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The Saemaul Undong : South Korea's rural development miracle in historical perspective

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  • The Saemaul Undong
  • Douglass, Mike
  • Asia Research Institute


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Title The Saemaul Undong
Similar Titles
Sub Title

South Korea's rural development miracle in historical perspective

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Douglass, Mike

Publisher

[Singapore]:Asia Research Institute

Date 2013-02
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Working paper:197
Pages 34
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Industry and Technology < Agriculture
Territorial Development < National Land Development
Holding Asia Research Institute

Abstract

Celebrated as one of the great success stories in rural development in the modern world, the Korean Saemaul Undong (SMU – New Village Movement) began in the 1970s as a community-based village modernization program that, when combined with a green revolution strategy, substantially increased rural incomes and quality of living. Although by the 1980s it had all but disappeared from Korea’s national development strategy, it continues to be represented as a model for rural development for other countries to emulate. Most recently, a refurbished SMU program has become a central feature of Korea’s foreign assistance to Asia, Africa and Latin America. The discussion here focuses on three questions. First, what were the main elements of SMU, and do they constitute a model for rural development? Second, how can we evaluate the successes and limitations of the SMU experience? Third, how does the current SMU program being exported to other countries differ from the original, and how does it fit into the contemporary world of rural development?