Authors: Hong-bin Yim; Christine Joo

Although commercial electricity was introduced to Korea in 1897, access to electricity remained extremely limited for rural residents of Korea through the 1960s. The government of the Republic of Korea launched the Rural Electrification Project to promote economic growth and balanced development across the nation. By extending power supply to rural areas, the project aimed to improve productivity, education, culture, health, hygiene, and overall quality of life in disadvantaged rural communities. The project offered long-term, low-interest loans for the construction of power distribution centers. Significant improvements in quality of life and well-being were shown as the country achieved a 99.8 percent electrification rate by 1987. The project also increased agricultural productivity as well as income in rural areas and greatly contributed to the development of the domestic electricity industry. This case study, as well as a delivery note adapted by Christine Joo from the original case study, examines how this project was implemented.