The Korean Story discusses the socio-political and historical context that has shaped the economic growth of South Korea. It probes into how South Korea, post the Second World War, was able to transform its economy within three decades, to emerge as a leading innovation and technology center in the 21st century.
It highlights South Korea’s current status in terms of human development indicators and the SDGs and offers insights on how other countries can achieve similar growth stories with structured reform and policy measures.
The course features modules from eight leading Korean experts in economics, politics, education, health, gender empowerment, rural development, and transportation. The eminent thought-leader in economics and sustainable development, Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, presents the introductory module about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while especially focusing on the Korean experience of setting goals and targets to achieve them.
The Korean Story: Secrets of an Economic Miracle is developed and produced by the KDI School of Public Policy and Management, in partnership with the SDG Academy.
Module 1: Introduction An introduction to the SDGs and South Korea’s experience of mobilizing partnerships for achieving them.
Module 2: The Korean Economic Miracle: Its Secrets & Lessons An overview of Korea’s reforms that spearheaded its economic and financial growth.
Module 3: Accumulating Human Capital for Sustainable Development in Korea A bird’s-eye view into the three pillars of human capital in Korea - expansion of educational opportunities, skill-building and combating brain-drain.
Module 4: Health Policy and Universal Health Coverage A scrutiny of Korea’s health policy, which includes universal health coverage, immunization programs, establishing public health centers and providing national health insurance for all.
Module 5A: Achievements of the Korean Rural Saemaul Movement (1) The rise of the Saemaul Movement, its motivations and how it was implemented at the local level.
Module 5B: Achievements of the Korean Rural Saemaul Movement (2) This module continues describing the Saemaul Movement while focusing on its impacts, particularly for women empowerment, reforestation, and leadership.
Module 6: Environment and Global Considerations A description of the environmental challenges that Korea faced during its growth years and the paradigm shift towards achieving green growth.
Module 7: The Role of Women in Korean Development A review of the status of women in Korea's history and how women’s rights and political participation came about.
Module 8: Politics of Making Development Sustainable in South Korea A critique of the political economy of Korea through the 'miracle years' and its larger implications for development practice.
Module 9: Economic Growth and Transport Investment in South Korea How dedicated policies and reform in Korea’s transportation sector influenced its growth story. Module 10: Leveraging Korean Experience The final module shows Korea’s current and future standing with the SDGs and how best to leverage Korea’s experience.
Byoung-Joo Kim, Soogil Young, Do-Hyun Han, Sung Jin Kang, Eun Kyung Kim, Soonman Kwon, Ju-Ho Lee, Jaehak Oh and Jeffrey D. Sachs