Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - the 5 th International Conference on Globalization: The Scale of Globalization.
Title Challenging Institutional Frameworks of Governance: Learning from Participatory Irrigation Management in Thailand
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://conference.osu.eu/globalization/publ2011/174-185_Kumnerdpet.pdf
Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) was adopted in Thailand in 2004 to encourage
the efficient use of water in the agricultural sector that is striving to be more sustainable. The
research presented in this paper exemplifies the success of PIM in Thailand that engages
individual farmers or their representatives in the irrigation areas to fully involve in the
decision making of water administration, from the lowest level of an irrigation system, i.e.
ditch, to the highest level, i.e. reservoir, through established water user organizations and the
joint management committee for irrigation. Data was collected through document reviews,
observation, informal meetings, and a total of 55 semi-structured face-to-face interviews of
local people from two case studies at the Krasiew Reservoir, Suphanburi Province, Thailand.
Results showed that participating in PIM activities facilitated learning among PIM
participants. Findings also revealed that social action is fostered by the recognition of human
dignity and compassionate communication that develops a sense of ownership and a sense of
solidarity. The notion of sustainable water practices among local farmers became more acute
in reaction to the 2005 water crisis in the irrigation areas. It can be said that people learn from
a real and meaningful project by engaging in an interactive action. The lessons learned
demonstrate the inherent potential of marginalized Thai farmers, who are capable of directing
their own water service delivery. The lessons also illustrate the proper role of public irrigation
staff as organizers who arrange the ideal conditions for promoting a meaningful dialogue in
PIM discussions, thus facilitating mutual learning among stakeholders. Opportunities from
PIM help reinforce the recognition of valuable peeople in the local communities of
marginalized Thai farmers and, moreover, strengthen the foundation of Thai society that is
able to endure the growing challenges.

Related studies