The 20-year National Strategy (2017-2036) provides framework for increasing competitiveness by improving competitiveness in manufacturing and service sectors in order that Thai citizens can compete, create sustainability, improved quality of life and increase income. The 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017-2021), Strategy 3 which aims to strengthen the economy and sustainable competitiveness, provides framework for increasing competitiveness in service sector. The Ministry of Interior’s Mission No. 4 aims to strengthen the communities and local economy through participation, based on Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP). CDD’s policy direction aims to strengthen and develop local economy, including strengthen the community capacity.
CDD in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has implemented the Project for Community-Based Entrepreneurship Promotion which aims to promote local economy in target areas by increasing community capacity and to develop the community entrepreneurs through Decentralised Hands-On Program Exhibition (D-HOPE). The project is 4-year duration, 2018-2021. The Director-General of CDD has signed the Records of Discussions of Project for Community-Based Entrepreneurship Promotion to collaborate with JICA to implement the project in the target area. Nine provinces were the pilot targets in TFY2018: Nakonpanom, Mukdahan, Surin, Chiang Mai, Lampun, Chonburi, Chonburi, Chantaburi, Ranong and Trang. The number of targeted provinces is expected to increase year on year. The implementation will be on cost-sharing basis between CDD and JICA. In TFY2019, 5 provinces are selected in order to broaden implementation from the first year: Lopburi, Singburi, Ratchburi, Pattalung and Phang Nga. The objectives are to increase the number of entrepreneurs in target area and to sustainably strengthen local economy.
all the hands-on programs are held in the choices of the producers and service providers. The activity is hands-on oriented so that instead of exhibiting, they make tourists/visitors involve them in the experienced-based activities. In this way, the income from the hands-on programs can be distributed all over the target villages by providing the opportunity for local people. Moreover, instead of producers traveling from the village to other places, people visit the village and experience the life of locals from the perspective of locals, which is the biggest attraction as well as the tourism trend.
Table 1: Characteristics of Exhibition
3-2. D-HOPE and Experience Economy
D-HOPE is designed based on the theory of the experience economy (Pine and Gilmore, 1998), which emphasizes the transition of economic development from commodity, products, services to experiences or transformations. The value of experience is so much higher than the products and services as shown in Figure 2 and 3. Therefore, a hands-on program is for visitors to experience the local life whilst the provider charges for the experience (participation) fee. Thus, it requires more than just showing around the places.
Figure 2: Towards Experience Economy: Price of Noodle offerings
Figure 3: Completing the Progression of Economic Value
3-3. Definition of Hands-on Program
A hands-on program contains the story of the local champion with his/her individual photograph along with the details of the program designed by them. The point is to emphasize individual entrepreneurship that contributes to the diversification of the village attractions. Therefore, it is important to encourage individual persons to develop own hands-on program and focus on his/her story to develop his/her capacity. The key for an attractive hands-on program is to include an experience activity and enjoy it together!
3-4. From big to small
D-HOPE emphasizes rather small activities by individuals and collect them as many as possible. Thus, the accumulation of smalls can create one big thing, which is the catalogue with many varieties of activities. Doing so, D-HOPE emphasizes the openness and inclusiveness of the community through encouraging more people to participate, which can achieve participatory development within the community. Moreover, the village can diversify the attractions for visitors so that they can increase the opportunity to get more income and become entrepreneurial and innovative.
For example, one hands-on program is conducted by an individual to manage planning, implementation and evaluation so that he/she can develop own capacity in terms of entrepreneurship. Naturally, the time and contents are manageable by the individual so that a couple of hours is suitable. The rest of the villagers can also support these individual champions so that the mechanism of support in the village can be enhanced as well as the networks among people for community capacity.
This way, even the small and unknown community can have an opportunity to compete with big cities without investing on the big infrastructure.
3-5. D-HOPE Event for Promotion of Entrepreneurs and its Marketing Strategy
Information Technology (IT) has developed the way of communication channels. For instance, the google map has the streetview contents and even the public can add more information. Therefore, people prefer to seek for something undiscovered and not simply interested in finding information that can be googled easily. They look for unique and one and only experience, which is the value that has never been discovered. Therefore, D-HOPE catalogue is a tool to promote those values in the village for a specific period of time (Promotion fair for a couple of months). It is a provincial event that can be also celebrated by the locals as well. There is no way for visitors to enjoy locals without locals to enjoy the local themselves.
Another remark is for visitors to exercise their choices of where to go, where to eat, what to see and experience. Providing many options create visitors to make their own original program that increases the satisfaction level and the village can meets the needs of demands easily as well.
Therefore, the event starts with an opening ceremony for public to know about the event as well as the catalogue. Once the event starts, the visitors decide which village they are interested to visit, what hands-on program they want to participate and directly communicate with the champions. Thus, each champion needs to make an effort on promoting their hands-on programs to attract visitors during the event, which can increase the marketing skills as well. The catalogue can be also promoted digitally or shared through social media such as Facebook or website.
Ultimately, D-HOPE is a place for producers and service providers essentially to become an entrepreneur through exploring the potentiality of the new idea towards creating or improving their business through interaction of the visitors. This way, they understand the market needs better subsequently to reflect those information (market survey) into improving own products and services as well as to create demands on new business. The catalogue essentially is a test marketing for developing or improving new business so that securing the number of the hands-on programs is important. For instance, looking from the normal distribution perspective, the greater number of hands-on programs are exposed, the greater number of hands-on programs produce excellent results.
The D-HOPE catalogue is also a foundation for the development of community capacity. After having this much information in one catalogue, this becomes a strong tool for local people to utilize the information in various ways.
The D-HOPE Project Office
Community Development Department, Ministry of Interior
The Government Complex Commemorating, Building B, 5th Floor,
Chaeng Wattana Road, Thung Song Hong, Laksi,
Line ID: dhope.thailand