Localizing SDGs in Thailand: Towards a More Inclusive National Science, Research, and Innovation (SRI) Plan

Centre for SDG Research and Support : SDG Move, Thammasat University
Published: 17 January 2022
Last edited: 17 January 2022
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Summary

In 2020, the Thailand Science, Research and Innovation Committee (TSRI), a research policy and funding organization, was tasked with drafting an inclusive National Science, Research and Innovation (SRI) Plan to direct the allocation of national research funding in the period 2023 – 2027. Besides steering Thailand towards a sustainable path, TSRI worked on catering to diverse stakeholders and communities across the country, leaving no one behind. 

A sustainable and localized research policy could lead to research funding to be allocated in a more balanced way, addressing not only economic but also social and environmental issues that would benefit local people and support sustainable solutions at a local level through research.

In this project, SDG Move developed a method using the SDGs as framework and foresight techniques as a basis for an evidence-based and participatory process to investigate local needs in Thailand’s regions, working with TSRI and regional teams of local researchers.

Classifications

Region
South Asia
Scale of implementation
National
Ecosystem
Area-wide development
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Theme
Science and research
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Risk communication, community engagement and behaviour change
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Sustainable urban infrastructure and services
Challenges
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Sendai Framework
Target 6: Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030
Business engagement approach
Indirect through government

Location

Thailand

Challenges

Throughout the project, the researchers focus on several challenges. The two most pressing obstacles are the project time frame and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there were more than 500 respondents, the researchers were hoping to conduct more rounds of questionnaires and engage with more respondents while employing the Delphi Method. Additionally, the researchers from various institutions across the country were hoping to hold face-to-face workshops to discuss results. Unfortunately, due to time limitations imposed by the government organization, the researchers could not communicate with more stakeholders. Additionally, the lock-down policies in many provinces across the country meant that organizing workshops were impossible. Participants who could not access online technology, such as some elderly and people with disabilities, had to be excluded from the study.

Beneficiaries

Government agencies, Local Communities, Researcher / Academia, General Public.

How do the building blocks interact?

There are three main building blocks in this project, namely, (1) TSRI’s more inclusive direction in the SRI strategic plan’s drafting process as well as its pool of experienced local researchers, (2) our 6 regional teams of researchers from local universities, (3) SDG Move’s expertise in SDGs and social capital with the regional teams and TSRI, and (4) evidenced-based and participatory foresight techniques.  

TSRI’s more inclusive direction in SRI strategic plan’s drafting process provided a great opportunity for SDG Move to localize and to integrate SDGs into the SRI strategic plan. TSRI also has a pool of experienced local researchers all over Thailand, which was a source of our 6 regional teams. The regional teams were key to collecting relevant data and engaging with local stakeholders from all sectors, which was crucial since the data environment and infrastructure at the regional level is not well-functioning. 

SDG Move had been working with TSRI since 2016 on SDGs and developed a strong partnership. With our expertise in SDGs, we developed an SDG-integrated and foresight-based research process and mobilized the whole project with TSRI and the 6 regional teams. 

Impacts

The project allowed for the creation of a comprehensive database including information on development issues, including environmental ones, from each region of Thailand. The Thailand Science Research and Innovation (TSRI) will use this information to draft the national-level Science, Research and Innovation (SRI) Plan that encourages and supports researchers in addressing different regions' development needs. Other relevant organizations from every sector can access and use this information to formulate policies or activities that promote more development actions that address local issues.

Contributed by

clara.latini_41401's picture

Clara Latini UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Other contributors

Thammasat University
Thammasat University