Spotlight on community development history – Saemaul Undong

As we celebrate our 65th anniversary year, we are going to put the spotlight on some of the key players who shaped our profession in those early days.
The Saemaul Undong, also known as the New Community Movement, New Village Movement,  was a political initiative launched in 1970 in South Korea by the Park Chung-hee dictatorship to develop rural communities.  The movement initially sought to also address and rectify the growing disparity of between Korea’s urban centres, which were rapidly industrializing, and the small villages, which continued to be mired in poverty.  The early stage of the movement focused on improving the basic living conditions and environments whereas later projects concentrated on building rural infrastructure and increasing income.  It influenced rural community development work in South Korea, which introduced professional CD training and encouraged practitioners and scholars to create a national association.  Saemaul Undong became a national brand in South Korea’s program for sharing its own development experience with other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America and has been seen by the World Bank and others as a model for community-led development.  You can find out more here
We are keen to hear from members about people who were influential in your countries in helping to shape the community development profession.