Participatory Process in the Development of Housing and Community Comfortable Living Performance Standards

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Tirawat Pimwern

Abstract

The participatory process in developing housing and community standards in this study includes the identification of indicators which are proxies for the type and criteria of comfortable living. Previously, international standards were adapted to the Thai context, but this adaptation could not adequately reflect the local context. In addition, the international standards are difficult to understand and tailor to unique settings. Thus, it was decided to develop a Thai-specific set of standards for housing and community comfortable living (“Housing and Community Performance Standards”); something that has never been attempted before. The researcher employed a participatory process as the principal method of implementation in order to ensure a diverse exchange of viewpoints and perspectives. This also guaranteed that the indicators that are developed reflect the genuine needs of the local community. Indeed, the community counterparts played the role of development partners, in league with the government, Civil Society, and academia representatives. This research is an outgrowth of the Project to Study Standards of Housing and Community Comfortable Living for Planning Domicile Development. It was not possible to record all the relevant dimensions of the participatory process in detail. However, the experience and lessons learned from the research are adequately represented in the report of the study. The goal of this research report is to illustrate the importance of the participatory process through the methods, tools, outcomes, benefits, and limitations that this entailed. The reader will be able to see the interesting and wondrous results which the participatory process generates. In that way, the outcomes are not simply the empirical results of the implementation. Instead, the products are the intangible benefits of the participants and the serendipitous nature of what that creates. Those products are the more valuable outcomes which need to receive attention. In sum, the greater the level of participation, then the more sustainable and replicable the outcomes will be.

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References

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