Title: Bolivia Contract : statement to record a chronology of events
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081815/00001
 Material Information
Title: Bolivia Contract : statement to record a chronology of events
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Popenoe, Hugh
Publisher: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publication Date: 1979
Subject: Farming   ( lcsh )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00081815
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

q V



TELEPHONE: (904) 392-1965


August 30, 1979



Larry Janicki

FROM: Chris.0. Andrew

The attached statement is for your review and that
Please revise and document wherever possible and return

Hugh will be calling Chaij and Boeker next week.
discussing issues in BIFAD and AID Friday, August 31.

of the staff.
as soon as

He is also



TO: File

FROM: Hugh Popenoe, Chris, Bolivia Backstop Committee (Chairman and Faculty)

RE: Bolivia Contract (University of Florida/Bolivia IBTA & PRODES/USAID &
US State Department)

The purpose of this statement is to record a chronology of events that have

evolved over the past two years in the Bolivia contract. These events are

observed from the perspective of a university administration and faculty who

represent an institution now entering the twenty-fifth year of At agricultural

technical assistance programs. In 25 years, the University of Florida has

provided nearly 60 institutional years of long-term contractual assistance toi

nine countries in the form of 120 man years of long-term and over 150 man months

of short-term advisorships. Short-term programs both of a contractual and non-

contractual nature have been developed by faculty and departments with many other

countries throughout the world. In all of these countries, University faculty

and administration have had the opportunity to interface at various levels for various

periods of time with AID missions.

To our knowledge, we have never encountered difficulties in program

management and implementation of a nature as serious as those encountered in

the Bolivia contract over the past two years. The following documentary

further illustrates the importance of the intent and purpose of Title XII

to more effectively involve the University community in program planning,

development and implementation. Our recent experience in planning for a long-

term program in Malawi stands in stark contrast to the Bolivia experience.

The following comments are based on expressions of concern by administrators

faculty and U.S. citizens. Mis-management of technical assistance programs

can have far reaching implications not only for those who are to receive the



assistance but also on the confidence and impact of such programs in

addressing humanitarian and polictcal problems. As U.S. citizens we

believe that Bolivians and Americans deserve better management from the

AID/Rural Development Office in Bolivia.

A summary of the issues of concern are:

1. Being asked to follow-up on AID/RDO activities unrelated to the

contract without prior consultation including purchase of research

materials and hiring of staff.
2. Lack of communication with the University concerning major contract

changes including the shift from AID to State and status of the

various amendments to the contract.

3. Direct involvement in unilateral decision making without sufficient

Bolivian and Florida input concerning leadership for the UFLA

contract team.

4.. Neglect of intent if not breach of intent with regard to contractual

activity beyond February 1980.

5. Failure to permit the backstop/TDY support for the contract, yet

expecting UFLA to honor contract objectives.

6. Withholding funds to the counterpart institutions such that project

program.and contract objectives are seriously jeapardized.

7. Disregard for the personal concerns of contract families particularly

in requesting departures without ample notice and influencing moral

by suggesting that individual two-year commitments might not be met.

Support to AID Bolivia

The UFLA/AID/Bolivia contract specifies that the University of Florida

provide technical assistance to the Bolivian Government through the Ministry

of Agriculture and the supporting agencies of PRODES and IBTA with the purpose


of identifying and investigating the biological and economic feasibilities

of alternative crops to coca. An intent of the contract, while performing

alternative crop research, is to assist IBTA and PRODES staff to strengthen

their applied research and extension capabilities. Emphasis is on the two

major coca production regions Chapare and Yungas.

In the technical assistance role, the University is called upon to

provide professional agricultural science oriented expertise not available

within the local AID office while complementing and expanding the

capability of Bolivian scientists. A major stress point, possibly

stimulating conflicts to follow, was a decision by AID/Rural Development

Office to order a fungicide, which was not approved.for U.S. use, without

consulting either the UFLA or CID scientists. Upon receipt of the material

and learning of its unapproved status, AID/RDO asked that UFLA test the

fungicide to determinejf it was appropriate and effective. UFLA refused

indicating that it was not the University's policy to "second guess"

U.S. regulatory officials and that the time to properly test the material,

if it had been appropriate policy, would have interfered substantially with

higher priority research programs designed to meet Bolivia/AID/UFLA contract


*L. J. Document


DRAFT Not for distribution

The request and refusal, all under consultation with Gainesville, placed

the UFLA Chief of Party in an unnecessary confrontation position because

it could have been avoided by either leaving the technical agricultural

issues to qualified UFLA or CID scientists or asking for their advice prior

to purchase of the materials. In either case, both technical assistance

teams rc:ould have called upon large backstop faculties in their respective

U.S. universities for any basic and highly technical needs extending- beyond

the experience of the team itself.

