Poverty goals

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Reflecting the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for introducing business

managerial practices and thinking into government, the post of provincial

governor has been renamed ‘CEO Provincial Governor’. Under the poverty

reduction strategy recently outlined by the National Economic and Social

Development Board, each CEO Provincial Governor will be responsible

for developing benchmarks against ten specified ‘Living Standard

Measurement Criteria’.

The Living Standard Measurement Criteria specify that all Thais must

have access to:

1. Lifelong training opportunities giving the opportunity to acquire the

skills needed to earn a living.

2. Affordable universal health insurance.

3. A decent standard of living for indigent and elderly people.

4. An adequate diet, especially for school-age children.

5. Adequate shelter.

6. Adequate, clean drinking water (fi ve liters per person per day) and

water supply (45 liters per person per day).

7. Electricity supply.

8. Information necessary for their profession.

9. Capital and other resources for starting their own businesses.

10. A livable environment.

These ten goals can be seen as a compromise between the Prime Minister’s

thinking in favor of business approaches to solving social problems, on

the one hand, and the conceptual framework of opportunity, security and

community outlined above. Responsibility for monitoring achievement of

these provincial benchmarks will lie with the National Economic and Social

Development Board, and it will report the results publicly. It is clear that

the role of the provincial governors has been signifi cantly upgraded. It is

not yet clear to what extent this will be matched by resource fl ows to the

provincial level or to what extent the results of the offi cial monitoring will

infl uence these fl ows.