American military instructors dealing with Middle Eastern students learn to ensure that, before directing any question to a student in a classroom situation, particularly if he is an officer, the student does possess the correct answer. If this is not assured, the officer will feel he has been set up for public humiliation. Furthermore, in the often-paranoid environment of Arab political culture, he will believe this setup to have been purposeful. This student will then become an enemy of the instructor and his classmates will become apprehensive about their also being singled out for humiliation—and learning becomes impossible.
Despite these inherent faults, the Peace Corps is probably one of the least-expensive development agencies ever created. Supporting a volunteer in the field costs just $41,000 a year, including overhead. Thats about $12,000 less than a years worth of tuition, room, and board at Georgetown Universitys School of Foreign Service and a small fraction of the cost of supporting a single American diplomat or USAID worker in a developing country. The agency has long prided itself on doing more with a dollar than most other development outfits. Peace Corps Press Director Amanda Beck estimates that the agencys direct expenditures per volunteer are actually only $3,000 a year. But if that is the case, one then has to wonder what the Peace Corps is doing with the other $38,000 it spends per year for each volunteer. However you count it, the agencys relative leanness says more about the lack of significant results in the development business than it does about the Peace Corps cost effectiveness.