Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Aqeel Tirmizi


In 1961, when the Peace Corps was established, Colombia was the first country chosen to receive volunteers. The program ran for 20 years, with volunteers working all over the country in various sectors. Then in 1981, due to the increasing violence from the guerilla civil war, the US government decided to withdraw the volunteers and suspend the Colombia program. After a 29-year hiatus, at the request of the Colombian government, the Peace Corps was invited back to Colombia in 2010.

The Peace Corps Colombia post currently has two programs, Practical English for Success (PES), established first; and, Community Economic Development (CED), started as a pilot project in 2016. Both of these programs are subject to monitoring and evaluations (M&E) scrutiny, which has increased substantially since the earlier Peace Corps programs in the country. For M&E purposes, project framework and indicators for the PES program are already established. Indicators for the CED program are still under review. Both programs are impacted by the need for increasingly precise data on volunteer programs and expectations of more intensive M&E reporting. This has proved to be difficult for the post due to, among other things, limited staffing.

Interest in this situation spawned my research question for this paper: how might the M&E system of Peace Corps Colombia be strengthened? I have used reviews of M&E best practices and potential pitfalls for similar organizations, comparison of these standards to the process at Peace Corps Colombia, and candid staff interviews to assess challenges to the current M&E activities and suggest strategies for improvement.


Economics | Growth and Development | International Relations | Latin American Studies | Models and Methods


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