A further stress point was associated with the change in PRODES

leadership in February, 1979. UFLA by way of the AID/Rural Development

Office was asked to hire, until the July, 1979 elections, Mr. Winston

Estremedorio who had been ousted from the directorship. This request

was made to Mr...Larry Janicki, UFLA Chief of Party and Dr:.Chris

Andrew, IFAS Assistant Director of International Programs, in the presence

of Mr. Estremedorio. When UFLA indicated that the University policy was

not to become involved in local institutional leadership shifts due to

political changes, the request was changed to four weeks, then one

week and then a "few" days with the response being the same at each

request. The situation was an embarrassment for both UFLA and Mr.

Estremedorio-because the issue.was not related to either the past or

possible future relationship between the institution and the individual..

The issue was a matter of policy in general. To meet the request

would have thrust UFLA into an untenable role in which technical

assistance universities do.not become involved nor, do some feel, should

the AID/RDO office. UFLA did, however, honor professional commitment to

Mr. Estremedorio by sponsoring him on a productive visit to Florida and

El Salvador to discuss international programs.

Support to AID from UFLA might- be strengthened substantially by

drawing upon the extensive technical assistance and technical agricultural


DRAFT Not for distribution

expertise of the University as opposed to involving the University as a

legitimizing body.

Program Administration

Responsibility for meeting the contracted objectives of a University

Technical Assistance effort ultimately lie within the university itself.

Specifically the international programs office must be responsible to
higher administrators in IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences),

and the University. While professionals working within the disciplined

areas of the contract are selected to best meet the needs for resolving

local problems of agricultural technology needs and transfers, leadership

responsibility through the Chief of Party begins at the University. The

individual selected for Chief of Party must- be well qualified \to work

within developing country institutions while being able to draw fully

upon the University resource.base such that the local institution can

gain maximum.benefit from the association. To accomplish these tasks the

Chief of Party must be well known by Deans and Department Chairmen to

whom.long-term professional responsibility for the effort rests. The

Chief of Partyis the connecting link between administrators in the local

and technical assistance institutions (IFAS and IBTA/PRODES).

Contract. staffing.is taken quite seriously at the University of

Florida. Before a contract is undertaken the International Committee

consisting of IFAS Department.Chairmen as well as the Directorsof the

Centersfor Latin American Studies and African Studies recommend to the

Deans and the Vice President whether the contract should be undertaken.

This support then follows through as each designated department identifies

appropriate faculty to fill long and short-term positions in the contract.

The International Committee is asked to consider candidates for the Chief

of Party Position. Such indepth involvement assures long-term departmental

DRAFT Not for distribution

support, a necessary condition for high quality programs.

A major problem in administering Bolivia's Technical Assistance

contracts has been that AID management has become involved beyond normal

contractual arrangements in Chief of Party matters. In UFLA's case,

pressure in late 1978 to remove a Chief of Party evolved from within AID

particularly because of issues similar to the one discussed above involving

the fungicide purchase. The particular person in the Chief of Party position

was probably the most effective field Chief Florida has employed. His

removal was approached in an unprofessional manner without regard to

contract policy, but even more critical, without regard to the particular

needs of Bolivia. While selected, but not all, of the appropriate

Bolivian leaders signed the request.for his removal, AID/RDO was the

coordinator and courier of the request.

Thus, a decision.was made by UFLA that it would be necessary to

phase out the Chief of-Party and select an interim person until another could

be identified. This decision in no way was based on performance but on

the fact that political pressure generated from within AID for his removal

was such that no other decision was appropriate at that time. In

retrospect, this memo should have been written at that time which might

possibly have avoided further such actions. In discussions with AID

officials a potential interim person was then identified pending

approvals from the appropriate Gainesville department chairman and other

administrators. Before these approvals were gained, AID indicated to the

UFLA Bolivia staff that IFAS/International Programs had agreed to the

change. The shift then transpired but immediately after the IFAS/

International Programs meeting with AID/Bolivia and before it was possible

to return the issue to the Gainesville campus for disposition. This

maneuver, of course, created hard feelings but effectively forced a

unilateral change in the Chief of Party position.


DRAFT Not for distribution

Most recently, a candidate nominated for the Chief of Party position

withextensive Chief of Party experience in Latin America, complete

bilingual capabilities, experience within the University and generally quite

strong credentials for the job was rejected by AID for an interview without

any reason being given (see attached letter and memo). The nomination

was made by the IFAS/International Committee with full administrative

support at the Vice Presidential level. If the University is to select

qualified leaders for the Bolivia contract with full professional and

administrative backstop support from campus,:reasons for rejection must

be given to assist as criteria in nominating an alternate. It should be

noted that both the top administrators of PRODES and IBTA signed requesting

that the candidate be invited to Bolivia for the interview.

A further lack of management communications fromtthe AID Bolivia office

left UFLA uninformed and ill prepared for the shift from AID to State

Department. While the decision to shift the UFLA/AID contract to a

UFLA/Narcotics Bureau State Department contract was not a responsibility

of AID and State in Bolivia, it was a responsibility of AID/Bolivia

to inform UFLA of the change. The notification was sent four days prior

to the effective date followed by refusal by AID/Washington to pay vouchers

on expenses incurred prior to the October-, 1978 transfer date exceeding

$60,000. This entire action occurred at a time when UFLA/AID were

operating without a contract since April, 1978, a condition of illegality

both Federally and in the State of Florida. Florida was prepared to

finalize an amendment in March, 1978. The amendment was finalized in

March of 1979. With prior notice, Florida has helped as requested with

communications between AID/RDO-Bolivia and AID/Washington.


