UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Health intervention as a catalyst for community development : A case study of the Nong Khaem mother and child health project (Bangkok, Thailand) Jawanda, Kimindra


By the year 2000, urban areas will be home to more than fifty percent of the world's population. The rapid rate of urbanization particularly in the developing world will no doubt lead to an increase in slum and squatter communities. In conjunction with this growth, there will be a lack of both physical and social infrastructure, and urban problems will become even more acute than they are today. There is a growing realization that growth management policies have to be put into effect in order to deal with the creation of these mega-urban regions: policies which recognize the absolute need of participation of all the players involved. This thesis examines two themes: (1) the role of a local non-governmental organization (NGO) in an urban poor site in Bangkok, Thailand in promoting community development and; (2) the establishment of a primary healthcare unit and its use as a catalyst for further community development, in which women are targeted as the agents of change. Questionnaires and informal discussions were conducted with the community residents and leaders; NGO staff; local municipal authorities and with other NGOs. The principal findings were the following: (1) the poor can articulate their needs and are able to assist themselves if given the training and resources to do so; (2) there should be better coordination between the players involved, ie - the public, private and voluntary (including community residents) sectors of society; (3) health as an initial entry feature into a community can prove to be a successful mode in advancing community development; (4) by training the women in the community as both health care workers and daycare workers, the facilities will have a better chance of being sustained once the NGO pulls out; (5) the community should play a crucial participatory role in the designing, implementing and monitoring stages of any development project and; (6) by decentralizing activities to the local level, aid becomes more effective.

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