Exchange Programs

Inventory of International Educational, Cultural, and Training Programs Gao ID: NSIAD-93-157BR June 23, 1993

This briefing report provides an overview of U.S. government-funded international educational, cultural, and training exchange programs. GAO provides an inventory of federally funded international exchange and training programs; discusses potentially duplicative, overlapping, or fragmented programs; assesses the extent of program coordination and oversight; and identifies some legal requirements that some executive branch officials claim limit their ability to manage international exchange programs.

GAO found that: (1) the 16 agencies in its review have reported spending $655 million for 75 programs covering about 54,000 participants; (2) recent legislation has created new programs for Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and expanded the scope of existing programs; (3) some programs could be duplicative, since they target the same participants and the lines of responsibility between the Agency for International Development (AID) and the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) are not clear; (4) USIA does little active coordination of exchange programs; (5) the only formal USIA oversight and coordination effort is the publication of an annual report listing U.S. government-funded international exchange and training programs, but the publication does not include all programs; (6) some nongovernment organization officials believe AID and USIA should conduct more program evaluations; and (7) agency officials believe that authorizing legislation gives them flexibility in managing programs, but funding may be delayed or reduced by congressional earmarks.

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