Development and Wellbeing: A Case Study of the Phitsanulok 2020 Indochina Intersection New Economic Zone

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Farung Mee-Udon
Nopparat Rattanaprathum

Abstract

This study aims to assess the wellbeing level of people after the implementation of the current strategic plan for area development known as the Phitsanulok 2020 Indochina Intersection New Economic Zone Strategy. Conducted in 2019, the study used the convergent parallel mixed-method study design. Qualitative data were gathered from 12 key informants. Quantitative data of the sampling group were collected from 400 households living in nine districts. Results show that the Phitsanulok 2020 plan began officially in 2015 but has been a focus of attention since 1994. The plan is going well because Phitsanulok has always been a politically and economically importantcity in the North, and the Indochina intersection has been developed continuously. The plan has contributed to a new approach to development determined not by the government’s initiation but through multi-sectoral coordination. The plan was proposed by the private sector and supported by the government with an advisory committee consisting of representatives from the public and private sectors. While the plan was to implement 12 initial projects in the first five years, most of the projects have not moved beyond the implementation phase since they are ‘megaprojects’ and require substantial investment and long completion time. Although initiated by the local community, decision-making, and budget approval for the plan are guided by government rules and regulations. Moreover, the country’s recent political instability and the changes of Phitsanulok governors have hindered continued support. Quantitative data shows that people’s wellbeing in terms of objective, subjective, and social relations is at a high level. Nevertheless, approximately 70 percent of the sample reported not being aware of the projects and about 25 percent thought that the projects still do not meet their expectations. These are important considerations for policy development in the future.

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How to Cite
Mee-Udon, F., & Rattanaprathum, N. (2020). Development and Wellbeing: A Case Study of the Phitsanulok 2020 Indochina Intersection New Economic Zone. Journal of Mekong Societies, 16(3), 95-115. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/mekongjournal/article/view/245792
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