• Economic
    Modernization of Korea's rural sector
    Increased agricultural household income
    Eradicated the global stereotypical view of the "helpless" rural village
    Improved the agricultural production structure by employing machinery and improving agricultural management
  • Social
    Raised the standard of life in the rural sector
    Higher education of the rural population
    Modernized lifestyles in agricultural households
  • Attitudinal
    "Can-Do Spirit," a collective confidence-building effort, was promoted across the country
    Higher levels of self-help, cooperation, and mutual trust
    More emphasis was placed on practical benefits, rather than on unnecessary formalities
    Promoted rational goal-oriented behavior
    Belief that a better future can be cultivated with our own abilities
    Progressive and scientific attitudes
    Fueled expansion of the Korean tradition of helping others

Success factors

Success factors may be summarized into 5 factors.

The government supported the residents at the appropriate time to lead their voluntary participation.
The government did not interfere in but defined the guideline for skills so it caused the residents voluntarily participated in the project and elect their leader by themselves as well as to decide their own project.
There was a dedicated leader and the government cultivated a leader with strong leadership through Saemaul Undong training.
The leader served his or her duty without pay and took a role as a leader through concentrated training in the Saemaul Undong Central Training Institute.
In addition, the government chose an effective way to support by inducing competitiveness based on self-help spirit with the principle of 'supporting the predominant village first'.
It graded villages into 3 classes such as basic, self-help and self-reliance village.
Therefore, the people worked harder and harder to get more resources.
It was implemented in a village unit. An optimal condition to expand this movement was an old and traditional town which is interested in community consciousness and public interest of the residents.

Five Steps of Saemaul Undong Movement

  • The government’s systematic support
  • Voluntary participation of villagers
  • Nurturing Saemaul leaders
  • Preferential support for outstanding village
  • Villages as a basic implementation unit