Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Expert Group Meeting on SMART Indicators and Lessons from Korea

17-19 December 2008. UNECA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The objectives of the meeting were to review the unique particulars of African agriculture and the related implications for the achievement of a green revolution and rural transformation; review approaches of agricultural and rural development in Africa; develop a common Sustainable Modernisation of Agriculture and Rural Transformation (SMART) index using indicators of SMART potential and readiness; and review “Saemaul Undong”, the Korean successful approach to rural development and discuss the applicability of “Saemaul Undong” approaches as a viable model for agricultural and rural transformation in Africa.

Thirty indicators of a successful SMART were identified for numerical quantification and the process of developing an index for SMART potential and readiness was initiated.

SU is a community development model in Korea that aims to empower people and raise their capacity to make decisions on their own development. It is a bottom up approach that uses diligence, self-help, cooperation and the ‘can do spirit’ in the rural community. Usually a seed (input) material is provided by an external agency or national government to help kick start the community effort. SU has recorded successful rural development initiatives in South Korea, Viet Nam, Thailand and recently, in a community in Congo-Brazzaville.

The SU model is to contribute to the SMART and Green Revolution in Africa. The Korean government, through UNPOG, will assist in the introduction of the SU concept into Africa.

Saemaul Undong
Sustainable Modernisation of Agriculture and Rural Transformation Project Document