IPPS in last year
IPPS in 2008

This year IPPSs 30 activities can be grouped by their different aims:

  • to analyze public policies,
  • to provide civic education, and
  • to conduct and publish research
Each aim has different methodologies, activities and target groups, which can be summarized as follow:

Public Policies
There were 7 events conducted through seminars, public forums and brainstorming programs. They focused on issues such as, Decentralization of Power, Administration, Education, and Finance at national and local levels. They were intended to stimulate the public to become aware of their rights and to encourage them to participate more actively in public interest issues.

Civic Education
The 12 civic education seminars and workshops were geared towards special groups such as, the young and people in the provinces, particularly in rural areas.

These are to make them aware of their individual and community rights and for them to be able to exercise these rights through legal mechanisms. Civic education enhances a persons understanding of citizenship, allows him to understand the impact and repercussion of public policies and guides him to legal processes which he can use for public benefit.

Research and Publication
The 10 activities under this category provide significant support to public policy and civic education activities. Topics are carefully chosen to do this, and the most appropriate authors are selected. The researches are then published to create a store of knowledge assets. IPPS website is also grouped under this category.

In order to present the total sum of the activities in more digestible format, this year, we have tabulated the activities in 4 pages under their different aims of public policy, civic education and research and publications.

In addition, an explanation of IPPS methodologies will illustrate how one method is chosen over another in any particular event. The three methods are: public seminar, brainstorming seminar and workshop/seminar workshop.

Public seminar
This method aims to provide a forum where the general public with different ideas can share views on any given topic or issue. Distinguished speakers are invited to present their ideas and afterwards the floor can ask questions and make comments. This activity aims not to obtain a consensus or an agreement but to remind and to stimulate the public on certain issues, mostly public policy. This method is sometimes used for civic education programs when the audience is too numerous or too diverse to be divided into working groups.

Brainstorming seminar
This method also aims to provide a forum, but to smaller groups of interested people, so they can share views on certain topics. The audience is carefully selected and there might or might not be a keynote speech from an expert. If it becomes more like a dialogue amongst participants, it is sometimes called a public conversation forum.

Workshop/seminar workshop
This method targets a selected group, on a particular issue, and aim to stimulate their interest through activities. If academic or distinguished speakers are available, it would start with lectures, but the main activity is focused on brainstorming among the participants and their subsequent presentation. Our civic education programs were recently changed from training activity to this workshop method.

These are show chronologically below, followed by a summary of each:


Details of all activities in chronological order

  1. Empowering Local Communities: a civic education public seminar and workshop, on January 30th, 2008 at the Diamond Plaza Hotel, Amphor Muang, Surat Thani Provinces, to acknowledge the communities to be aware of their rights and be able to exercise them accordingly to legal mechanisms. The objectives were to convene a tri-partite meeting for local communities, local state and central state agencies to exchange views and find solutions for communities problem. Program activities included lectures to give understanding of community rights, regarding to the Constitution and other laws, such as environmental. Workshop by state environmental officers to demonstrate and train community representatives on method and techniques to monitor water pollution in the Tapi River. The afternoon session provided another workshop for local people to analyze problems and find solutions by themselves. Bonds of cooperation between local people of different communities and between local communities and state agencies were established and representatives from different communities finally agreed to form a group to tackle community problems.

  2. Inspiring Young People to Become Active in Their Communities: a civic education workshop, on February 7-9, 2008 at Pang Chang Resort in Hang Chat District, Lumpang Province, to inspire high school and vocational students to realize their own worth and to encourage them to become responsible social adults. The activities included interactive lectures on important matters such as, citizenship, civil rights and responsibilities, and leadership qualities and personalities. Workshop, including exchange of views with actual working people, was done to stimulate the participants to pay interest and participate in public matters in their real life. From our observation and the participants comments, we concluded that they had gradually changed for the better.

  3. National Strategy on the Community Rights: a civic education public seminar and workshop, on March 18, 2008 at the Diamond Plaza Hotel, Amphor Muang Surat Thani Province, to follow up our program held on January 30, 2008 and strengthen the bond of cooperation between several local communities. Target group and program methodology were similar but additional objective was to encourage local communities to set up Community Council to manage natural resources. From working group presentation, it was observed that there was some gap between the first and second time comers. Moreover, the villagers or locals were more familiar with the idea of state patronage than self-determination-self-help. However, a man was elected to become the chairperson of the environmental protection group and it was anticipated that he could play active role in unite his community and share his ideas and experiences with other communities.

  4. Draft Bill on the National Human Rights Commission [Second Round]: a brainstorming policy analysis seminar, on March 28, 2008 at the Asia Hotel, Bangkok. This program was first held on October 8, 2007 at the Beijing Room, Asia Hotel, Bangkok, to provide a forum for intellectuals, human rights officers and activists to share views on a draft Bill on the Human Rights Commission. The Constitution empower other agencies to submit alternative drafts, to be read with the governments draft, in the Parliament. Our objective was to assist in the drafting of this alternative draft by providing a free discussion, from stakeholders such as lawyers, academics and people working in human rights fields, to ensure public benefit. Their comments were concluded by the moderator and noted by the drafter for future revision.

