IPPS in last year
IPPS in 2004

Democracy is possible through answerable and transparent organizations. In order to fulfill its part of those requirements, the Institute of Public Policy Studies (IPPS) seeks to report its annual activities. During 2004, IPPS continues the objectives of:

  • Promoting Democracy, Awareness and Participation in public policy.

    These objectives are pursued in 2 parallel paths of Policy Analysis and Civic Education, they will be discussed in turn under each type of activity: Seminar, Publication and Research. Civic Education Seminar will be further considered with regard to 3 target groups of young people, women and local communities. Finally, IPPS will report on the dissemination of information through the media and the training of its own staff. .

    In 2004, there were altogether 30 different activities whose further details are attached in the Appendix.

    1. Policy Analysis
    1.1 Seminar
    1.1.1
    A brainstorming seminar on Public Policy on Privatization was held on April 14 in Bangkok. The seminar reflected the (then) contentious issue of government policy on state enterprise privatization. Though only few participants were invited but all were key persons and the seminar provided a neutral forum for them.
    1.1.2
    A seminar and book launch titled Thais and Politics: Comedy or Tragedy? held on June 9 in Bangkok. The book was the result of one of IPPSs 2003 commissioned research, The Index of Political Developments Achievement after the Promulgation of the 1997 Constitution, by Dr. Abhinya Ratanamongkulmas and her team. Dr. Abhinya has written the book in an easy format suitable for the general public. The seminar, moderated by Dr. Abhinya herself, captivated the whole audience as she and two guest speakers, Dr. Narong Petchpraset and Dr. Anek Laothama-matat freely expressed their opinions and shared their view and experience of Thai politics. The seminar not only gave the audience a chance to re-investigate Thai politics but also the three speakers an opportunity to re-examine their own attitudes.
    1.1.3
    A brainstorming discussion on Rights and Liberties of the Thai People took place on August 19 in Bangkok with the objective of understanding these two words mentioned in the 1997 Constitution. A small group of academics and intellectuals were invited to share their view and the summary provided further research topics for IPPS.
    1.1.4
    A seminar and book launch on Political Culture and Political Reform was held on August 24 in Bangkok. The book is an outcome of Dr. Vichai Tunsiris, a former Minister of Education and Democrat Party-List MP, work on the role of culture and political development in the East-West context. At the seminar, Dr. Vichai was joined by Prof. Dr. Kasem Sirisampan, senior politician and former minister in the Kukrit Pramoj Administration, and the moderator was Mr. Kiatchai Pongoanich, senior advisor to the Matichon daily newspaper. IPPS is certain that the seminar added to the public awareness of democratic values in the process of political reform.
    1.2 Publication
    Bureaucracy Reform for Sustainable Development of the Country is a transcript of Dr. Chai-Anan Samudavanijas lecture to the Association of National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Alumni in March 2004. The lecture came out of his research on A Holistic Bureaucratic Development to Develop National Competence for the Office of the Public Sector Development. For more than two decades Dr. Chai-Anan has actively advocated for bureaucratic reform through his articles and public speaking. Finally in 2000, the Government mandated such reform. Under the Thaksin Administration this policy is being realized by various means and currently Dr. Chai-Anan is sitting on several committees with oversight of this matter. The book is a summary of WHY, WHAT and HOW to achieve bureaucratic reform for sustainable development in Thailand. It is short and presented in an easily comprehensible manner suitable for all readers.
    1.3 Research:
    In anticipation of the forthcoming general election in January 2005, IPPS commissioned 3 pieces of research in order to determine public awareness and the impact of election politics on public policy.
    1.3.1
    Thai Political Parties and Party System Under the 1997 Constitution-Phase 2 is the work of Ms. Siripan Nogsuan from Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University who already submitted her first phase in December 2003 and it is expected that her completed work will meet the objectives.
    1.3.2
    A Comparative Study on the Platform of Political Parties in the General Election of 2005 by Dr. Chaowana Trimas, whose previous researches appeared to IPPSs publications. Dr. Chaowana, is the Director of the Institute of Constitutional Studies of the Constitutional Court. He is planning to study the next general election campaign, particularly in the area of public policy and forecast the probable impact of the general election on the political, social and economic aspects of Thailand.
    1.3.3
    To Determine Public Policy on Natural Resources and the Environment by People Participation Process , by Mr. Buntoon Setsiroj of the Office of the Human Right Commission who proposes consider the effect, if any, of public participation on the direction of Governments policies on natural resources and environment management during the period of 2001 to 2004. It is expected that the result of the research would assist in guiding the quality and quantity of future public participation in seeking to influence Government policy on natural resources. It may also persuade the Government to make a policy commitment of public consultation and participation.
    Having examined Policy Analysis by means of Seminar, Publication and Research, the parallel path of IPPS work, Civic Education will be similarly discussed with its Seminar looked at through youth, women and local communities.

