San Francisco and Bangkok, July 25, 2012 — The Asia Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation today announced a new initiative to enhance community, private sector, and local government engagement in Thailand’s flood rehabilitation and recovery program. In 2011, Thailand faced its worst flooding in half a century. There were over 800 deaths, 13.6 million people affected, and economic losses exceeded $45 billion USD. The new project will improve coordination and collaboration among key stakeholders and help to inform future national policies, plans, and protocols on water management and natural disasters. The Asia Foundation will implement this two-year, $500,000 project with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Climate change projections suggest that natural disasters of this kind are certain to occur more frequently in Thailand in the years ahead. In this regard, the project will place particular emphasis on the interests and voice of citizens and communities that have historically been excluded from policy planning and implementation in Thailand. Designed to influence broader and longer-term environmental governance in Thailand, the program will include three core activities: a political economy analysis and mapping of the program environment and institutional landscape; multi-stakeholder coordination; and communications and outreach to raise public awareness of key issues.
The Asia Foundation has decades of experience with similar political economy analysis in other country contexts, and a deep understanding of the Thai political and social environment informed by nearly 60 years of full-time presence in-country.
The partnership highlights a historically close relationship between the Rockefeller Foundation and The Asia Foundation dating back to the 1990s. For two decades, the two organizations have worked together to build the Asian philanthropic sector, document innovations in the allocation of health services, and alleviate the impact of economic recession on vulnerable populations in Southeast Asia.