Saemaul Undong, which means “New Village Movement” in Korean, was implemented by the Government of the Republic of Korea in the 1970s as a rural development programme that significantly reduced rural poverty by increasing household incomes, improving basic infrastructure and services, revitalizing local communities and empowering women.
Drawing on the experiences from the Republic of Korea, UNDP established the Saemaul Initiative towards Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities, which is adapting and updating the Saemaul experiences to respond to local challenges spanning from food insecurity to poverty and exclusion, fragility and conflict.
Based on the knowledge and lessons from the Saemaul Undong programme, we are jointly blending Saemaul principles with community grown development experiences. Such a model is currently being adapted in six countries across three continents, in Bolivia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Rwanda, Uganda and Viet Nam.
This approach has delivered several practice solutions from its pilot countries and will be further scaled-up through South-South and triangular cooperation and the utilization of SSMart for SDGs.