Southern Thailand Empowerment and Participation (STEP) Project

STEP Project
UNDP Thailand

In line with the Guidelines for Cooperation Projects for the Southern Border Provinces issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UN Partnership Framework with the Royal Thai Government (UNPAF 2007 – 2011), and the SBPAC master plan, the project’s overall objective is to enhance community empowerment and public participation in local governance processes in Southern Thailand.  This objective will be achieved by activities in two inter-linked areas focusing on capacity development of community-based organizations on the one hand and government on the other:

Capacity development of communities

  • Strengthening institutional capacity of community-based organizations;
  • Enhancing awareness and understanding of media in promoting social cohesion;
  • Improving income generation and employment opportunities of communities;
  • Enhancing legal awareness and capacity to access to effective dispute resolution mechanism for the improvement of relationship between state and communities.

Capacity development of government

  • Strengthening capacity of local government in participatory planning and budgeting;
  • Strengthening local level natural resource and natural disaster management;
  • Increasing knowledge of and exposure to a range of governance models and practices
  • Strengthening capacities of government officials at the provincial level to provide effective dispute resolution mechanisms.

What do we aim to accomplish?

UNDP aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of community-based organizations and media in promoting social cohesion through:

Mapping of CBOs working in the south and existing community projects.

  • Capacity assessments undertaken and action plans developed for community organizations to take action in promoting social cohesion in partnership with SBPAC projects
  • Training CBOs/Village committees to formulate small scale development project
  • Training Local Graduate Volunteers to increase capacity and to support community development   
  • Disbursing grants through SBPAC to  CBOs/Village Committees working on issues of , environment, governance,  development, youth and women and those conducting research on the south.
  • Establishing data base for monitoring  women’s and youths’ situation

 Media mapping and capacity building

  • Mapping of media training initiatives completed.
  • Based on gaps identified, capacity development plan for media working in the south (and those based in Bangkok who report on the south) developed
  • Training provided for media working in the South with cultural and gender sensitivity, and positive thinking
  • Supporting media for peace and dispute/conflict resolution activities in partnership with local media association,SBPAC,  TPBS and Prince of Songkla University

Improve income generation and employment opportunities of communities

  • Recruitment of consultants or contracting of management consulting firm
  • Assessment of vocational training needs, existing facilities and market needs undertaken
  • Development of action plan for vocational training
  • Development of resource mobilization strategy
  • Plan of action for vocational training activities linked to market needs developed

Product Development

  • Market and product assessment undertaken
  • Technical assistance and advice provided to communities on product and market development, product adaptation, processing and marketing
  • Contracting of responsible party
  • Product and market assessment
  • Provision of TA and advice to communities on product and market development

Enhance legal awareness of local communities and strengthen capacity of SBPAC to facilitate public local access to effective legal service

  • Mapping of legal aids structure  conducted  in partnership with the Ministry of justice, and SBPAC.
  • Outreach and public information strategy for legal awareness developed and implemented in partnership with Keadelan Center under  SBPAC and the Ministry of Justice
  • Strengthened capacities of  paralegals (e.g. laws students volunteers, local graduate volunteers) and community leaders to provide information to communities via Keadelan Center
  • Strengthened capacities of Keadilan Centre to educate legal volunteers and establish legal networks in communities
  • Information dissemination techniques employing popular education methods such as TV dramas, radio dramas, theatre and comics for Keadelan center and its legal aids networks
  • Easy to understand information materials for access to available legal service in easy-to-understand format and local dialect
  • Outreach and public information strategy developed for legal awareness for SBPAC and/or the Ministry of Justice.
  • Implement outreach and public information strategy for legal awareness together with SBPAC/Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior
  • Identify legal information needs of different target groups (community leaders, CBOs, women, youth, volunteers, etc.),
  • Design and conduct legal awareness training programme for community leaders, CBOs, women and youth groups, volunteers, journalists etc.
  • Develop IEC materials for distribution (DVDs, comics, theatre, etc.) and disseminate information to target groups
  • Enhance participation of communities on legal rights awareness and protection through community forum in partnership with Keadilan Center 

Train paralegals and volunteers

  • Organization for management and training of paralegals selected and contracted in partnership with Keadilan Center
  • Support (financial and training) provided to paralegal programs in target provinces through Keadilan Center.
  • Contracting of responsible parties for paralegalism
  • Partnership between Prince of Songkla University and SBPAC in provision of appropriate legal aid volunteers working to support Keadilan Center and Community Justice programme

 Establish data collection mechanism

  • Proposals developed to recognize and credit law students (especially local dialects speaking lawyers/volunteers) who do field work with legal aid organizations
  • Increase in number of lawyers providing free legal aid in the South
  • Identify partner legal aid organizations. 
  • Conduct capacity assessments and provide technical and financial assistance. 

Strengthen capacity of local administration in participatory planning and budgeting

  • Select local administration at the TAO level by SBPAC and  Department of Local Administration
  • Stakeholder analysis conducted with the review and analysis of framework for local planning and local governance budgetary process in line with the procedural rules and regulations of the Ministry of Interior.
  • Assessment of existing capacities
  • Develop methodologies for people’s participation in line with Ministry of Interior framework for local planning
  • Introduce community and gender responsive budgeting into local development planning to local government units (Municipalities and TAOs) and Department of Local Administration
  • Disburse funds to small scale project formulated according to the methodologies introduced through Department of Local Administration and/or SBPAC

Strengthen local level natural resource and natural disaster management

  • Networks in place in selected communities comprising local communities, local authorities and local NGOs and developing initiatives to resolve natural resource and natural disaster management issues.
  • Developing models for natural disaster management in the context of southern environment;
  • Selecting geographical areas to test the models;
  • Disbursing fund to support the participating network to test the models in partnership with the governor’s office.
  • Providing analysis and recommendations on gender dimensions in disaster management and conflict prevention to stake holders and Governor’s offices.  

Increase knowledge of and exposure to various governance models and pratices among key government officials

  • Commissioning study of governance models and practices.
  • Support series of discussions on governance models, public management and decentralization.
  • Study visits

Enhanced knowledge and capacities of government officials at the provincial level to provide effective dispute resolution mechanisms

  • Training provided to government officials and communities leaders on dispute resolution structures in mediation, knowledge of relevant laws, human rights, documentation in coordination with SBPAC and the Governor’s office
  • Induction course for government officials  posted to the southern border provinces linking with the Coordinator Development Project under Bureau of Personnel Development of SBPAC
  • Contract responsible parties.
  • Develop and deliver training modules for community leaders
  • Develop and deliver induction training modules for government officials and local interpreters. (Training modules will be developed in close consultation with SBPAC)

Who finances it?

Donor Name Amount contributed per year
UNDP US$ 1,225,000
UNDP/Japan partnership fund US$    400,000

Delivery in previous fiscal year

Year Amount contributed per year
2010 US$ 173,323
2011 US$ 282,621
Project Overview
Project start date:
March 2010
Estimated end date:
December 2013
Geographic coverage:
Southern Provinces of Thailand
Focus area:
Community Empowerment and Participation
Project Officer:
Mr. Somchai Yensabai
Prince of Songkhla University
Download Project Document
Project Document for STEP Project