Happiness gap in the Land of Smiles

Worawan Chandoevwit How happy are people in the “Land of Smiles?” Not too happy. In fact, the Thai people’s spirit was at its lowest last year, and things don’t look much brighter in 2021. According to the World Happiness Report which ranks countries around the world by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be, […]

Thailand’s economic outlook for 2021

Kirida Bhaopichitr The Thai economy will grow next year after contracting by almost 10% this year. Next year, the Thai economy is expected to expand 3 to 4% from this year. It will not be until the end of 2022 before the Thai economy returns to its pre-Covid level of 2019. However, if there is another […]

Teachers need to learn child rights

Thunhavich Thitiratsakul Hitting a preschooler on the head. Pushing a toddler down on the floor. Shoving a black plastic bag over a child’s head – a technique security personnel use to torture terrorists. This was how a group of teachers at a famous private school “disciplined” kindergarteners. The country was shocked and angry. But when […]

Abuse against women still prevalent

Boonwara Sumano In December 1999, the United Nations designated Nov 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to commemorate the murder of the Mirabal sisters, the three Dominican political activists who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in 1960. Today marks the 20th celebration of said day, and therefore it […]

Road accidents biggest health crisis

 Jitlakha Sukruay If we go by the number of deaths, the coronavirus is not the country’s biggest health public health problem. Road accidents are. Since the coronavirus hit the country early this year, the pandemic had claimed 60 lives as of mid-September, thanks to all-out preventive measures nationwide. The coronavirus deaths in the past six […]

Bureaucratic reform – the way forward

Computer operating systems must be upgraded constantly to improve performance. The country’s operating system — the bureaucracy — has not changed in 20 years, said Dr Boonwara Sumano, TDRI Research Fellow. In her talk “State Bureaucracy as Thailand’s Operating System,” Dr Boonwara points out how the costly and gigantic officialdom operates without efficiency and responsiveness. […]

Increasing competency through smart government

Using digital data technologies to become a “smart government” is crucial if Thailand wants to restore national competency and keep up with the world. “It’s not enough for state agencies to have their digital data systems and applications,” said Itsakul Unahakate, a lecturer from the Faculty of Economic Thammasat University.  “They must give up the […]

People’s participation key to better public services

If the officialdom is the interface between the government and the populace, its archaic system urgently needs an overhaul. Comparing the Thai bureaucracy to the human-computer interface system, TDRI Senior Research Fellow Dr Kannika Thampanishvong said the officialdom is the obsolete 1.0 version, unable to meet user needs and ridden with inefficiency. “Because the interface […]

Eradicating outdated laws to boost national competency

Laws and regulations are comparable to machine code instruction executed by computers. If code is written correctly, the computer can function properly; however, if programmers write code poorly, the computer will not function well or will not even function at all. In Thailand, there is red tape and a number of outdated laws that obstruct […]

Hacking the Operating System of the Thai State: Learning from Handling the Covid-19 Crisis to Prepare for New Challenges

If Thailand is a computer, its bureaucracy is an outdated operating system that needs a drastic upgrade to restore system competency, a move that must start with a new inclusive constitution, said Dr Somkiat Tangkitvanich, president of Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). “It is mandatory for Thailand to reform the bureaucracy. Like an old computer, […]

The future is not mass tourism

Adis IsrangkuraKanjana Yasen True, the tourism industry is the country’s biggest income earner. But the massive influx of tourists far exceeds the country’s carrying capacity which has dealt a heavy toll on the natural environment. True, the global Covid-19 pandemic has brought the tourism industry to a standstill, destroying businesses and millions of jobs. But […]

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