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Public Participatory Disaster Management Model: A Case Study of Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network in Hatyai, Songkla Province, Thailand

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Public Participatory Disaster Management Model:

A Case Study of Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network in Hatyai, Songkla Province, Thailand

Somporn Siriporananon1,* Parichart Visuthismajarn1, 2

1 Ph.D. candidate,  Faculty of Environmental Management, Prince of Songkla University,

Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112

2 Associate Professor,  Faculty of Environmental Management

Research Center for Integrated  Ecotourism Management in Southern Thailand,

Prince of Songkla University , Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112

                        *correspondence author E-mail: lon_gss@hotmail.com

ABSTRACT

        This research is a public participatory policy research which aims at proposing a model for the sustainable disaster management in Hatyai district, Songkhla province in Thailand. The research methods were divided into two steps: the first step was the data collection from relevant documents,

the in-depth interviews, focus groups and the second step is the process of developing the model of public policy for disaster management from specific group discussion, and the meeting of the stakeholders which are chosen from the key informants. The research founds out the eight dimensions in developing public policy; 1. Social 2. Organization 3. Management 4. Participatory 5. Political Relationship Management 6. One-unity 7. Result-oriented 8. N-Networking, and there are four key successes; 1.The policy and the context of the area, 2The communication with the target group and the general public, 3.The cooperation with the government, 4.The development of information and knowledge base for the decision making.

Keyword: Disaster management, Public policy, Hat Yai, Participation, community 

Introduction

Nowadays the changing of the weather happens all over the world and in the region, which results in the occurrence of disasters, and even more severe. More than 70% of the disasters all over the world are from water (Brooks, 2003), and flooding is the most severe. The disasters in Thailand include many different types and each causes the the lost of lives and money. Also these disasters result in the changing of the weather; the increase of the temperatures each year, as forecasted, in 2600, the temperature will be higher than 35 degree Celsius, which will last longer than 100 days in almost every regions of the country which cause flooding and dryness. (Amnart Chidthaisong and team, 2010). The policy in dealing with the changing of the weather is written in the Nation’s strategic plan but with the uncertainty of the political situation has caused the policies unable to be formulated in time at all levels of the political structure. Moreover, the researches regarding disaster policies are not much in the consideration, and the implementation is not continuing. Therefore, it's necessary to early communicate the policy, those who have the power to make decision, and the implementation in the community level. In the past, there's little communication among those who draft the policy. However, there are some local administrations have paid attention to the policy and truly implemented the reducing effects from the changing of the weather for a few years (Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, 2008). Considering the writing of disaster prevention policy in Thailand, each level of the government administration has its own policy, lack of unity, and the local administration is under the decentralization and not much active. This research, therefore, is the public policy research which studies the disaster management in Hat Yai district, in Songkhla province. Since Hat Yai is a tourist destination which has been growing very quickly and is always being affected from flooding. The problems is lack of cooperation in managing the disaster, results in some spots being resolved, and also lack of an effective dealing and healing from the disaster in the long-term. This research shows the integration of knowledge and cooperation from all different sections in realizing the impacts and the relations to every sector involved, to be the sustainable public participatory policy (Danschutter, 2005) and act as the important concept for developing the sustainable disaster management in other districts and regions in the future.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The objectives of the research

  1. To develop the public policy of disaster management in Hat Yai, Songkhla.
  2. To suggest the sustainable disaster management policy in Hat Yai, Songkhla.

Design

The policy research is a Qualitative research which collects information from the document regarding disaster management policy, focus group, in-depth interview which includes people involved in the disaster; the managers, the implementers and the stakeholders in order to strengthen the disaster prevention and long term disaster management in Hat Yai, Songkhla. Also investigate the preparedness of different sections which include the policy of local administration to define the directions in the development; the government sectors in the implementation process as human resource, cooperation, and the management in the form of participatory between the community and the organizations involved to appoint the integrated directions. In this research, the researcher collected the secondary information in the form of in-depth interviews with the representatives from the specific groups of organizations; totally 9 persons are selected as the key informants.

Picture 1: The division of the stakeholders according to the sectors

Moreover, the informal discussion, the observation of the stakeholders, the lesson learned from the experienced people and the stakeholders from every sector are being used during the collecting information process as well. The data then is being collected, analyzed and evaluated. The information is transformed to the policy suitable for the area. The discussion of the policy among the specialists and the stakeholders in three communities; Phrathankiriwat Community, Thon Lung Community and Hat Yai Nai Community which are the three most affected areas in order to improve the policy more completely, publish the report for the public, and push forward the policy to be the public policy.

Methodology 

The researcher studied the factors and compositions which constitute the thought in planning the policy by studying the process of the three variables; policy statement factors, organization competence factors and the success in policy implementation (Gunn, 1976). The objective is to develop the public policy from the theories integrated to the policy implementation according to Gerston (Gerston, 2010) in order to direct the final successful results using the policy making process and the integrated theory of policy implementing of Professor Worradech (Worradech, 2008) into the development of public policy.

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