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This episode of the Posh Corps Podcast investigates a fundamental flaw in Peace Corps policy which prevents the agency from embracing reform. This story is the fourth segment in The Reform Series, a four-part series about Peace Corps reform efforts.
A provision within the Peace Corps Act limits employment at Peace Corps to a term of five years. This provision is known as the "Five-Year Rule." Numerous assessments have found that the Five-Year Rule creates serious disincentives toward high employee performance. The dynamic between the Five-Year Rule and a high number of political appointees at Peace Corps produces a fundamental flaw in Peace Corps policy.
Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff served as Peace Corps volunteers in the Sixties, and they served again as volunteers in Senegal from 2005 to 2007. They found that Peace Corps had not matured as much as it should have over the years. They are among the very few volunteers who have successfully advocated for Peace Corps reform.
Produced by Alan Toth.
Recording by Alan Toth and Will Dickinson.
Assistance by Lauren Schwartzman.
Music: "A Tale" from the album Hang by Laura Inserra. Used under a license provided by iLicense Music.
Image: Photos by Wilma Scheuren, Robert B. Textor, and Alexander Boden
Special Thanks to Will Dickinson and Joanne Roll.
Interviews with Chuck Ludlam, Paula Hirschoff, Will Dickinson, Mike Sheppard, and Dr. J. Larry Brown.