hclinnlnA.v. whi'h iq
Iin, ,i-l lIrm-rIyv (in r ii ,phi ,tl',.i,.,I n .chii larilz'ed , liiinpl k wi" t ; )p irniirlii tP for lInenl con lIl-
tl..I- Iii-t,';i'u r,- iil tr ui tl ',li i'iH t l IIni.~'ivri'tlIn li iisis (liil i'r liitnt'ii'lve filrriiigit iptlino t ,
n u ll.ii i li ." l ll, 1III<1 fll-i i..ii ',"I 'i' i llll ,l i iil t ai ,'h Y < ii ltrl lilIli r Ii tllii r rp ,mP .


This record suggests that any reassessment of the Peace Corps role
in West Africa should concentrate increased attend ion on agricultur -
probably at the expense of other program sectors.
Farmer-to- farmner pr ogi'am
Not long before our departure, the conferees on thle International
Development and Food Assistance Act of 1975 (H.R. 9005 now Public
Law 94-161) agreed to broader funding opportunities for a "farmer-
to-farmer" program. The purpose of this program would be to bring
the expertise and experience of working farmers-as opposed to aca-
demic agriculturalists-to bear on the problems of farmers in the less
developed countries. Because PC/Washington had expressed some
concern that this program might be redundant with its own efforts in
the agricultural sector, the conferees noted in their statement of
managers that:
* Nothing in the amendment is to be construed as authorizing any activities
duplicating or competing with those of the Peace (Coirls. or as weakening the
coordination with Peace Corps activities required under section 406(a)(5) of
Public Law 480 prior to the enactment of this bill. The Peace Corps has a well
demonstrated capability to administer such a program and is expected to have an
important role in the effective operations of a "farmer-to-farmer" exchange.
Our own observations indicate the wisdom of leaving the imple-
mentation of the "farmner-to-farmer" program to the Peace Corps, even
if future funding comes from the Agency for International Develop-
ment. Although the Peace Corps in Africa may not be moving ahead
in the agricultural sector as fast as it might, it still has considerable
experience in using the talents of practical farmers to aid farmers in
the poor countries.
Among examples of such successes which were brought to our atten-
tion in the countries we visited were:
(1) In Ghana. a 40-year-old cotton farmer from Missouri has proved
to be very successful in working with Ghanaian farmers in developing
an indigenous cotton crop. In the same country a young PCV, who is a
co-owner, with his brothers, of a truck farm in Michigan, has recently
come to the country to assist farmers in improving yields from thlleir
tomato crops.
(2) In Sierra Leone. a 46-year-old farmer from near Mason City,
Iowa. is working with oil palmi producers. Having leased his 350-acre
commercial farm to others, he is in Sierra Leone to share his expertise
of cost-effective cultivation and marketing as a Peace Corps \volunteer.
If properly utilized, funds provided under the farmer-to-farmer
program could serve, in fact, to strengthen and improve the Peace
Corps role in agriculture by attracting more working fa'nners into the
program. A separate and competing organizational structure, on the
other hand, could have the effect of (lininisliinl the effectiveness of
both programs. In this case a "pooling" of Peace Corps a"nd U.S. agrl-
cultural manpower resources seems to be the proper goal.

A distinctive feature of the Peace Corps effort throul'hoiut West
Africa is the so-called rural animation program. Basically, the con-
cept is similar to that of "conmmniity developellt "-'with l eliphsison (


the most isolated and underdeveloped rural villages. A volunteer as-
signed to this program works alone and usually under very primitive
conditions. An animnateur is, in fact, somewhat difficult to define;
hlie or she is neither an adviser nor a worker, but rather a "catalyst"
for stimulating community projects, a "facilitator," and a liaison con-
tact between village chief and government officials. The idea is to in-
spire and to assist, rather than to direct or administer, projects which
the local communities themselves are willing and able to undertake.
The role of an aninater is, therefore, a necessarily nebulous one,
which requires an abundance of sensitivity, patience and tact. Results
are rarely immediate or dramatic and often involve a risk of dis-
appointment. In Senegal, for instance we were told of one PCV
who had successfully "animated" an entire village behind a school
building project-only to find that government resources and priori-
ties did not permit its implementation. A Senegalese official who was
to have come to the village to explain the Government's decision never
appeared, as it turned out, and the volunteer-anima.teur lost. credibility
in the process.
The proponents of the program point out, however, that the villages
selected for animation are usually so remote and cut off from con-
tact with the outside world that any sign of interest in their welfare
is welcomed-even if tangible results are not immediately forth-
Indeed, the Peace Corps animateurs we met appeared to be well
liked, respected, and fully integrated into thie, lives of their respective
cominunities. One volunteer who accompanied us from Saint Louis, in
fact, was returning to his village after an extended medical leave,
owing to a severe bout with hepatitis. The enthusiastic reception he
received from the village chief and all local residents left little doubt
about his popularity.
In Upper Volta, the rural animation program focused upon women:
*l umnateurs were engaged in projects designed to provide village
wives, in particular, with a source of extra income which could be used
to enhance their lives and those of their families. Usually, this in-
volved animal husbandry on a small scale-the raising of chickens and
rabbits for sale locally.
Results of these projects are not yet in and we have no current
means of assessing their overall effectiveness. It is clear, however, that
this modest, innovative effort requires a high degree of monitoring
by the Peace Corps staff, which is not always practical or possible
under existing circumstances.

