Roundtable Discussion on Rural Development and Community Capacity: Case of Rural Development in Thailand

Disparity between rural and urban communities is widening in developed and developing countries. This makes rural development is a globally significant issue to reduce the gap and eliminate poverty. To provide the APU graduate students, mainly Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) fellows the opportunity to face this issue, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) held the “4th Roundtable Discussion on Rural Development and Community Capacity” from August 7 to 9, 2012.

During the first two days of the roundtable discussion there were presentations from academics and development practitioners about conceptual knowledge, as well as experiential and practical cases for rural development approaches. This roundtable discussion focused on the successful experience of rural development of Thailand and the “Rural Development Project through Community Capacity Development in Surin Province, Thailand (the RD-CCD project).”

Based on the lectures roundtable participants conducted group discussions on important issues in the implementation of rural development approaches and how to improve the RD-CCD project implementation in Surin Province. These discussions delved into important issues for rural development and contributed to the practical implementation of the project in Surin Province.

After the classroom session, there was a field trip in Beppu City. The Onpaku approach was introduced as a successful example of rural development. Participants heard lectures from practitioners and those involved with the hands-on experience and the walking tour. The participants could understand the hands-on approach to rural development through their five senses.

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