The purpose of the visit was to evaluate a KOICA development program for the eradicated people in Guatemala which has been conducted since 2007 for two years. The program aimed to help refugees from the 36-year Mexican Civil War settle in four separate regions by providing community facilities and vocational trainings.

As of 2011, it has been two years since the completion of the program, and now is the appropriate time to evaluate the effects of the program. The interesting fact was that the four separate regions each showed different outcomes, indicating which programs were more effective than others and which factors played a significant role in the achievement of those results.

Since the program was conducted in rural areas, external factors worked as important variables. In case of Nuevo Horizonte, the local residents actively participated in the program; they carried out a special public relations campaign to the tourists to announce the opening of a museum constructed on the second floor of the community hall, which increased the income of the town.

On the contrary, in the case of Nuevo Mexico, even though there were facilities for woodwork and sewing, as well as the will of the residents to work, the insecurity of the main road to the town decreased the will of the trainers to visit the area.

In Resurreccion Balam, there was a computer class installed at the community hall open to the public. It was a rather humble and simple facility, but it saved much time of the youngsters in the village, for they didn¡¯t have to take the 30-minute ride to the city to learn how to use computers.

One of the main objectives of development projects would be to make positive changes in human lives. Therefore, it is crucial to check whether a certain development project is actually making those positive and qualitative changes in the lives of the recipients, not just changes that appear in the statistics.

For instance, the fact that a brazier installed at a household in a rural village in Guatemala facilitated the family in cooking meals is only the superficial result. What is more important is the fact that the brazier shortened cooking time for women in the household and thus enabled them to use the extra time in other productive activities, and consequently make women¡¯s and other family members¡¯ lives much better.

This two-year evaluation is not enough. Even though a development project has its limited cycle for certain years, ¡°development¡± is an on-going process that has no end. This is the crucial fact that development experts should bear in mind when planning and managing development projects.