The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) invited nominations for initiatives with successful social protection floor experiences in Mar. 2010. Selected nominees including Thai cases (“Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS)” and “Universal tax-financed 500 Baht pension scheme”) were asked to develop a case study of the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) and to present and discuss their experience at an international workshop in Turin, Italy in July 2010. The case studies will be published by the UNDP Special Unit for South-South cooperation at "the Global South-South Development (GSSD) Forum and Expo 2010" at the ILO's HQs in Geneva in Nov. 2010.
SPFJT has cooperated with the two consultants(Dr. Thaworn Sakunphanit for UCS, Dr. Worawet Suwanrada for 500 Baht pension) from the designing to drafting stage. ILO, UNFPA and WHO especially have contributed to the elaboration of the success story through G-Forum under GESS. The presented powerpoint slides of the Thai case is as attached
. And, the story is now under the last editing stage. The latest draft submitted on 12 October 2010 is as attached.
In addition, SPFJT conducted an interview with the authors to learn more details from their experiences. The interview questions are as follows. Their answers have been summarized as this in Thai
. You will get access to an English version of the summary soon.
1. As you know, SPF is a concept made by the Chief Executive Board (CEB) of the UN in April 2009 against the background of the recent global economic crisis. Can you explain what SPF is according to your understanding? What is the rationale and concept behind it?
2. According to you, how does the concept adapt to the Thai context? How can we benefit from it?
3. Given that most of social protection programmes experience two stages of ‘consensus-building’ and ‘design & implementation’, what do you think of major strengths and weaknesses of the overall Thai SPF programmes in the two stages respectively? What have been the main reasons behind the weaknesses, if any, in your understanding?
4. Both of you have been involved in the development of two major schemes in Thailand, namely the UCS and the 500 pension baht. To your opinion, what were the political factors which allowed the implementation of the two schemes?
5. What are the difficulties of implementing SPFI in Thailand?, Any suggestion to go forward? What should be the priorities?
6. What is your evaluation on the government side regarding their effort to establish a welfare society, especially after the political unrest in May?
7. What would be the 3 key lessons from the workshop in Turin you would like to share with the government in an effort to improve the overall design and implementation of SPF?
8. In which aspect do you feel other countries could benefit from the Thai case presented in Turin? Why and how do you think it could benefit other countries?