Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives (300 words maximum)
The initiative's ultimate goal is to increase the ability to solve problems and respond to the people’s situational demands by successfully mobilizing the 17 villages in the community via the mechanism of the council with the assistance and support from trainers.
There are two significant challenges aimed to address as follows.
1. 90% of the population are engaged in farming once a year with typically high expenses and negative impacts on their health. In addition, excessive money is regularly being spent on alcohol consumption, leading to illnesses and domestic problems in the community. Finally, lack of proper trash sorting and disposal and agricultural products polluted with harmful chemicals are both well-known issues that directly influence the community's well-being.
2. Training of trainers or coaches aims at empowering the Community Leader Council and Leader Council to be diverse and ready to mobilize the community via the provided mechanism. Therefore, the trainers or coaches must constantly engage in transferring knowledge to the leader councils.
Objectives of the Project
The following are the three goals that this initiative aims to achieve.
1. To raise the potential of the Pukmai Local Administrative Organization personnel to be certified as “Trainers”.
2. To raise the potential of the Community Leader Council to serve as an organization that mobilizes the self-reliant community.
3. To improve the community's ability to solve problems by involving people in various areas, such as minimizing farm chemicals, introducing domestically grown vegetables for consumption, reducing alcohol consumption, trash separation, and garbage disposal, lowering unnecessary expenses, and bringing well-being to the community.
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category (100 words maximum)
The initiative behind the innovation project “Pukmai Self-Management Community” is in line with the Category 2 Award. It is directly related to enhancing the effectiveness of public institutions to reach the SDGs. The initiative's development strategy, which emphasizes the reliant-community concept, may inculcate the appropriate thought process for the community, as the government's top-down management scheme cannot practically and successfully respond to the needs or solve the local people's issues. Moreover, by empowering the community with knowledge and skills and promoting participation from all sides, management theories can be converted into actual practice, resulting in the community's sustainable development.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation (200 words maximum)
The 'Self-Reliant Pukmai Community Innovation Project' seeks to mobilize all community activities by demonstrating sustainable development in several key areas. For example, people can spend less money on their agricultural farming costs, as well as the reduction of domestic household expenses. The activities can also help preserve ecosystem balance, restore deteriorated soil, and supply various vegetables for domestic consumption. Furthermore, they can lessen the health concerns associated with air, water, and soil contamination. Such innovation also gives the tools to the people in the community to make wise and timely decisions. It allows them to manage the natural resource to yield the best and most beneficial results for their well-being. Furthermore, people’s participation can also promote transparency among the work teams while effectively assigning responsibilities to various groups of people in the community.
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms (100 words maximum)
The initiative's implementation contributes to long-term sustainability in the three categories indicated below.
(1) Social: the initiative utilizes the mechanism to mobilize activities for all 17 villages, creates opportunities for participation, sets up rules and community guidelines, and builds trust among people in the community.
(2) Economic: The initiative encourages rice farmers to use fewer or no chemicals in their farms and cut down on their alcohol consumption.
(3) Environmental: the initiative can decrease contamination in water, air, and soil through the practice of trash separation and garbage disposal activities.
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
Governmental or public services are unable to reach out to the community fully and, as a result, are unable to solve problems as effectively as they should be. The ‘Self-reliant Community Development System’ starts off the participation process guided by the Community Leader Council's mechanism. Their members are drawn from a variety of demographics and age categories. All strategic plans are based on actual data gathered from the community's residents. Economic data, for example, can contain occupation and unemployment rates.
In contrast, social data include the elderly, the poor, youngsters, females, and handicaps. Environmental issues require actual data on the cleanliness of the households, trash and garbage disposal, healthcare services, as well as illnesses often caused by alcohol drinking and chemicals used on farmlands. It is essential to secure enough funding and resources to pursue solutions for all of the problems mentioned above for people to have their concerns addressed and attended to.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
The local Administrative leader or village head nominates a committee whose members are selected from each village (all 17 villages of Pukmai Sub-district). There are now 255 people (230 males and 25 females). Altogether, there are 626 members in the Community Leader Council (344 males and 285 females). The ratio gives opportunities to female members to play significant roles in their assigned responsibilities and make sure that problems are solved without any biases involved.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
There are two target groups for this initiative as follows.
1. Community Leader Council: the initiative raises the council's potential by collecting actual data for detailed analysis of the community’s conditions and situations using the Problem Tree Diagram. With the self-reliant community concept, the initiative draws up plans to evaluate the strength of the community, which is to be measured in 9 dimensions and monitored by the Action Research Evaluation (ARE) process.
