Oh Peace Corps Acronyms

I thought the hospitality industry had a lot of acronyms (RevPAR, ADR, DoR, GM, FOH, BOH, PMS, F&B, etc) but…..you got nothing on Peace Corps! Everything is abbreviated. EVERYTHING! Unless you’re a volunteer or working with Peace Corps, sentences that come out of our mouths are like a foreign language on top of the foreign language we already speak in country.

“I sent an email to the CD about my PCPP proposal and instead of copying my APCD and I copied the SSO. I got an answer that said my project was actually classified under SPA but they would explain everything at the PCTC during MSC. Staff however was busy preparing VRFs for their sectors and finishing COSers paperwork, plus revisiting our EAP, that they couldn’t answer with more details. They wished me a good time at VAC and then reminded me to submit my AVS and I should start working on my CDS.”

So…..catch any of that?

I realized that a lot of times I write blogs and don’t really clarify what any of those acronyms actually mean. So here it goes. Hopefully, a lightbulb will go off in your head when you think “so that’s what she wanted to say”

CD – Country Director
APCD – Associate Peace Corps Director (the heads of each sector of volunteers in country)
PA – Programing Assistant
PCMO – Peace Corps Medical Officer
EAP – Emergency Action Plan
SSO – Safety and Security Officer
PST – Pre Service Training (roughly the first 2 months in country before you Swear In as a Volunteer)
PCV – Peace Corps Volunteer
PCT – Peace Corps Trainee
PCR – Peace Corps Response (shorter time commitment, typically 3-6 months)
RPCV – Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (PCVs that have completed their time commitment and returned to the US)
PCTC – Peace Corps Training Center
VRF – Volunteer Reporting Form (completed quarterly, a list of all activities and work completed at site and in country)
AVS – All Volunteer Survey (completed worldwide by all volunteers of Peace Corps)
MSC – Mid Service Conference
COS – Close of Service (when your 2 years of commitment are up)
IST – In Service Training (at 3 months as a Volunteer)
PCPP – Peace Corps Partnership Program (a form of project funding)
SPA – Small Project Assistance (another form of funding)
VAST – final form of project funding (I’m not even sure what it stands for)
GLOW – Girls Leading Our World (week long camp for empowering girls)
DOS – Description of Service (document to be written at COS regarding your service in country)
PACA – Participatory Analysis of Community Action (activities to be done in the first three months at site to allow you to get to know your village and their needs)
CDS – Community Diagnostic Survey (a report formulated based on the results of PACA and your views)
ET – Early Terminate (when you end your service prior to your time commitment)
MEDEVAC – Medical Evacuation
USAID – US Agency for International Development
WID/GAD – Women in Development/Gender and Diversity

And that’s not to mention things that have been shortened, and words that have been completely erased from our vocabulary and replaced with the Malagasy substitution.

Ah Madagascar, tsa mahay antsony izao aho…misaotra (ah Madagascar, I don’t know anything anymore now, thanks.


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