A visit from members of the Seoul Welfare Foundation in early May will mark the official launch of a research collaboration between the Foundation and the Center for Social Development (CSD). The research project will focus on the impacts of one of the Foundation’s major social programs, a matched savings program called the Hope Plus Savings Account Program, which is modeled on Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) in the United States. Dr. Seong-gyu Lee, President of the Seoul Welfare Foundation, will present a talk on the Hope Plus program and other important Foundation work at the Brown School on May 8th at 10 am in Goldfarb 246.
About the Program
Launched in late 2008, Hope Plus is a three-year pilot project that aims to assist working poor families in Seoul with savings in three areas: home purchase, education, and microenterprise. Each participant may deposit up to 200,000 Korean Won (US $200) per month for three consecutive years, and deposits are matched at a 1:1 ratio. It is estimated that participants can save as much as $14,400 in their accounts by program end.
About the Research
The research project will study the impacts of Hope Plus on low-income households using longitudinal survey research and qualitative research with in-depth interviews. CSD’s Yunju Nam will lead the research as Principal Investigator in close collaboration with Michael Sherraden and Youngmi Kim, who will both serve as Co-PIs. The Seoul Welfare Foundation’s Dr. Mihyun Kim and faculty at several universities in Korea will also take active roles.
About the Seoul Welfare Foundation
The Seoul Welfare Foundation was established by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2004 to enhance efficiency and professionalism in social welfare services in the Seoul metropolitan area. The Foundation’s programs and research projects guide future policy development in Seoul and beyond, including federal policy. Since 2007, the Foundation has included asset-building programs in its long-term strategic plan for social development for low-income households.