2. People of Pukmai Sub-district: 1230 households or 6,459 people live in Pukmai Sub-district. All of whom strictly abide by the community rules and guidelines set forth by the Community Leader Council, which result in the successful practice of reducing chemicals in farmlands, lowering occupational costs, increasing more homegrown vegetables which are clean and healthy. Besides, it can lower household expenses, higher level of safety from toxic contamination, less alcohol drinking in public or during the merit-making events in the community, fewer disagreements or domestic violence, promote a cleaner and more pleasant community, and improve well-being for everyone in the community.
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
The initiative was carried out in the following steps and phases.
1. Pukmai Local Administrative Organization aimed at raising the potential of its key personnel, enabling them to become “Trainers or Coaches” of the community. They are provided with knowledge and skills and the tools to use to transfer the thought process to the people, giving them valid advice, as well as helping to mobilize activities within the community.
2. Raising the potential or caliber of the Community Leader Council's potential or caliber aims to strengthen the council and empower them with knowledge and tools to encourage people’s participation. It is believed people can contribute their ideas and present their situational problems to the council in terms of economic, social, environmental, and health issues. The council then uses Problem Tree Diagram to tackle the problems while applying the Ladder of Results to perform performance evaluations.
3. The Leader Council collects and keeps data of people in order to monitor the changes. The data is then analyzed to verify success, identify failures, and record the lessons learned from each campaign/activity. Issues of focus include reducing chemicals on farmlands, operational costs for farming, soil conditions, etc.
Evaluation of Results
1. Trainers of the innovation project apply the Action Research Evaluation (ARE) process. They can also transfer knowledge, provide advice, and become speakers on outstanding issues.
2. The increasing degree of participation in the community reflects the strength of the Community Leader Council.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
The self-governing community must have knowledgeable and skilled trainers to empower the community and lead them towards the intended goals. Trainers are obviously from different backgrounds and thus have different levels of skills and talents. This problem can be resolved via the use Action Research Evaluation (ARE) process to monitor progress and work in a results-oriented manner. The collected data are well assessed and analyzed in order to promote learning and useful application.
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
A self-reliant Community Development system is employed to raise the potential of the personnel by instilling the systematic thought process, converting theories into practice, and relying on “the Trainers”. They are well trained to empower the Community Leader Council via the provided mechanism.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiatives in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
Mr. Chokchai Limpradit, the Village Head, is capable of mobilizing the community’s activities by using the community’s top minds as a support team. Pukmai Local Administrative Organization thus uses the same concept in community management through the use of the Community Leader Community consisting of members from the local communities. Trainers are also standing by, ready to give valid advice and consultation.
c. If emerging and frontier technologies were used, please state how those were integrated into the initiative and/or how the initiative embraced digital government. (100 words maximum)
The process of empowering the Community Leader Council includes establishing communication channels between trainers and the Community Leader Council so that advice and knowledge can be promptly shared with the community via mobile phones, the LINE App, Facebook pages, and other communication channels.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
Publicizing of Results/Achievements
1. Extending the invitation to interested people who wish to participate in the mobilization of the community to join forums for learning and knowledge transfers. The aim is to integrate mobilization efforts among other provinces’ councils in Srikaket, Surin, and Ubonratchathani provinces. Such efforts may include
- Learning from the center stage. Lectures are to be given by academics, experts to transfer the knowledge and experience to the audience.
- Dividing the audience into groups of interests and sharing success stories in the mobilization of the community.
- 300 copies of the publication covering the Pleasant Community under the mobilization of the Community Leader council, to be given to the network partners of the Thai Health Organization and uploaded onto Pukmai Local Administrative Organization’s website.
- Producing digital content to highlight the success of the project. There are 12 video clips released on community radios, Thai PBS TV station, Thai-E-sarn page, channels of the Thai Health Organization, and Naew Na newspaper.
2. Two major sources for learning including 2 villages that partook in the mobilization of the community via the provided mechanism; BaanSingKrai and BaanKraSang.
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
The organization manages the budget and human resources by understanding how to mobilize the community through community leaders and trainers.
- Trainers give advice and recommendation, draw up project proposals, and transfer the knowledge. The trainers can also use the right tools and apply them to the community while using the Action Research Evaluation process to monitor the result.
- Community Leader Council coordinates with the Pukmai Local Administrative Organization regarding budget, third party’s assistance to support the people's needs.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
Community Leader Council members consist of people from various communities. Their roles and responsibilities are well defined in mobilizing the community’s activities. Village Head chairs the council and is in charge of the public forums to formulate rules or regulations and common guidelines. The council and the community meet periodically to evaluate the council's performance, ensuring a strong community with sustainable development.
