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Deliberative Forums on Thailand’s Future

We wanted to share an interesting post from out friends at the National Issues Forums Institute that showed that, even amid the recent political turmoil that has gripped Thailand over the last few months, there have been encouraging steps taken toward fostering deliberation about the country’s future. You can read more about the project below, or find the original post (with more pictures) by clicking here.

NIF-logoKing Prajadhipok’s Institute (KPI) has organized Public Deliberative Forums on Thailand Future in many provinces all over Thailand since 2011. The objectives are to help strengthening the public participation in being consulted on the ways out from Thailand political conflicts and establishing an atmosphere of hearing from others who think differently, in understanding and peace.

Before organizing the forums, Issues book, facilitators’ guide book and manual on deliberative democracy are prepared. There are 2 groups of participants; the first group consists of 80 people who are the eligible voters (over 18 years old). Their names are from probability systematic sampling form the vote list.  The second group (20 people) is from representatives from the specific groups such as the youths, civil societies, NGOs, local government politicians, political support groups (extreme activists), religion leaders, and people with disability. All of them are invited and informed of the activities at least 1 month before the meetings.

The deliberative forums take one and a half days, starting from introduction on the deliberative democracy and public deliberation process, ground rules, and then continuing with the consensus building and relationship establishment. The deliberative forums are conducted afterwards. The common ground on Thailand future is what they would like to see and how to achieve it as well as who has to do it. In addition, they also mention what they have to do to help the country in moving forward to what they have imagined. Moreover, the pre and post questionnaires are distributed to check the people’s opinion on the deliberative process and the concept of Thailand future.

 KPI also introduces this deliberative democracy concept and techniques for organizing deliberative forums to the Thai government and various policy makers as well as the parliamentarians so that they understand the new ways of public participation and conflict management.

More deliberative forums on Thailand Future will be organized in many provinces in the near future.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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