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Abstract

Rural development involves a system-wide change in rural communities which naturally requires a strong commitment by government to rural development on the one hand and the positive participation of rural people in the planning and implementation of rural prjects on the other. This paper considers govern­ment commitment as especially crucial to the process of project implementa­tion. This includes the activation of local government machinery, the execution of government tasks in support of rural projects and the monitoring of project performance. This case study analyses the critical role of political leadership in stimulating farmers, village leaders and government officials at the local level. It also de­monstrates that personal concern and the human aspect of the political system made the political system quite effective and functional in allorating resources, and facilitating institutional/legal rearrangement in favor of rural.development in Korea. This case study also analyzes the specific measures and steps taken by the government as part of its political commitment. These include organizational and institutional reforms, reorientation of the local government system to in­tegrated rural development, financial and budgetary commitment, extensive training of personnel outside and inside the government, suitable strategies in support of village enlightenment activities, and supporting policies and programs such as the high rice price policy and the agricultural research and development program. It should be borne in mind, however, that this study is concerned only with government commitment, which could not be effective without the positive response of the people, that is, without the people's active participation in self­help development projects at the grass-root level.

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