Promoting active citizenship in the community: A case study of Nong Sarai, Phanomthuan District, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
This research seeks to explore mechanisms and factors contributing to active citizenship in the Nong Sarai community, Phanomthuan District, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Nong Sarai is a unique test case as the community suffered serious debt and closed between 2002 and 2005. Community leaders adopted a strategy that allowed the community and its members to alleviate the debt, establishing a self-reliant community structure. Research employed a qualitative research method, including documentary research and field research, using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and participatory observation. The research found the nature of active citizenship in Nong Sarai. The contributing factors include (1) Context-community active citizenship; (1.1) The awareness of community problems, (1.2) Effective community leaders, (1.3) Villagers’ positive attitude towards the public interest, mutual solutions and trust in leaders, (1.4) Love of community and desire for development. (2) Learning active citizenship; (2.1) Action learning, (2.2) Knowledge management, (2.3) Best practices; (3) Civic competence and knowledge of local community members, and (4) Social outcomes, where local active citizenship results in increased strength and self-reliance in a community.