I despitee tlhe virtually limitless need to expand medical services and
facilities th roighllIout West Africa, a small handful of volunteers are
presenltly assigned to health projects in all of the countries visited.
TIlle reoil appeaIrs to 1e t wofold : First. health iiifrastructurc-. (espe-
.ciall outside the urban centers, where health volunteers are normally
a;ssigiied) are very limited alnd thie, level of support which can be pro-
viled to volhmnteer-s working in this field is often inadequate. Second,
the hIealth sector in general has not proven to be a high developmental
priority witl thle governmIents concerned.


Given this situation, the Peace Corps has probably been justified in
keeping participation in health projects small and manageable until
such time as host country officials show a higher level of commitment
to health programs. There is some indication that official attitudes are
changing in this regard as a result of increasing popular demand.
In Senegal, for instance, no volunteers were assigned to health
projects as of last fall, although we were told that a small program is
planned for 1976. Similarly in Ghana, only two PCV's were working
in health-related projects; and in Sierra Leone, only four.
In Upper Volta, eight volunteers were assigned to work in epi-
demiology, physical therapy, home economics, and nutrition. Even in
that land of great need, however, we were informed that the govern-
ment does not consider health to be a high priority sector in compari-
son with agriculture and food production.
The largest PCV health program was in the Ivory Coast, where
nine volunteers were working as laboratory technologists at the anti-
tuberculosis center, in university hospitals, and as nurses assigned to
regional hospitals.
Evidently, health is a potential area for future Peace Corps ex-
pansion, as West African governments direct more attention to the
delivery of health services to their rural populations. Again, this is a
program in which generalist volunteers-who can be trained in such
fields as nutrition, hygiene, and sanitation-might be utilized to good


Peace Corps involvement in Nigeria is a special case, primarily as
a consequence of the abortive Biafran insurgency.
There are 1)resently only three volunteers left in Nigeria and no
Peace Corps staff. The Peace Corps Director in Ghana has overall
l(responsib)ility for activities in Nigeria. but is not physically on the
scene except on rare occasions. Following the recent change in govern-
ment which took place in July 1975. preliimnariy discussions have.
however, taken place at the U.S. Embassy-Nigerian Foreign Ministry
level about a possible expansion and redirection of the program.

In the past. the Peace Corps role in Nigeria has been a controversial
one-leavingc an unavoidable legacy of misunderstanding and some
bitterness. Problems arose primarily as a result of the fighting in the
eastern state of Biafra which broke ouit in 1967. Volunteers assigned
to that region tended to sympathize with the Biafran cause and often
recorded their views in letters to their families and friends in the
United States. Some of these communications made their way to
Congress and were printed in the Congressional Record.
These developments, and the attendant publicity they received in
the United States and abroad, were deeply resented by the federal
Nigerian authorities, who came to regard the Peace Corps as a source
of opposition to tlie 1)policies of their gov-ernmlent. Nevertheless, the
Governm ient of Nigeria did liit lspecifieallv call for the expulsion
of volunteers. The Peace Corps itself withdrew all PCV's from the
(.astern region when the fighting there began to escalate, and the
reilaining volunteers dol)artedl by a process of attrition. By early 1969
there were no volunteers left in the country.

