Phukae OTOP Complex: The Poverty Alleviation and Community Economic Promotion Scheme
Community Development Department

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Majority of the Thai people is currently suffering from impoverishment, lack of economic stability and indebted. The evident cause of these issues is unemployment, population increase, income disparities and low economic growth. The stark differences in income distribution, the gap in the quality of life also widens. The instability of the economy can lead to social issues, namely crimes, lack of access of education, medical services, and ultimately diminish mental health and determination. Impoverishment has always been part of Thai social issues. By definition, ‘poor people’ means people with insufficient income to support their basic livelihood. Poor people in Thailand cover most of the total population. Based on the 2012 Basic Needs Data, the income of Thailand’s population still falls below average (30,000 Baht/household/month). As for Saraburi province there is 156 households that fall below average. The main reason for this is because in the past the development process focuses solely on urban areas while neglecting rural surroundings, creating income and social disparity. From the aforementioned statement, it is clear that poverty is a national issue that requires help. Such help includes providing education to allow proper knowledge, promoting physical and mental health, providing useful information and creating job opportunities.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
1.Allow impoverished and disadvantaged to be part of selecting development approach by preference; 2.Seeking impoverished and disadvantaged from where they live in order to provide vocational training; 3.Adhere to collaborative process, from brainstorming, developing, cooperating to collective benefits.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Many agencies have provided facilities to train impoverished and disadvantaged. However, travelling costs and expense limitations impeded them from continuing the training and eventually resulted in a failure or below the expectations. In developing one’s potential, it must be based on the belief of the community development philosophy that ‘every person is competent if he or she is offer with proper opportunity and development’. In doing so would tackle the issue of poverty and lack of opportunity. By giving them education and career development that correspond and appropriate to their community and their abilities, they would be equipped with lifelong knowledge in taking care of themselves and their family members. Through the training by Saraburi Phukae OTOP Complex, the impoverished and disadvantaged received training based on their career preferences and require no training fee or any learning material expenses as they are covered by the Complex. Saraburi Phukae OTOP Complex has adjusted itself to focus on the teaching and training of impoverished and disadvantaged in the community and surrounding areas. Participants will become part of the ‘family’ and will be treated as such. They will be cared for and ensure to receive a good quality of life after the training. The Complex also ensures that any products produced by the participants, after completing the training, will be developed and distributed.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The development of human capital is based on the belief that everybody has the potential for development. Such belief sparks the idea of an Innovative Process Management. Such idea is based on the need for developing impoverished and disadvantaged in the communities in Saraburi province and neighboring provinces. Such development requires a readjustment of the training process that involves setting up a committee that is responsible for actively seeking and engaging those who are disadvantaged and invite them to participate in the training based on their interests and preferences. The training must conform to their respective social context and available resources.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The career and development promotion is an integrated effort between public, private and people sectors that come together to promote impoverished and disadvantaged who are unemployed, without income and unable to sustain their own livelihood and their family members. Community Development Department is one of the public agencies that promote the idea of career development and the use of the technology in such development. The Saraburi Administrative Office also provided support in such idea, while private sectors provided materials and equipment to be used for career development of impoverished and disadvantaged. The people sector provided land to the government to use as the Saraburi Phukae OTOP Complex and OTOP Academy. As for the participants, there are over 10,000 impoverished and disadvantaged selected from 965 villages in 13 districts in Saraburi, with 1,000 staffs and trainers to help provide necessary development trainings.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
In order to implement the guidelines, Saraburi Phukae OTOP Complex Committee started out by searching for impoverished and disadvantaged in the communities with the belief that “we must give before we receive, the more the better”. Our development processes are as follow: 1. Providing knowledge and objectives on providing vocational training to impoverish and disadvantaged that desire to train and improve and their livelihood; 2. Saraburi Phukae OTOP Complex Committee provides work suggestions on the field that the participants are interested in. Their habits and interests will be monitored for 1 month. After that, they will be inquired other fields of interest or assign other appropriate tasks and to find proper career development approach. Such training is free of charge. Apart from the training in the Complex, there are field studies and off-site training which would add value to their social capital and to live in the society with pride; 3. In terms of finance, finance management is merely the management of budget used in the Complex for providing training to impoverish and disadvantaged; 4. Raw materials use in career training came from the budgetary support of the Complex to promote career opportunities and skill enhancement for impoverished and disadvantaged; 5. Environment and sites from constructing training facilities were donated by the committee members who saw the importance of development quality of life to impoverished and disadvantaged. Construction budget was procured from Community Development Department while additional budget was given by government sectors in Saraburi province; 6. Follow-up on the career training involves satisfaction evaluation of service receivers and stakeholders based on 1) number of graduated participants that received invitation to be guest lecturers in community schools and surrounding areas; 2) inviting graduated participants to become guest lecturers more than once; and 3) participants who, after completing the training, have stable careers and incomes, and better livelihoods; 7. Administering OTOP School involves the selection of representatives from the committee members whom are part of the OTOP Network, District Level. 2 persons are selected per district, for a total of 26 appointees. There are administration regulations to abide by.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
