American Journal of Applied Sciences

Evaluating Public Participation Process in Development Projects in Thailand: A Case Study of the Hin Krut Power Plant Project

Chutarat Chompunth and Suphattharachai Chomphan

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2012.865.873

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 9, Issue 6

Pages 865-873

Abstract

Problem statement: Public participation has become a vital element of environmental decision-making. Although public participation has grown tremendously in Thailand due to a rising pressure from the public, this practice often fails to solve environmental problems and conflicts. There is a keen for a systematic evaluation of the public participation process to investigate whether the participation process is effective and what works or does not work in this respect. Approach: This study evaluates the effectiveness of the public participation process of the Hin Krut power plant project through an evaluation model developed from relevant literatures. Results: It was found that the public participation process of the case study was not completely effective when tested against the evaluation criteria. The affected people had no chance to present any comments at the very beginning. The public participation process started too late, after a decision had been made and conflicts among stakeholders already occurred. Conclusion: The public participation process is not yet properly established in the Thai context. There is an urgent need to find a working model and conditions of public participation which can assist in resolving environmental problems. Finally, a set of recommendations for improving public participation process are suggested.

Copyright

© 2012 Chutarat Chompunth and Suphattharachai Chomphan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.