Case 5

Remember This case study is of a development worker trying to assist third world villagers. Try to figure out what good and bad things he does.

I send Dr. Wright’s Final Analysis (opinion over all from the case study) What is the analysis that you give to this case study, are you agree with Dr. Wright final analysis

Please respond to the following questions.

  1. Respond with one thoughtful Part 5 of the case study

 

I’m sending you the analysis of all part 1

Please read part 1,2,3, 4, complete 5

Part 1

In the first part of the case study, the Volunteer has made some good contacts with the agricultural officials and other important persons. Although he is a biased Volunteer, he seems to be making progress in the one project that he has concentrated. Biasness is evidenced in the Volunteer because he only prefers to concentrate on only one project even though he is supposed to focus on other ventures too. As stated, a number of reasons may have led to such biasness. It may be because this particular project was in the agricultural minister’s home area, encountering gas problems, amongst others. Some decisions made in this part of the study are not good. For example, if the Volunteer had distributed his concentration, he might have asked for some help from the other cooperatives and thus aiding in diverse issues (Australian Aid, 2004).

However, the Volunteer’s good spirit in terms of socializing with many people including the other Volunteer is very commendable. This is because the Volunteer needed all the help he could get, including psychological, physical and financial assistance, in order to make the project(s) successful. His spirit of interaction also makes it easier for him to interact and convince other residents to take up the project (Australian Aid, 2004). If the Volunteer had not been that interactive, it could have probably taken longer than the four months to convince the funders to get involved in the project and a high likelihood is that they may not have even have accepted the project at all.

After the letter was sent to the agricultural programmer, it was speculated that the director would take the project with more urgency than before. Furthermore, it was contemplated that a direct conversation with the executive would have made an impact. However, it is commendable how the Volunteer employed various approaches and intellectual assistance needed to make the project successful (Collett, & Gale, 2009). With all these efforts from the people involved in the project, including the cooperative members and the Volunteer, the project will most probably succeed.

 

Part 2

In the second part of the case study, the seeds had not arrived even with the expiry of the waiting period. Like in any other project, some people gave up and went ahead with replacement strategies being planting their own seeds. However, with all these challenges, the determination of the Volunteer was very commendable; he enquired for a meeting with the cooperative board of directors in order to appraise the given situation and analyze for replacement options. Nevertheless, both parties should have earlier forecasted such issues during the planning period to lessen the period spent on the project. Either they should have ordered for the seeds much as a contingent approach to lessen such delays as encountered. Alternatively, the parties should have created a quick approach for the situation to avert farmers from using their own alternative techniques (Collett, & Gale, 2009).

On the other hand, the Volunteer should have spread his concentration on all the projects that he was initially supposed to undertake. This would have come in handy at this challenging instance. Creating a colossal order placed by the cooperative on behalf of all the other stakeholders for equitable allocations would have been quite useful. Maybe the ministry had challenges in packing all the different orders. The decision to make a personal appearance after all the methods had failed should have been implemented as the first option. There is no guarantee that the agricultural programmer actually saw the director. The Volunteer and the members should have had a first hands experience with the project for effectual management. The same would have aided with effective monetary handling in the project.

Therefore, some decisions made by the Volunteer were less favorable. However, most of them were a positive contribution to the project. An individual earns people’s trust through his/her character. The Volunteer’s decision of ascertaining that the people would be successful in this project is commendable. He demonstrates this by the extent that he uses his personal money to settle both his own and the chairperson’s fare expenses, a liability that was clearly not pegged to him. Through his hard work, the project bore very high chances of succeeding.

Part 3

Ok, here goes.  In my opinion, the friendship between the chairman and the assistant director is a definite plus.  In the absence of strong laws or accountability, personal relationships become that much more important.  I agree that the volunteer should back off, shut up and let the old friends talk.  At some point he could politely interject a question about when he could show up with a truck to load the seeds. Of course, then he would have to go arrange to get a truck which would basically involve waving a lot of 20s in the face of truck drivers in the capital market (hopefully, without the bad guys seeing the cash).  I mean there is no local Hertz truck rental around.

The volunteer’s abrupt behavior to an Acting Minister would be seen as very rude.  Imagine a Mexican guy (or a Cambodian) in your state capital getting in the face of some U.S. government official about some “broken promise”.  Remember the volunteer is not only a “foreigner” but also a short-timer not a permanent expat.  It is not HIS country.  He has to rely on the chairman and let him handle this his way.  He is supposed to be assisting the cooperative, not fouling things up by trying to take over.  In fact, as some of you noted, he didn’t even make an attempt to learn the language!!  Imagine a Mexican berating a U.S. government official in the U.S. through a Spanish translator. That is how the volunteer probably came off to the acting director.

One of the few “not realistic” aspects of this story for me is that he would go back to the village and not stay over in the capital.  Forget the practical reasons, he has been in a village with no Americans to talk to in English for weeks and he has a chance to hang out (party) with the other PCVs who have been assigned to the city and he even has a good job-related reason to stay.  Most young volunteers would jump at this chance (I assume he is young).

It is true that the volunteer could have done all the same things in a different situation and been wildly successful.  This is one of the points of this case when it was being used for Peace Corps training (before e-mail, cellphones etc which would have changed many aspects).  In other words, the prospective volunteers were given the idea to do their best and celebrate small successes.  Many new volunteers feel they can “change the world” and are disappointed if they don’t (few do obviously).  In a way this case is also used as a “reality check” for new volunteers.

Response to Case Part 4: Case Study of a Development Worker

 

In my opinion, the volunteer’s actions and his interactive nature with the managers from different field evidenced a good number of options concerning issues and problems faced such as seeds acquisition and financial help. For instance, the volunteer was able to share his problems with the Agriculture Minister from his area who promised to provide any form of help where possible. Had it not been for the aggressive nature of the volunteer, am sure it could have taken a longer time before any action would be implemented concerning the arrangements for the seeds purchases and distribution. In addition, I noticed that it seems very difficult for an organization to acquire help from the government and therefore it needs frequent follow-ups by the relevant leaders to the appropriate agencies. Therefore, because of the volunteer’s aptitude, he was able to reach out and find the needed solution to the problem. The United States Embassy has the necessary funds required for different projects although it mandates a responsible team leader for the project. For instance, the Agricultural Minister directed the volunteer to the United States Embassy to acquire the necessary funds for the seeds project with the direct command that he has to take both funds and project responsibility. However, to some extent, the volunteer was not right in his actions because he caused some misunderstandings between the project’s chairperson and the acting director. The volunteer was wrong by playing the role that was not his. The volunteer had the  aim of showing himself as a hardworking person than the chairperson so that he could be promoted or employed permanently at the organization. Otherwise, he could have just informed the chairperson and let him play his role. Subjectively, I think that the seed purchasing and follow-ups concerning funds pooling was the chairperson’s liability.

 

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