Due to limited resources and a lack of sufficiently appropriate personnel and sufficient competence amongst them, the public sector should not be the only sector responsible for driving the country forward. I believe that the private sector, the people sector (civil society sector) all need to participate and contribute in developing the country together. If these three sectors strongly cooperate with each other, the country will move forward more quickly and more successfully since all these sectors would be contributing their individual strengths which would help support each of them.
Based on this belief, I have collaborated with Presidents of Universities, distinguished professors and scholars, researchers and experts in various fields to form the “Wisdom Council” in which I have been honored to be given the role of Chairman of the Wisdom Council. The first mission of the Wisdom Council is to conduct a perception survey of the Thai people in order to develop the “Thailand Effectiveness Index (TE Index)”which consists of three sub-indices include “Public Sector Effectiveness Index”(PBE Index),“Private Sector Effectiveness Index”(PVE Index) and “People Sector Effectiveness Index”(PPE Index).
In order to develop the TE Index, a perception survey of the population is conducted. Sampling includes Thai people from all regions across the country with spread across all age groups and all levels of education, income, and occupations, both in rural and urban areas, in an effort to be representative of all population groups within the country. The survey will be conducted on a monthly basis, with one index per month. After one quarter, the results of all three sub-indices are combined and calculated as the Thailand Effectiveness Index (TE Index) for that quarter. The same three sub-indices will be surveyed again on a loop in order to track any changes to sub- indices as well as the overall TE index.
The TE Index shall reflect the effectiveness or strength of three sectors in moving Thailand forward to achieve national development goals. This index reflects each sector from the eyes of outsiders or average person’s point of view, which could lead to improvements in their effectiveness. More importantly, conducting the survey continuously over time will help track whether or not there is any improvement.
The first sub-index, the Public Sector Effectiveness Index (PBE Index), was surveyed in the December 2015. This index reflects the views of the people towards the public sector as a whole and tells us that to what extent that the public sector can meet the expectations of the people in performing their missions and achieving their objectives. In this survey, the "public sector" refers to all types of organizations, the central, regional and local authorities, or the political sector and the civil servant sector, including the government, the twelve ministries, the parliament, the courts, the public enterprises, the public organizations and the constitutional independent organizations.
For the PBE index, three dimensions were considered: public policy, public service delivery and the institution of the Thai public sector. Under each dimension, many factors or sub-dimensions were examined in greater detail. The survey was conducted among 1,093 people from all over the country in 5 regions (North, Northeast, Central, South and Bangkok) together with the interview of 200 experts. It was found that:
1) Overall, both general people and the experts gave only medium score to Thai public sector with 52.2% and 44.2% respectively. General people also gave around 50% to almost all sub-dimensions of the PBE. The score were slightly higher than what the experts gave in almost all sub-dimensions, except “Corruption in public policy” which receive the lowest score from both groups.
2) For the dimension of the public policy, the Thai public sector receives an overall score of 51.8%. The public sector did well in quick “Responsiveness to situation” with the highest score of 57.5% from general people and 55.3% from the experts. However, for “Corruption in public policy”, general people gave the lowest score, only 45.7%, and it was only one sub-dimension with the score lower than 50% whereas the expert group gave the lowest score to “Transparency in public policy-making process” with score as low as 41.9%.
3) For the public service delivery dimension, the Thai public sector had an overall effectiveness level of 52.4%. Sub-dimension with the highest score given by general people was “Integration between government agencies” (54.9%) whereas the experts gave the highest score to “Speed in service provision” (46.1%). For “Transparency” and “Efficiency”, it both received fairly low score from general people and the experts.
4) For people’s perception of the institution of the Thai public sector, “Trust” received relatively the same score from general people and the experts. While the highest gap between the perception of general people and the experts was found in “Independence”. The sub-dimension that receive the lowest score from general people was “Professionalism of the politicians and government officers, with the score of 51%.
Further analysis of the survey results were carried out and interesting issues were found which are as follow:
1) Comparing between people from different regions, people in the central region of Thailand significantly gave the highest score (about 68%). While the average score given by people in other regions were around 45-50%. Interestingly, people in the Southern region gave the lowest score in all three dimensions, especially for “the institution of the Thai public sector” with the score as low as 41%.
2) For people living in rural and urban area, their perception toward the public sector effectiveness was not different. Also, there is no difference between male and female.
3) Comparing between the different age groups, the older gave higher score than the younger. This reflects the public services can reach the working age people and elderly better than teenagers.
4) When considering people in the different occupations, farmers were the group that gave the highest score comparing to people in other occupations. This seems to be that public policies and services benefit them the most. Business owners gave the lowest effectiveness score which showed that they seem not satisfied with the performance of the public sector.
The results of this survey reflect that the Thai public sector has a large amount of room that can be developed in order to meet the needs of the people along with fulfilling the need of developing the country more effectively.
Figure 1:The components of Thailand Effectiveness Index
Figure 2:The result of the public effectiveness index survey
Figure 3: Press conference on the survey of public opinion to develop the Thailand Effectiveness Index (TE Index)
ISSUE 0101 (May-June 16)
Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Center of Business and Government.
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