Stakeholder Analysis: Who are the Key Actorsin Establishing and Developing Thai Independent Consumer Organizations?
In Thailand, both the 1997 and the current 2007 Thai Constitutions have mentioned the establishment of independent organizations as a new mechanism to play a key role in proposing policy recommendations to national decision-makers in the interest of collective consumers. Over the last ten years, no independent organizations have yet been set up. Evidently, nobody could point out who should be key players in establishing provincial independent consumer bodies. The purpose of this study was to find definitive stakeholders in establishing and developing independent consumer bodies in a Thai context. This was a cross-sectional study between August and September 2007, using a postal questionnaire with telephone follow-up. The questionnaire was designed and used to obtain multiple stakeholder assessment of three key attributes (power, interest and influence). Study population was 153 stakeholders associated with policy decision-making, formulation and implementation processes of civil-based consumer protection in pilot provinces. The population covered key representatives from five sectors (academics, government officers, business traders, mass media and consumer networks) who participated in the deliberative forums at 10 provinces. A 49.7% response rate was achieved. Data were analyzed, comparing means of three stakeholder attributes and classification of stakeholder typology. The results showed that the provincial health officers were the definitive stakeholders as they had legal power, influence and interest in establishing and sustaining the independent consumer bodies. However, only a few key representatives of the provincial health officers expressed their own paradigm on the civil-based consumer protection. Most provincial health officers put their own standpoint of building civic participation at only a plan-implementation level. For effective policy implementation by the independent consumer bodies, the Thai government should provide budgetary support for the operation of the provincial health officers with their paradigm shift as well as their own clarified standpoint on corporate governance.
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