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
(1) Evaluation of Trainers was conducted by the Chief of the Pukmai Local Administrative Organization.
(2) Evaluation of the Strong Community Leader Council was assessed by members and the trainers.
(3) Evaluation of the Strength of the Community was performed by the council and the people through observation, group meetings, and data collection.
(Evaluated by Third Party)
(1) Evaluation of Local Administrative Organization was awarded ‘Outstanding Management’, conducted by the Office of the Decentralization to the Local Government Organization Committee in 2021.
(2) Evaluation of the people’s satisfaction, conducted by the sample group of 200 Pukmai Sub-district residents.
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used (100 words maximum)
(1) The trainers fully support the community’s mobilization mechanism. The effectiveness is measured by the Action Research Evaluation tool. (ARE)
(2) Strong Community mobilization mechanism is measured by performance indices on the Ladder of Results.
(3) 9 Dimensional strengths of the community are implemented and practiced among people in the community.
(4) The Pukmai Local Administrative Organization can define and respond to the community's problems in a timely manner.
(5) Generate positive results or outcomes in 4 areas: economy, society, health, and the environment.
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how this information is being used to inform the initiative’s implementation. (200 words maximum)
Raising the potential and capability of human resources
Trainers must constantly improve their own skills and knowledge to effectively empower the community with valid and useful advice and lead them towards a strong community. Members of the Community Leader Council are chosen from groups of local people. They must be able to trigger cooperation and participation from the community in the collection and analysis of data and get everyone to follow the community guidelines.
1. Strong Community Leader Council categorizes the strength of villages into three levels. (Level A = 9 villages), (Level B = 6 villages), and (Level C = 2 villages) based on the Ladder of Results.
2. The community can reduce the use of chemicals in the rice fields, ban alcoholic beverages, start domestically-grown vegetables for consumption, trash separation, and garbage disposal, and promote physical exercises.
The Sustainability of Results
The 3-year mobilization mechanism is applied in the planning and embedded strongly in the people in charge of the council. Two villages are serving as a model for learning.
Please describe how the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape (for example, how it was situated with respect to relevant government agencies, and how the institutional relationships with those have been operating). (200 words maximum)
1. The Community Leader Council of 17 villages, comprised of village heads, committee members, and representatives from various groups, was formed to create communication channels in the community. The community guidelines are being communicated to everyone in the community, and the activities are being rigorously monitored to reflect the community's ability to govern itself. Pukmai Local Administrative Organization converts key personnel into trainers or coaches who can visit the communities to give valid recommendations and consultation to the people.
2. The Thai Health Organization provides support in the field of knowledge and other resources to ensure community empowerment.
3. Other public sectors:
(1) Public Health units/agencies provide support in healthcare and monitor the progress of activities relative to intended results.
(2) Huay Tabtan District empowers the Chief of Sub-district, and Village Head (serving as Chairman of the Council)
(3) BaanSamRong Model Community serves as a model for learning and practice for the council and the trainers.
(4) The Northeastern Pleasant Community management center raises the potential of the trainers.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
The Community Leader Council empowers the trainers in promoting people’s participation in drawing up strategic plans, the data-collection process, and the analysis of situational problems and issues in the economy, society, the environment, and health through major public forums. Results which are introduced into the Action Research Evaluation (ARE) process participated by the Community Leader Council, community members, trainers, network partners. Should progress not meet expectations, the plans were revised and improved to reach their set goals more effectively.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
The closest governmental organization to people is the Local Administrative Organization, whose primary responsibility is to strengthen the community through the innovated development system towards a self-reliant community. The activities must be mobilized continuously for a period of at least three years.
Empowering the Community Leader Council can be done by having trainers pay community visits regularly to collect the data and constantly stay in touch with the people in the community. The use of cell phones, LINE Application to give advice or recommendation in a timely manner is key to solving the community’s problems. Trainers’ meeting is also vitally important as knowledge transfers and exchanges are crucial to monitoring the community's changes along with the Action Research Evaluation tool applied to gauge the true strength of the community.
Strong Community Leader Council must always have strategic plans in place and always subject to any necessary revision to respond to the situational and spontaneous needs of the people in the community. All activities or projects related to the self-reliance community concept must be considered by the Local Administrative Organization, which must be listed and translated into community policy and guidelines that satisfy the needs of the people.