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Collaboration between local governments in Thailand: lessons from the United Kingdom

Chamchong, Pobsook (2013) Collaboration between local governments in Thailand: lessons from the United Kingdom. In: University of Birmingham Graduate School Research Poster Conference 2013 , 12th June 2013, University of Birmingham. (Unpublished)



There been much interest in the collaboration between local governments in Thailand and indeed in the international context for decades. In Thailand, since there are a large number of small local governments, i.e. 5,693 units with population in many units is less than 5,000, which seem to lack capacities in delivering efficient services because they have been challenging with limited financial resources and equipment, and unqualified staffs to provide some services in efficient ways (Krueathep, 2004, 2006; College of Local Government Development, 2009; Department of Local Administration, 2008), therefore to respond to these issues, collaboration between local governments has been introduced as a potential mechanism for enhancing the capacities of local governments in delivering efficient services to citizens in Thailand for decades (Krueathep, 2006). In practice, however, there has been little progress in implementing collaboration in Thailand because of key significant reasons. Firstly, since existing studies in this area in Thailand are scarce, local governments tend to lack knowledge to implement this policy in effective ways. Secondly, although there are some local governments which have implemented this mechanism, there are many challenges that they face when implementing collaborative approach.

In this respect, it is considered that the British local governments also have been facing the challenge of providing more complex services within tight financial constraint and therefore collaboration has been recommended as a new way of working for enhancing the capacity of local government in delivering improved services for decades (Sullivan and Skelcher, 2002).Obviously the UK has much long experiences of implementing collaborative approach. Moreover, there are a large number of studies on the experiences of local government collaboration in the UK. Therefore, studying the UK experiences of collaboration between local governments can benefit the implementation of this policy in Thailand. In essence, the findings of this study can help policy-makers to develop effective methods of collaboration for encouraging local government to implement collaboration approach. Moreover, it may benefit policy in practice because the findings of this research may help practitioners to implement collaboration policy in effective ways.

Since the study aims to explore the possible models of local government collaboration for implementation in Thailand by studying the UK’s experiences, comparative case studies design, i.e. the comparative study between Thailand and the UK cases, will be used to achieve the objective. In essence, to achieve the objective, the research questions need to be addressed as follows:
1. Why collaboration between local governments has happened in Thailand and the UK?
2. What forms of collaboration have been used in Thailand and the UK?
3. What factors promote and inhibit collaborations between local governments in Thailand and the UK?
4. What are possible models of collaboration which can be used in Thailand? And how can the lessons from the UK can be implemented in Thailand?

Then, to address the first three questions, documentary analysis will be first used since it allows researchers to gain initial key conclusion on Thai and the UK cases in terms of the motivation to collaborate, models of collaboration, and the factors promoting and prohibiting collaborative working. Then, to gain in-depth and richer information on collaboration between local governments that have been implemented in Thailand and the UK, semi-structured interviews will be conducted with policymakers, senior staffs and politicians in local governments which have been implemented collaborative working. Finally, after developing the possible models of collaboration, focus group will be employed in Thailand to gather viewpoints and suggestions about how each models of collaboration which were developed will be efficiently implemented in Thailand.

Type of Work:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Government and Society
Additional Information:

Research Supervisor: Prof Chris Skelcher

Date:June 2013
Series/Collection Name:Prizewinners from the Graduate School Research Poster Conference 2013
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DS Asia
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Related URLs:
Copyright Status:This poster is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this poster must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged.
Copyright Holders:The Author
ID Code:1737

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