    2. Civic Education
    2.1 Seminar
    2.1.1 Young People
    IPPSs Master Plan 2004-2006 stated that civic education for 2004 is to promote the youngs understanding of parliamentary democracy. IPPS, therefore, has targeted its youth citizenship program at many different levels, from local to regional and national, so that young people can learn about their country and the rule of law.
    2.1.1.1
    The first youth citizenship event in 2004, The National Youth Citizenship Seminar and Workshop , was held in Bangkok on March 23-26. Its 130 participants were selected from the North and Northeastern participants who attended the Regional events in October 2003.
    2.1.1.2
    The second event Citizenship and the Rule of Law was on October 25-28 in Bangkok. This time participants were selected from students who attended National events in 2003 and 2004. The objectives now are: to encourage them to be role model citizens in a democratic society, to make them realize the necessity and importance of the Rule of Law and to enhance awareness of public responsibility amongst young people. The 4 day program was carefully designed to fulfill these objectives. Feedback was more than satisfactory; 86.17% said they were very satisfied with the overall program and 93.62% found the program topic very interesting.
    2.1.1.3
    After 2 years and 9 seminar and workshops on the youth citizenship program, IPPS asked 4 teachers and 5 temporary assistants involved to come for a one-day An Evaluation Meeting on the Young Citizenship Program in Bangkok on December 3. The outcome of the meeting supports continuing confidence in this program for 2005 and 2006.

    From participants of its young citizenship program, IPPS received 23 letters from students between the ages of 17-18; some of the reported achievements are as follow:

    1. Miss. Korapin Sriviroj, Suksasongkraw School, Cheingmai was nominated to be a leader of her young peoples group.
    2. Mr. Kasem Sa Fah, Suksasongkraw School, Cheingmai was voted as Head Student.
    3. Mr. Tosaporn Montriwong, Prueyai Witaya-banlang School, Sri Sa Ket was voted as the President of the Student Committee.
    4. Mr. Tanawat Bun-asa , Noenyang Pracha-samaki School, Kalasin was voted as the President of the Local Youth Committee involved with undertaking community service including acting as a conduit of information between the public and local officials.
    5. Mr. Pongsak Sinthuchai, Kamalasai School, Kalasin received an honorary certificate from the Office of Promotion and Protection of Children Welfare for to his enthusiasm in the process of democracy.
    6. Mr. Apichart Sopa, Kutsathein Witayakarn School, Nong Baulumpoo School, Nong Baulumpoo was accepted to a part-time job during his school vacation with a company in Bangkok.
    7. Miss. Orathai Hangsabut, Cheingwang Pitayakarn School, Udorn Thani has successfully promoted to her community a method of making a biological nutrient, gained from IPPS sight-seeing trip.
    8. Miss Matcharee Promnoi, Boonrueng Wittayakom School, Cheingrai has been honored as Best Student in her school and she later was appointed to become Head Student of her village. Her experiences with our seminar helped her successfully set up a community service group to promote environmental awareness among her community.
    9. Miss Walapa Praibung, Bri Bung Wittayakom Schook, Sri Sa Ket is being appointed to deputy president of her school. Her self-confidence and public minds motivates her to volunteer to become a school speaker on several occasions.