There are many public sectors that participate in the development of Saraburi Phukae OTOP Complex and career training of impoverished and disadvantaged. One of them is Community Development Department (CDD) who provided support in the knowledge on how to build careers. Alongside CDD are the Office of Non-Formal and Informal Education (NFE), Department of Rural Roads, Saraburi Provincial Office whom provided construction budgets. As for the Local Administrative agencies, they will collaborate with local schools to bring students to the Complex to learn about life lessons and aware of the importance of preserving local wisdoms and resources. Private sectors contributed 6 Rais (approx. 5.7 acres), worth 2 million Baht, of land to build the Complex and OTOP Academy as well as necessary tools and equipment for training the impoverished and disadvantaged. The process of providing career training to impoverished and disadvantaged must involve meetings to find a collaborative approach to reduce unproductivity of resources, be they materials and equipment, as well as the development of quality of life, the ability of live with the society with pride and becoming role models.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Participants who joined the training revealed that, prior to the training, they felt inferior to people around them and afraid to publicly take actions as they are unemployed. After the completion of the training, they are now equipped with skills, competencies and potential to earn income and receive further knowledge on their own, and that they possess valuable human capital that they, their family members, and their friends that take pride of. The training serves as a barrier that expels poverty because participants will be knowledgeable and can use their training knowledge as a stepping stone to develop themselves even more, or even transfer their knowledge to others as they see fit. Furthermore, the training has change the perspective of the public towards impoverished and disadvantaged for the better. The constant urge for development and a systematic approach on searching what one’s good at and interested in helps increase human value. Using this in the training allows the training graduates to become self-confident and a good role model to youth, women and other impoverished and disadvantaged. They can act as inspiration and motivation to others to develop themselves and earn quality and honest living through their tacit knowledge. Such knowledge can then be further transfer to new generations and would protect them from poverty by means of employment. This success will then be expanded to development networks who can learn and adapt from this project into their own development approach.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Issues and obstacles encountered are target groups who are impoverished and disadvantaged who are unable to regularly commute to their respective groups due to their expense limitations. The practical approach is requesting OTOP Network in 13 districts of Saraburi province to select their target groups to participate in the project that will develop their career capabilities. Another issue is the difference of interests, competencies and skills of impoverished and disadvantaged and the need for the committee to equally provide proper and suitable training based on these differences. As such the committee held an informal interview to inquire participant and observed and noted their habits and interests. After the training has been completed based on said approach, it is found that the training graduates have the capability to take care of themselves and their families. With this success, the Complex continue will full devotion into finding more and more impoverished and disadvantaged individuals inside the province or surrounding areas to provide them with opportunities to create income and career development.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The training project has given the impoverished and disadvantaged a stable income and not becoming a social burden. The project has also reduced wasted government spending and would allow the spending to be allocated to the nurturing and development competent and skilled individuals. With developed individuals achieved, the community will then become a quality and happy community as everyone has jobs. Such employment success will then reduce crime, drug addiction, household debts, family issues, etc. Communities will cherish and hold on to their valuable knowledge and local wisdom passed down from their ancestors, community economic will become strengthened as well stable. Saraburi Phukae OTOP Complex felt immense gratitude of being able to produce valuable human capitals who are role models of development to youth and the public. Many local community members have now formed occupational groups to create bargaining power and adding value to their local products. In terms of relationship, the community has bonded strongly and has built a development network to further strengthen their groups. The 2015 Annual Individual Income data, Saraburi province is average at 75,188 Baht per person per year. Then after the career development training, said average annual income increased to 100,344 Baht per person per year.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
There are many contributing sectors involved in the driving forward of career development to youth, elderlies, adults, interested individuals, and impoverished and disadvantaged who want to development their competencies in career management. Community Development Department, one of the public sectors, provided a concept and participated in the establishment of the Complex with additional support from Saraburi Administrative Office and other head of government agencies who provided budgets in the construction of the Complex. They also contributed knowledge in various areas and help formed a committee who can become professional lecturers and trainers. The private sectors contributed with construction equipment and promote knowledge on administration and development of the Complex into becomes a main distribution center. OTOP products are gathered from inside and outside of the province from local producers and any other interested product developers, helping the Complex to branch out its skills into areas such as marketing channels. People sector has been involved in the entire process, beginning from the establishment of the Complex – in which the land for construction was given to the government by a local owner – to allow it to become and distribution center of local products. In terms of public contribution, participants who completed the training at the Complex shall be recognized by the community and local education institutes. Local schools will contact the Complex to find them certified lecturers who can provide career training to students. These schools have already this as one of their main subjects that students must learn. The Complex will then ask for cooperation from training graduates to provide training and lectures to students in schools and universities. This enables a collaborative process and builds awareness in the importance of the development of quality of life of the people in the community. Furthermore, by reducing time in the class and replace with the training, it would allow students to focus on their competency building and life lessons.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The principle concept on driving the work procedures of Saraburi Phukae OTOP Complex forward is to promote children and women and youth who are impoverished and disadvantaged to be able to access channels that enables them to development their potentials and competencies and becoming self-reliant and role models for communities and society. Most of the surrounding areas of the Complex are engaged in cement factory businesses as employees, are drivers, while some are housewives with no occupation. As such many women have leisure time and without proper income. As such, they are the Complex’s crucial target group in driving forward the project’s activities and are consider the success factor in that the project aims to produce training graduates who can become special or guest lecturers in schools, communities and surrounding areas. For the children, schools will add one subject in their learning curriculum as a way to promote awareness to youths and allow them to see the importance of honest work so as to impeding them from engaging in dangerous occupations that can potential harm themselves and people around them.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Community Development Department
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Sutarsinee Fusang
Title:   Ms.  
Telephone/ Fax:   +6621438923
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   ysupong@gmail.com  
Address:   The Govenment Complex Commemorating His Majesty , B Building , Floor 5
Postal Code:   10210
City:  
State/Province:   Bangkok
Country:  

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