  5. A Study on Model and Indicators Towards Management Process of Strong Community in Thailand: a brainstorming public policy analysis, on April 24, 2008 at Rama Garden Hotel, Bangkok, to brainstorm and collect comments and recommendations of the participants who were university academics in community development fields, regional community representatives, state officials, NGOs and private sectors representatives. The seminar based on a study paper of Asso. Prof. Wanadhama Kanjanasuwan of Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University and all comments will be used to improve his work.

  6. An Analysis of the Political Development Council Act of B.E. 2551 [2008]: a brainstorming public policy seminar, held on May 22, 2008 at Faculty of Social Administration Thammasart University, Bangkok, in response to the recently enforced Act. Academics and intellectuals, NGOs, government officials, media, university students and interested persons attended to examine the Act and explore possibilities of increasing the Political Development Councils independence and public participation while improving political development in Thailand through a more effective use of the Act, which was substantially revised from its original draft during went through the National Assembly. One of the major change is an independency- in which the final version saw the Council being supervised by King Prachathipok Institute, headed by the House Speaker, a senior member of the ruling party. Suggestions were made on possible solutions and future course of actions.

  7. Citizens in a Democratic Society: a civic education seminar workshop, between May 27-28, 2008, at Louis Taverns Hotel in Bangkok. Participants were the youth who participated in IPPSs Youth Citizenship Program during 2002-2006. Objectives is to enrich them with significance of politics in daily life in a democratic society. Focuses were on the roles and obligations of a citizen, particularly those towards their parliamentary representatives. The program gave us opportunity to follow-up their political and citizenship development and we delightedly learn that most of our participants, included those 41 who were able to attend the program, are now studying in universities. The two-day workshop was fully alert and active and the participants were stimulated to be more analytical and objective in their judgment. This workshop pattern was adopted in IPPSs following civic education programs.

  8. Thai political Development from Siam to Thailand: was the first of our serial civic education public seminar program covering the 4 regions. Objectives were to examine Thai democratic development from 1932, when Siam changed from absolute monarchy to democracy, to the present. The topic was carefully chosen to stimulate the audiences to find solutions to current political problems by looking at examples from the past. The life and literature of Mom Rajawong Nimitmongkol Nawarat [B.E. 2541-2491]; a twice political prisoner shortly after Thailand, then called Siam, turned from absolute monarchy to democracy, was investigated to find similar incidence and to stimulate the audience to share views on how to avoid similar mistakes and to overcome current political problems. This first program was held on June 19, 2008, to commemorate the month Thailand first became democratic society, at Jumpot-Panthip Room, Prachathipok-Rampaipannee Building, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

  9. Civil Society and the Political Development Council: a policy analysis public seminar, on June 12, 2008 , at Ratjabhat Udon Thani University, Udorn Thani province, to publicize and inform the public about the recently enactment of the Political Development Council Act B.E. 2551. The Act immensely impact on the public so a public forum is held to strengthen civil society networks in the region so they can play their part in formulating policies, make decisions about public services, and monitor the exercise of state power.

  10. Draft Bill on the National Human Rights Commission [Third Round]: the third policy analysis brainstorming seminar held on July 29, 2008. The event was to follow-up the drafting of the National human Rights Commission Bill and allowed in-dept discussion on all issues concerned. It was expected, before the activity ended, that the draft Bill would be finalized after this third meeting, but, as there were many comments, both structurally and elementally, it was agreed at the seminar ended that the fourth revision is needed.

  11. Thai Political Development from Siam to Thailand [Second Round]: the second civic education public seminar was held on the second round on August 18, 2008 at Ratjabhat Ubon Ratchathani University in Ubon Ratchathani Province in the northeastern region.

  12. Thai Political Development from Siam to Thailand [Third Round]: the third civic education public seminar was held on the third round on August 22, 2008 at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai Province in the northern region.

  13. Draft Bill on the National Human Rights Commission [Fourth Round]: the fourth policy analysis brainstorming seminar held on September 9, 2008 at the Rama Garden Hotel in Bangkok. The seminar was final and the amended Draft Bill will be proceeded to the Parliament through Democrat Party.

  14. Telecommunications Industry and Thai Economy: a civic education public seminar and book launch of IPPSs 2007 publication held on September 15, 2008. Objectives were firstly, to provide a public forum in the first step to an understanding of the changing direction of national and world telecommunications, and secondly, to stimulate the public to realize the importance of telecommunications on the countrys economics, social and political events.

  15. Thai Political Development from Siam to Thailand [Fourth Round]: the fourth and final civic education public seminar held on September 17, 2008 at Thaksin University in Songkhla Province in the southern region.

  16. Civic Culture: a civic education seminar workshop, on October 14, 2008 for teachers at all levels: kindergarten, primary, secondary, non-formal education, educational supervisors and executives. The activity objectives were to determine the scope of current syllabus on civic culture at each educational level and canvass ideas from educationalists whether the current syllabus is sufficient, and if not, what and how improvements should be made. The outcome revealed most points on civic culture are already included in current syllabus but a few topics such as punctuality, self-discipline, and responsible public spiritedness should be added. However, basic and non-formal education syllabus will be revised next year starting in a few pilot project schools. IPPS will take this opportunity to launch our political education program through research and study paper in 2009. IPPS will fully launch our political education program in 2010 and 2011.

