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close this bookPeace Corps in Special Education and Rehabilitation (Peace Corps)
View the documentForeword
View the documentThe authors
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentMethodology
View the documentClassifying Peace Corps programs addressing the needs of disabled persons
Open this folder and view contentsSelected country reviews
close this folderCritical factors influencing the effectiveness of Peace Corps' efforts in special education and rehabilitation
View the document1.0 Programming factors
View the document2.0 Recruitment factors
View the document3.0 Training factors
View the document4.0 Support factors
View the document5.0 Post-service factors
View the documentAlternative programming considerations
View the documentReferences
View the documentAppendix I - Country overviews
View the documentAppendix II - Volunteers with disabilities: experiences, issues, and recommendations
View the documentAppendix III - Peace Corps country survey
View the documentAppendix IV - Returned volunteer survey

Critical factors influencing the effectiveness of Peace Corps' efforts in special education and rehabilitation


In reviewing the performance of Peace Corps Volunteers in activities that affect the lives of disabled persons, the authors of this report identified a number of critical factors influencing the effectiveness of individual assignments, small projects, and country programs. The reader should note that these are not the only factors influencing effectiveness, but rather those which, in our judgment, seem to contribute most substantially to the success or failure of an activity.

The factors are organized in a manner consistent with the natural sequence of all Peace Corps activities. The major headings chosen are Programming Factors, Recruitment Factors, Training Factors, Support Factors and Post Service Factors.

Each factor is briefly discussed and, in some cases, an example of how the factor enhanced or hindered an activity is provided. Whenever possible, recommendations are made regarding ways to avoid specific problems or ways to remediate the effects of a negative situation.

It must be emphasized that the factors continuously interact in the real world where volunteers work. It is rare to identify a single factor which appears to be the only cause of success or failure of an assignment.

In the final analysis, it appears that the personal characteristics of Peace Corps Volunteers and staff are the major determinants of effectiveness. There is no substitute for a Peace Corps Volunteer with the qualities of personal maturity, practical skills, good interpersonal abilities, adaptability, and a respect and affection for his or her host community. Such volunteers are usually personally effective, whatever the assignment, but other critical factors will certainly expand or limit their potential. How the Peace Corps staff attends to these critical factors will affect, in some measure, the achievements of all volunteers.

The authors hope that Peace Corps staff will find the following discussion of Critical Factors useful in future Peace Corps efforts. While this list was derived from looking primarily at rehabilitation and special education assignments, some factors will apply to other program areas as well.

Critical Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Peace Corps' Efforts in Special Education and Rehabilitation

1.0 Programming Factors

1.1 Peace Corps Staff Awareness of Disability-Related Programming
1.2 Host Country Participation in Programming Decisions
1.3 Inter-Agency Dynamics
1.4 Realistic Problem Definition, Needs Assessment, and Project Goal Setting
1.5 Political and Social Climate

2.0 Recruitment Factors

2.1 Personal Characteristics of Volunteers
2.2 Recruitment Resource Utilization
2.3 Professional Specialties, Skills and Experiences
2.4 Volunteers with Disabilities
2.5 Time Period Between Programming and Recruiting

3.0 Training Factors

3.1 Understanding Organizational Structures and Customs
3.2 Volunteer Expectations 3.3 Special Technical Training

4.0 Support Factors

4.1 Staff Support and Expectations
4.2 Host Agency Support and Expectations
4.3 Community Support and Expectations
4.4 Volunteer Support
4.5 International Support

5.0 Post-Service Factors

5.1 Networking Returned Volunteers
5.2 Extending Collaboration with Other Organizations and Agencies
5.3 Evaluation of Assignments and Projects

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