Community empowerment : a case study of a sub-district administrative organisation (SDAO) in Loei Province, Thailand

Sukprasert, Saowapa (2007) Community empowerment : a case study of a sub-district administrative organisation (SDAO) in Loei Province, Thailand. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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This thesis presents an investigation of the community empowerment of a selection of key villagers and the SDAO (Sub-District Administrative Organisation) committee members in the Loei Province, Thailand. The research identifies an understanding of community empowerment through an exploration of the lived experiences and perceptions of the community people themselves, at the grassroots level. These are challenging times for development in Thailand. Particularly at the micro level, community empowerment is central to community development, but its concepts remain elusive. This study is an attempt to clarify developmental features within the community. A qualitative approach with multi methods was adopted in order to allow the key people to express their understandings and experiences in relation to the concepts of community empowerment, and to identify approaches that are effective in strengthening the community. Six focus group discussions were employed in six villages. Twenty five key villagers and SDAO members were interviewed and invited to participate in the workshop held to facilitate further discussion of their lived experiences. Both non-participant and participant observations were also employed within the natural settings of the six villages and the SDAO meetings in order to depict the context of the community. This provided a rich source of data illustrating community empowerment which has never before been undertaken in rural Thailand. The findings revealed that empowerment can occur at both individual and social levels. Mental strength, alongside self-reliance and self —sufficiency, as well as the peacefulness within the community are found to generate community empowerment. This was discovered to be strongly interconnected to the significant community contexts in rural Thai culture, particularly the development of community leadership, participation, learning and local government. The approaches of retaining a sense of community, generating participatory groups, enhancing culture and learning as well as building up citizenship, can be effective in promoting community empowerment in the future. Community empowerment is effectively generated within the community from the potential of its members who consistently contribute to community life. The people's being in, and contribution to, the community provides a source of dynamism as well as establishing its firm structure. This is indicative of community empowerment. This thesis makes a significant contribution to the discussion on how community development benefits from empowerment to sustain itself, via the potential of people, and to promote community strengths through its ways of life.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L500 Social Work
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
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Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 17 May 2010 11:06
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2022 15:00

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