HDR 2007

In a move that some commentators will find rather bewildering the UNDP’s 2007 Human Development Report for Thailand provides a strong endorsement of the sufficiency economy approach. The report was launched yesterday and is available here. The UNDP website for Thailand reports:

Thailand’s “Sufficiency Economy” holds the key for reducing poverty, combating corruption, and buffering the country against financial crises, according to a timely report launched today in Bangkok. Sufficiency Economy and Human Development demystifies this economic philosophy and shows how its practical applications in business, politics, education, farming, and even everyday conduct have a wide global relevance.

There is much to read in this report and when I have some time to digest it I will provide some further posts. For now, just one quick comment.

On initial inspection there does seem to be an inverse relationship between adherence to the principles of sufficiency economy and a positive performance on UNDP’s Human Achievement Index. The top two performers, Phuket and Bangkok, are hardly paragons of sufficiency economy. Advocates of sufficiency economy are much more likely to find what they are looking for in two lowest ranked provinces: Tak and Mae Hong Son. Note that 9 of the 10 lowest ranked provinces are in the north and the northeast.