Program Planning

The program focus of the contract is on crop substitutes or alternative

systems for coca in the Yungas and Chapare regions. The intent generally

expressed early in the program was that the first four year contract would

be extended or renewed such that the institutional bases established in IBTA

and later shifted when AID stimulated the development of PRODES would be

given support for a time sufficient to develop and implement viable alternative

systems. The problems while immediate require intermediate to long-term

programs to approach resolution. Time is not on the side of resolution unless

major efforts are made to strengthen the human and research resource base in


Actions, statements and decisions since late 1978 have indicated that

the UFLA/Bolivia contract would continue either with State.or AID funding.

The amendment signed in March reconfirmed seven positions in the contract and

efforts continued to fill two vacant positions until AID recently informed

the UFLA Chief of Party that the University should put increased staffing on

"hold". One person interviewed for the plant pathology position in July, based

upon AID approvals which supports the intent to continue. The recent rejection

of the person proposed by UFLA for Chief of Party also instructed UFLA to

forward two or more applicants, again suggesting that the intent to continue

still held.

Recent communication from AID indicates that there may not be a contract

after February, 1980 but that UFLA can compete for a new technical assistance

and rural development contract. While UFLA stands prepared to compete for such

a program the disruption in program operations and uncertainty associated with

program planning implementation will prove costly in time, resources and results

for both Bolivia and the University. Again, careful planning and program

development along the lines of the Title XII collaborative mode is needed to bring

greater stability to Bolivia's program as opposed to more short-term decision



Program Implementatibn

Technical assistance programs by the University of Florida are based in

solid backstop programming through a backstop committee. The backstop

committee system is an important aspect of the country contract program

if allowed to function effectively. Each major technical assistance research

effort is backstopped by campus faculty and department chairmen.

Multidisciplinary projects are backstopped by a committee of faculty with..

one or more members for each discipline represented by an in-country

technical advisor. Thfs, for Bolivia each backstop faculty person serves

as a connecting link to ongoing campus and professional programs while

providing a broad support base for various technical needs within the contract.

The backstop committee as a whole serves as a sounding board and advisory body

for the IFAS-International Programs Office on matters pertaining to program

planning and implementation.

On several occasions TDY visits by backstop committee members for purposes

of professional consultations to address specific applied research and extension

problems have been rejected by AID, although funds were allocated, a situation

nearly unheard of in other Florida contracts. In one case, IFAS-International

Programs felt that the visit was so important as to merit the University paying

for the visit. In another, the person rejected was a primary backstop person for

the agricultural economics program and was involved in the initial planning

efforts of the contract. This person is so well recognized by AID that he has

taught agricultural planning and development for 10 years to over 200 AID

participants in a summer program for participants from countries throughout the

world and universities throughout the U.S. In such matters, where the University

was contracted to meet defined objectives and being to bear the expertise:to resolve

problems identified jointly by the project, it would seem appropriate that approvals

to implement programs should be forthcoming unless security violations, for

which AID is prepared to judge, may be violated.


Through the establishment of PRODES, at the recommendation of AID, a

mechanism for fund distribution to IBTA programs was developed. This

mechanism has given AID the power to release funds to PRODES as appropriate

and.recommend to PRODES how these funds might be spent. Often those funds

designated for use by UFLA/IBTA/PRODES advisors and counterparts have not

been forthcoming such that entire programs have come to a complete standstill.

Once again, the specifications of a contract should provide the necessary
guidelines for implementation and in fact, the UFLA/Bolivia/AID contract is

sufficient. Yet, research and technical assistance programs over the past

six months in particular have lost momentum and counterpart staff.

Personnel Administration

A final issue of considerable importance to program operations is

personnel management particularly related to the family of the technical

assistance advisor. Several recent decisions have caused undue stress to

UFLA families. In one instance, the original Chief of Party was informed

that he should leave Bolivia by December 31, 1978. This request was conveyed

to UFLA on December 26, 1978. With negotiation he was given one month to

finalize arrangements to depart which was prior to the close of his second two

year tour. His children were thus forced to leave school in mid-teri one of

which was a senior in high school.

A recent suggestion that there may not be support for a contract after

February 1980 even though the intent has been otherwise, has created considerable

family stress. Florida has acted in good faith in placing advisors in Bolivia

over the past year knowing that a two year tour under the present contract

would not be possible. The University was assured that this would be no problem

because the intent was to continue with an extension or a new contract. AID

approved each of the advisors so the advisors and University have considered that

the intent was worthy of the commitment. To be otherwise, of course, is quite

difficult for the family and advisor.


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs