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Analysis and Implication of Community Support Program in Seoul

Hyun-Chan AhnㆍAyoung Gu


The Community Support Program (CSP) has been a major measure in the Community Empowerment Policy (CEP) of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) since 2012. The CSP is a package of 56 sub-programs operated by 11 divisions of SMG and 25 Autonomous District Governments (ADG:Gu). However, due to the lack of data management, the SMG has not examined outputs of the program comprehensively. This research analyzes the database of 4,937 projects in the CSP and their policy strategies and goals.

The analysis consists of three parts: participant, program and infrastructure, and program operating model.

In the participant part, the analysis results present the quantitative increase and qualitative growth of participants. The minimum number of participants was 128,743 for 4 years. As the number of participation increased, the more they tended to take part as representatives and participate in higher levels of CSP. Major participatory groups were females, the middle class, and persons in their 30s and 40s, which corresponded to the categories of gender, level of income, and age group, respectively. It is positive that participants became autonomous citizens; however, the methods for expanding and diversifying participation are needed.

In the program and infrastructure part, CSP operated based on gradual support strategies. The 56 sub-programs were constructed into five support levels: 1) seed formation, 2) activity, 3) space, 4) community network, and 5) community planning. The first level of the program had the most participation. As levels progressed, there was less participation. It is therefore necessary to reinfore support strategies of higher-level programs, as well as enhance the connectivity among levels.

The self-supporting rate was 18% of the budget execution amount. The budget execution of the CSP had shortcomings in self-supporting and customizing support principles. Thus, it is necessary to consider expanding self-supporting categories and diversifying ways.

There are 240 Community Spaces in Seoul, and the community space distribution shows the more the ADG has selected projects, the more community space it has. This proves that the local infrastructure is placed properly. However, most of these communities suffer from financial difficulties in paying rent and personnel expenses. Thus, a proper support plan to rectify these difficulties is needed.

In the program operating model part, SMG made an important decision in 2016 that it would transfer the local community support system from Seoul-si-lead to district-lead. By administrative districts, the number of selected projects differed by a max of 4.5 times, and the number of participants by 9 times. These differences imply that it is necessary to differentiate the size of intermediate workforce group and expertise.

This research has a significance on database construction for projects in the First Community Empowerment Policy Plan, providing a quantitative analysis of the result, and interpreting the policy goal and the aspect of realization of the strategies. This study is especially significant for using micro data and suggesting exquisite results in participants, projects, and budget, when compared to preceding research.

Database construction and application systems are required for regular policy evaluation and improvement. This analysis is more close to a quantitative assessment. It is needed to provide more comprehensive evaluation results on the changed in perceptions of participants, community networks, and satisfaction surveys.



01 Introduction

1_Background and Purpose

2_Content and Research Methods


02 Features and Issues of the Community Support Programs

1_Features and Current Status of the Programs

2_Literature Review of Existing Evaluation and Suggestions

3_Evaluation Framework and Database


03 Participant

1_Quantitative Increase of Participants

2_Qualitative Growth of Participants

3_Major Participatory Group


04 Program and Infrastructure

1_Program Operation by Gradual Support Strategy

2_Budget Execution by Self-supporting Principle

3_Community Spaces and Spatial Distribution


05 Execution Results by Autonomous Districts

1_Selected Projects by Autonomous Districts

2_Participants by Autonomous Districts



06 Conclusion

1_Summary and Policy Suggestions

2_Limitation and Assignment