  17. Thai Politics : History and Perspectives: a policy analysis public seminar, held on October 29, 2008 in respond to current political problems. Chulalongkorn University was chosen to provide an academic and a non-partisan venue where people with different ideas can share views on solutions to resolve political problems. Though there was no consensus or agreement from the speakers, the results were beyond expectation since the event created a great impact on the Thai society. The program was reported in 5 leading newspaper and television broadcasting. 16 websites quoted the speakers remarks and later there were discussion on 420 web boards.

  18. Education Management of Local Administration Organization: a civic education seminar workshop, between November 7-9, 2008, at Takasila Hotel in Mahasarakham Province. Objectives were to provide outside-class political education workshop to stimulate the participants, mostly university students, to become active citizen. The workshop was carefully designed to overcome their shyness and inactive and a discussion method successfully encouraged them to share views, being thoughtfulness and presented their ideas to other people. However, the program failed to create understanding between the students and local authority organizations since the latter were not impressive as expected. IPPS will find other mean to accomplish this objective.

  19. The Independence of Local Finance: a civic education public seminar, on November 22, 2008 at Centara Hotel, Maesod District, Tak Province. Objective is to provide better understanding to the general public, particularly those in the rural area, of the impact and repercussion of decentralization of financing system from central to local government. It was anticipated that political educated citizen will be able to participate their roles accordingly and be able to exercise their rights through legal mechanism.

    Five of our research were done according to our 2008 plan. Details are as follow:

  20. The Independent on Financial of Local Administrative Organization: Case Study to Sub-district Administrative Organization: a research study by Mr. Kantapitch Korbkiartiphat on Sub-district administration organization financial independency. The research was done in 3 main parts; case studies in Thailand and other countries, the Thais problems and recommendations to solve those problems. The author recommended several improvement means: modernize of taxation law, expansion of the tax base, amendment of laws and provisional of loans from central government. The research was in compliance to our 2008 plan.

  21. 75 Years of Thai Democracy and 18 Constitutions: a research by Dr. Chaowana Traimas, Deputy-Secretary to the Office of the Constitutional Court, on Thai constitutions. His study revealed that despite of contextual development of the constitution, there is little, if any, political/democratic development. Unless this problem is overcome, there will be conflict between the strong government and its citizens. Dr. Chaowana also suggested how to start political development under the current constitution.

  22. Community Radio: a research to support policy analysis on the regulation and management of community radio stations under the supervision of the National Telecommunications Commissions [NTC]. The author is Mr. Tanawat Kaewpongphan.

  23. Road to Democracy: a new edition of IPPS booklet on Thai Democracy from 1932 to 2008, compiled from historical documents and recent information. The work will be published in 2009 and use in IPPSs upcoming civic education projects.

  24. Social Market Economy: The research paper written by Prof. Dr. Direk Patamasiriwat prepared for IPPS seminar on The Social Market Economy which was postponed for 2009. The intention of this study is to stimulate Thai people understand and gain knowledge about the concept of The Social Market Economy in the democratic society.

    Our 5 publications are:

  25. The Civic Culture: a publication by Dr. Vichai Tunsiri, former chairperson of the House of Reps Political Development Sub-committee and Minister of Education. The book is an attempt to explain types of norms and ethos that support democracy, the meaning of civil society and citizenship, and what concepts of politics. The book is used in IPPSs programs in 2008 and the following years.

  26. Education Management in Local Government Organizations: a publication by Mr. Sanit Chornanan, from a research done by the same author in 2007.
    Mr. Sanit, formally Deputy Secretary-General and current consultant to the Office of the Constitutional Court. This publication is a respond to a public policy on decentralization of education from central to local government, showing problems and obstacles as well as possible solutions. The authors previous book, Local Administration: In a Context of Public Administration is one of IPPSs most sought-after publications.

  27. Politics in Thai Constitutions: a publication by Dr. Chaowana Traimas from his research 75 Years of Thai Democracy and 18 Constitutions.

  28. Thai Politics: History and Perspective: The printed report in English concluding analyzed views from the most distinguished political scientists about Thai recent political conflict. Prof. Dr. Chai-Anan Samudavanija, Prof. Dr. Somsakdi Xuto, Dr.Vichai Tansiri and Pol. Gen. Vasit Dejkonchorn present a clear picture of Thai political way as influenced by the business-politics. Indeed, the political crisis that engulfed Thailand during 2006-2008 led to a widespread questioning of the countrys social and political structures. Reflecting on the country administration by the same party over the years and with the scholarly analysis of how Thai society can face up to the situation and how to pass this strong crisis.

  29. Political Reform-Decentralization: IPPSs monthly newsletters.

  30. IPPSs website:
    http://www.fpps.or.th is to publicize IPPS monthly newsletter in electronic format. Some articles, including monthly news summary, are in English for international readers.
 


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