Integrated Community Development for Livelihoods and Social Cohesion in Mae Hong Son Province

BCPRUNDP Thailand/Mark S. Cogan : UNDP worked with the provincial government and local village leaders to lower social tensions and build more resilient communities.

UNDP supported a project aimed at improving the lives of the population of Mae Hong Son province by supporting and enhancing the livelihood of its local communities. Mae Hong Son is the poorest province in Thailand with the country’s lowest Human Development Index (National Human Development Report 2007). It is also home to a diverse population, including a large number of displaced people from Myanmar and other areas. Due to scarce resources, economic opportunities are few, and basic services including housing, transportation, communication, education and health are often inadequate. The situation in the province can therefore give rise to possible tensions over unequal and poor access to services as well as finite natural resources.

Furthermore, the unsustainable use of existing natural resources may lead to the region becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural disaster. UNDP, in partnership with Mae Hong Son’s Governor’s Office and other local beneficiaries, improved the situation by promoting fair and equal treatment and access to resources and services among the different communities residing in the province, as well as promoting the sustainable use of existing resources -- with special attention given to women and children, who make up the majority of the population in the province.


The project had three interrelated components which focus respectively on:

  1. Enhancing food security and increasing agricultural and non-agricultural income generation opportunities.
  2. Developing an effective public service by improving the delivery of services, focusing on local planning processes and assisting local communities to make better use of government services
  3. Developing management and technical skills for natural disaster risk
    management and environmental activities, including environmentally friendly enterprises.

    The project focused on livelihoods generation, capacity development of local government, and natural resources management. Community radio will broadcast information about the project and its status to the various communities (in particularly the highland communities in remote areas), in the various hill tribe languages. It was used as a means to support social cohesion, access to information, informal education, provide entertainment and keep local traditions alive.


  • Improved livelihood for vulnerable groups in underserved areas
  • Improved responsiveness and quality of social services at the sub-national level
  • Enhanced local democracy and meaningful participation of civil society in
    decision making
  • Community learning and advocacy of pro-poor policies on sustainable use and management of natural resources.


Donor Name Amount contributed per year
UNDP US$ 1,225,000
UNDP/Japan partnership fund US$    400,000
Year Amount contributed per year
2010 US$ 173,323
2011 US$ 282,621