JOINT NETWORK OF LIVABLE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Dr. Prakasit Kayasit
Deputy Manager of Thai Health Promotion Foundation Acting Director of Organizational Health Promotion Section
How to be called a “livable local community” is the key topic that the network has been working on for over 14 years in a bid to jointly create livable local communities in Thailand. Since 2009, Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) led by the Organizational Health Promotion Section has been working following the plan by empowering, strengthening and enhancing local administrative bodies, community leaders, social group and local governmental units for driving a local community operational system to become a “Joint Network of Livable Local Community”.
The topic of work requires the network to consider all related dimensions, including physical, mental, intellectual, social and environmental health, in order to drive the mission of establishing livable local community towards the goal. The office has a crucial role to create a joint-learning process, drive a public policy at the sub-district, district and provincial levels, and run campaign advocacy for strengthening community health based on the following two principles: 1. Area-based Development, and 2. Health in All Policies – HiAP. The goal is to establish over 3,000 healthy sub-districts, communities, livable local communities and self-administrated local communities nationwide by putting in practice the strategic implementation of strengthening local community (S-2I) to support the “Tri-Power Strategy” employed by ThaiHealth including 1) Creation of Knowledge; 2) Social Mobilization; and 3) Policy Advocacy. The following strategic activities will be implemented: 1. Area-based management 2.innovative community development and establishment 3.Integrated local community administration by seeking external support, summarizing lessons learned and sharing experiences.
Having been working on establishing local livable communities for over a decade, if any community can successfully empower the five dimensions of areas, leadership, innovation, organization and information, working process will be smooth, participation, knowledge learning and changes will ultimately be established. As a result, area-based development will be implemented in the right direction towards the secured and sustainable goal.
Since 2011, ThaiHealth has continuously organized the forum titled “Reviving the power of local communities to transform Thailand: Empowerment and innovation for sustainable community health”. The forum was not held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Year 2023 would be the 12th year that the annual forum would be organized for local administrative bodies, related agencies and stakeholders to emphasize and strengthen local communities.
In 2023, the network supported by ThaiHealth’s Organizational Health Promotion Section still holds on to the principle that lays a foundation for a development of health policy that involves local administrative bodies including community leaders, village heads, civil society organizations, related governmental agencies including area-based development bodies as fundamental alliance, leading to strengthening local communities and areas-based integration for taking action on a development plan.
The forum was arranged into three parts. The first part: Sparking Inspiration will focus on leading policies and pathway to success. Taking identity and identifying target to drive health promotion for area-based development. The second part: Knowledge sharing activity on community health operation towards ThaiHealth strategic goal will consist of the following two activities: 1 a clinic for taking in-depth look into methods, working procedures (counselling) and conference to find agreement and an implementation role as a network (parallel session) 2. A seminar on a “tangible success” (identity). The third part: Marketplace: “A set of knowledge and health promotion toolbox for area-based development.”
Throughout 14 years of driving community health promotion, stakeholder empowerment leads to knowledge sharing, expanding results, and identifying community health promotion towards an integration of health promotion to community health following ThaiHealth’s 10-year strategic plan (2022-2031) and the goal of local community health promotion to meet the goal of health for all in Thailand.