Assessment of Capacities of TAOs and CBOs for Local Development in Thailand

  • Darin Khongsatjaviwat
  • Jayant K. RoutrayEmail author


Under the decentralized development planning process, the role and contributions of local governments as well as local institutions are becoming more important in each and every country irrespective of their overall economic development. Thailand, as a middle income and newly industrialized country, is no exception. Over the past several decades, efforts are being made to decentralize the planning and development process with a participatory approach and strong focus on people-centered development. At the local level, the Tambon Administrative Organization (TAO), as local self-government, and a number of community-based organizations (CBOs) are currently engaged in the local development process and development consequent on the introduction of decentralized development planning for more than 15 years. The development goals of these two institutions at the local levels in rural areas are primarily the same, but the roles, contributions, and processes are different. An attempt is made in this chapter to assess their capacities and contributions in catalyzing local development and also fulfilling the needs of the people within their areas of operations as well as limitations. In terms of their capacities and contributions, CBOs are better placed than the TAOs. CBOs work more closely with the people and try to meet the social, economic, and environmental as well as natural resource development needs.


Local development Community-based organization Tambon administrative organization Thailand 


  1. Batterbury S, Fernando J (2006) Rescaling governance and the impacts of political and environmental decentralization: an introduction. World Dev 34(11):1851–1863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bello B, Cunningham S, Poh K (1998) A Siamese tragedy: development and disintegration in modern Thailand. Food First Books/Zed Books, London, 256 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Blair H (2000) Participation and accountability at the periphery: democratic local governance in six countries. World Dev 28(1):21–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boonyabancha S (2004) Empowering squatter citizen: local government, civil society, urban poverty reduction. In: Diana M, David S (eds) A decade of change: from the urban community development office to the Community Organization Development Institute in Thailand. Earthscan, United Kingdom, pp 25–49Google Scholar
  5. Chardchawarn S (2010) Local government in Thailand: politics of decentralization and the role of bureaucrats, politicians and the people. Institute of Developing Economies, ChibaGoogle Scholar
  6. Douglas AD (2005) The restructuring of local government in rural regions: a rural development perspective. J Rural Stud 21:231–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Doungkaew P (1999) Role of institutions in rural community development. Asian Productivity Organization, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  8. Helmsing A (2001) Local economic development. Local governance and decentralization in Africa. A summary report prepared for the UNCDF symposium. Cape Town Symposium, pp 59–78Google Scholar
  9. Krueathep W (2008) Measuring municipal fiscal health in Thailand: research findings and policy implications. In the Second UCLG-ASPAC Congress. Pattaya, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  10. Lam N (2003) Development research and policy analysis division. Bulletin on Asia-Pacific Perspectives. ESCAPGoogle Scholar
  11. Marschke M, Berkes F (2005) Local level sustainability planning for livelihoods: a Cambodian experience. World Ecol 12:21–33Google Scholar
  12. Mukherjee A, Zhang X (2007) Rural industrialization in China and India: role of polices and institutions. World Dev 35(10):1621–1634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mutebi A (2003) Challenges of participatory local management under decentralization: lessons from Chiangrai Municipality. INDES Workshop. Asia Development Bank, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  14. Phongpaichit P, Chris B (2002) Thailand: economy and politics. Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, Revised editionGoogle Scholar
  15. Vichit-Vadakan J (2001) Central role in development for Thai NGOs? Retrieve on July 10, 2005. From
  16. Wattanasiri C (2001) Sustainable rural development through community empowerment approach. Capacity building for local resources decentralization. In: Proceedings of Asia-Pacific International Conference. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, ThailandGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Faculty of Social SciencesNaresuan UniversityPhitsanulokThailand
  2. 2.Asian Institute of TechnologyKlong LuangThailand

Personalised recommendations