    2.1.2 Women
    2.1.2.1
    For its second target group in its Civic Education Seminar program, IPPS conducted 2 workshops, both titled A Development Program for Female Members of Tambon Administration Organization . The purpose was to improve skills, information, and effectiveness of women working in local administration and management in the Central and Northern regions of the Tambon Administration Authority (TAO). These two workshops were jointly organized with King Prajathipok Institute and the Office of Women and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. The first one was held in Bangkok on February 16-20 and second in Chiengmai on July 6-9.
    2.1.2.2
    In order for women to participate more in local politics, IPPS organized two one-day workshops. These are Potentiality of Female Politicians at the Local Level , in Amphor Mae Sod on April 1 and Promotion of Women Roles in the Political Leadership , in Amphor Muang on November 13, both in Tak Province. Target groups were actual and aspiring female local politicians. The main objective was to equip them with leadership skills in order to enhance their chances of promotion in local administration.
    2.1.3 Local Communities
    The third target group of IPPS Civic Education Seminar Program is the Local Community.

    2.1.3.1
    The Faculty of Science Management was established three years ago at Silpakorn University with the objective of promoting administrative decentralization by producing graduates to work in local governments. The curriculum focuses on local administration management. Students, all boarding in the rural Petchburi campus approximately 100 km from Bangkok, are encouraged to participate in the public affairs of their communities. A group of second-year students approached IPPS asking for assistance in developing an off-campus activity to promote better understanding in local communities. In order to acknowledge the importance of local power and local administration, we jointly designed a workshop, Local Power and Local Communities, to fulfill the students wish to reach out to the local communities. The three-day workshop was held in the Cha-Am district of Petchburi Province on August 25-27. After a whole day study-trip to Sam Ya Tambon Administration Organization, the students, on their last day, had an opportunity to present and to exchange views on local administration management with IPPSs staffs and lecturers.
    2.1.3.2
    While not a seminar or workshop, another activity under Civic Education was a Road to Democracy Walk Rally organized on October 15 for secondary school students and teachers from Haadyai Wittaya School, Songkla Province. IPPSs Road to Democracy Walk Rally is famous particularly because October 14 has now been designated as Democracy Day, and the historic events of October 14, BE 2516 are firmly endorsed in school curriculum. Moreover, each time IPPS organizes this Rally, it receives good cooperation from intellectuals and strongly support from Parliament both of which have members who participated in the October 14 Uprising.
    2.2 Publication:
    Other than seminars and workshops, Publication is the second type of activity IPPS undertakes to promote Civic Education. Human Rights: the Citizenship Edition is a compilation of Ass. Prof. Charun Ditha-apichais, a Human Rights Commissioner, articles published in IPPSs monthly newsletter between January 2002 and January 2004. The book promotes better understanding and strengthens human rights in an attempt to fulfill the Constitutional aim of safeguarding the rights and liberties of the Thai people.

    Young Thai Citizen, a product of the Youth Citizenship programs, outlines IPPS concept, background and objectives. It also has in detail: programs, activities and results. This book can be used as a record of IPPS achievement and to increase public awareness and to promote better understanding of the organization.
    2.3 Research
    The third area of activity on the path of Civic Education is Research. The Status of Civic Education in the Educational System of Thailand is a pilot study of civic education in the Thai school system. It seeks to determine what is being taught currently in the formal and non-formal educational systems. The researcher, Mr. Wiwat Catithammanit, will take random samples and test basic educational institutions across the country to consider the impact on democratic values, beliefs and competencies. It also plans to compare civic education in Thailand against global trends
    3. Media
    In addition to the parallel paths of Policy Analysis and Civic Education, IPPS has a program of promoting its objectives through the media by way of newsletter, website and its long standing radio program.

    Political Reform-Decentralization Newsletter and IPPS Website contain articles and reports of its activities. Democracy Monitoring is a monthly summary of political events.

    IPPSs radio program is broadcast every Saturday between 17.00-18.00 hours at MCOT 1494 KHz AM. Prof. Dr. Somsakdi Xuto is still the host. Details and topics of the discussions can be found in the Appendix and these weekly discussions are digitized into the Digital Voice Bank.

    4. Training
    Finally, in order to be fully answerable to its providers, IPPS undertakes regular staff training. IPPS Staff Training Program was held on October 7-8 at the Village Development Center, Subtai in Nakorn Rachasima Province in order to train staffs by providing them with new information and better techniques to develop IPPS activities in the coming years.

    To conclude, this Report has outlined IPPS 2004 activities in the pursuance of its objective to promote democracy and public awareness and participation. In broad terms it has conducted seminars and workshops, published books and reports and commissioned research and projects all geared to further its aims. Young People, Women and Local Communities are special targets, and the Media has been provided with regular news and articles through the newsletter, the website and radio programs.

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