n Novel 'r 1972, 2 ,,in'si af ter fh(dera l control hlad been reestab-
li:-l id over all of Nigria. tle Nigerian authoritiess approved the as-
.sign .ient of up 1)to 10 athletic coaches to various athletic teams
.liroi iliout tlh(e u. try tinder lPeace Corlps auspices. A national sports
ljiOrr,,inll. i the g1 rni'ent's -i('w, was implilortant not only to prepare
Nigeriiii atlilieles for interiiationmial competition, ibut also because it
\\:is re:irc(l. as ii 'ie:i.s o(f rootingg national unity in the wake of a
(l.:isvittiil.Mi. :.nmil diivis.ive civil conflict. From thle Peace Corps' stand-
1,,iiit tli lilp oposj il i'represeute ii i mavnlit aiis of rieestallislinig contact
:ii'l '(,io'ritio i \ itli ile Nig'ui i:ai- :i id of over'iiiii g last tensions.
Tii ret Uo-p,'ct, botl I'.S. lliiEmbassy am il1 AC(TIO()N officials readily
'il'i' I ilitit' i sp.ort.s proiwaliiihas been azllytliig ibut a success. Of


the first six coaches assigned to this activity, four terminated within
4 months after arrival. Although replacements were provided, the
turnover rate remaine(l at a very high level. There were never as
many as 10 coaches in the country at any one time, we were told.
A number of reasons were cited for the failure of this Peace Corps
effort. Oni the Nigerian side there were organizational difficulties and
some lack of coordination between state and national sports com-
missions. State commissions, in particular, although nominally au-
tonomous, were heavily dependent on the national organization for
financial and material support, which was not always forthcoming.
There had also been a notable lack of advance planning on the part
of the Peace Corps and a failure to work out with the host govern-
ment exactly what role the volunteer coaches were expected to play,
what level of support would be provided for the program, and how
the volunteers were to function within the Nigerian sports system.
Without any Peace Corps staff in the country to assist them, the
coaches were obliged to fend for themselves and spend much of their
time on organizational-administrative concerns rather than on their
primary coaching duties. A number of volunteers reportedly consid-
ered themselves as "fifth wheels" and their contributions of marginal
value. Their morale was not improved, moreover, by the discovery
that other foreign coaches (from such countries as Great Britain and
Bulgaria) had been hired on a contract basis with annual salaries of
up to $20,000 for essentially the same services they were providing as
For all of the above reasons, the early end of the Peace Corps sports
program in Nigeria is expected.

Despite the problems described above, the Nigerian Government'
which assumed power in July 1975 (replacing the former Gowan
regime) has indicated a. willingness to put the past aside and take a
fresh look at what the Peace Corps might be in a position to provide
in the way of future development assistance. It should be empha-
sized at this point that no commitment has been made on either side and
that talks have only been of an exploratory nature to date.
If the Peace Corps is asked to return to Nigeria in the future, the
emphasis might well be, once again, in the education field. Thle Ni-
gerian authorities have already announced that a new law requiring
universal primary education will be pronmulgated in 1976 and its im-
plementation will be hampered by a severe shortfall of qualified teach-
ers, Estimates of the shortage ranges from 10,000 to 70, )o. Otiler
possibilities ini_]ht include Peace Corps participation illn ro'id llid'e/
dam construction projects-if individuals with tile requllisite skills can
be recruited.
A special feature of the Nigerian approach to all forms of outside
assistance is the government's willingness-even determination-to
underwrite tile cost of the programs it sl)ecifically approv-es. Thus.
if a new program is re(qlested, it would 1)robl)bly 1b on such a (contract
S The attempted coup whih t-11 ok pa111 ce onl Feb. 1:1. 19!76. resuiited In tho a-sasiniati.>n
of the Chief of State. (Gen. MIrtala HaRmat Miliuha iinled Ibut was otherwise imsmi ce.I.ful.
Thus the post-.July 1975 go\'ernmienlt remains. essenritiallyv iiiic.hanged.


28 3 1262 09113 9310 I

From the U.S. standpoint, however, the inauguration of any new i
program in Nigeria evidently should be preceded by the following
steps: -
(1) A new Peace Corps country agreement should be negotiated and
concluded on a government-to-government basis. This would serve to
spell out in detail the obligations being assumed on both sides and re-
duce the risk of misunderstanding and misinterpretation.
(2) Careful and detailed advance planning should be undertaken by K.
responsible Peace Corps officials to insure that volunteer positions are .:1
clearly defined, that the services to be provided are both desired and
understood by host government personnel who will be involved in in- 4
dividual projects, and that Nigerian ministry officials are thoroughly !
briefed on what to expect in the way of volunteer qualifications. officials believe that a new Peace Corps start in Nigeria
should be approached with extreme caution and on an initial "pilot I
project" basis. Given the history of failure and mutual dissatisfaction,
we would concur with that judgment. :

o I