Thailand’s Policy on Poverty Eradication as Viewed by an Academician
This paper discusses the methodologies for poverty study. It includes a comment on the policy driving force and the governments’ performance in connection to poverty eradication. It was noted that there was instability of policy commitment across successive governments. The poor did not receive benefits as much as they should have. Situational analysis may be a proper framework for understanding the poor. Meanwhile the poverty line and the poverty gap indicators should be re-examined. The tools for poverty measurement have been improved, but should focus more on policy-driving mechanisms. The government during Taksin Shinnawatra’s term seriously implemented the poverty eradication policy provided that each province became a host for implementing the policy. Unfortunately, the provinces were neither capable nor prompt in implementing the guidelines. There was also the inconsistency in the priority setting of the policy between the central government and provinces. Pushing the new direction under the concept “targeting the poor” is a challenge for the next government. This would require, among others, the development of a database that comprises the information on the poor, households, network, risks and risk management. The collaboration between the local governments and academia would empower the poor people.
Keywords: poverty eradication, targeting the poor, policy driving force, maximin principle
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