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Enhancing Social Protection for Urban Poor: A Collaborative Discussion by AIT and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

24 Aug 2023
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By AIT Public Affairs

24 August 2023 – The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Thailand Office, organized a roundtable discussion on the ‘Effectiveness of Social Protection Programmes and Policies for Urban Poor in Bangkok Metropolitan Area’ on August 24 in Bangkok. 

Group Picture from the discussion

The discussion brought together experts from various multi-stakeholder groups, including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), development partners, private organizations, academicians, and representatives from the central and local government. The primary objective of the AIT-FES partnership is to discuss the adequacy of benefits, and inequality in access, coverage, and management of social assistance programs, especially for disaggregated groups like women and children. 

Furthermore, this collaboration seeks to uncover untapped opportunities to modernize the level of benefits of social assistance packages and efficiency. Ultimately, the collaboration aims to formulate policy recommendations for the government, aimed at fostering a more equitable and inclusive approach to accessing social protection programs that benefit disaggregated population groups. 

Dr. Malay Pramanik (left) and Prof. Vilas Nitivattananon

Prof. Vilas Nitivattananon from AIT’s Urban Innovation and Sustainability (UIS) program of the School of Environment Resource and Development (SERD) delivered the welcome remarks. Ms. Vesna Rodić, Resident Director, FES Thailand, and Dr. Malay Pramanik, Assistant Professor, UIS, SERD, AIT, both underscored their commitment to driving this initiative forward. Both AIT and FES are committed to formulating practical and effective policy options catered to various arms of the Government to make social protection programs more inclusive and viable for segments of the population that have long been marginalized.

Dr. Ing Rattikarn Khambud
Dr. Ing Rattikarn Khambud

The discussions featured multiple sessions, with one being moderated by Dr. Ing Rattikarn Khambud, an Urban/National Spatial Planner from the Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning, Ministry of Interior, Thailand. Dr. Khambud shed light on issues pertaining to adequacy, inequality, and management of existing social protection and welfare schemes. Another session delved into policy adequacy across various sectors and groups.

The projects will explore the following areas:

  • Current issues pertaining to the areas of social assistance programs and discuss possible solutions for improving current policies available for the urban poor;
  • Identify ways for improving access and coverage of social safety net programs for the inclusivity of urban poor; 
  • Strengthen partnerships of the state and non-state actors in Thailand working towards urban and social safety net policy regimes.