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Global AIDSLink. 2002 Jan; (71):11, 17.In many Buddhist countries, people assume that monks would never entertain the prospect of working in HIV/AIDS, an illness associated in many people’s minds with immoral, rather than unsafe, behaviors. In some countries where monks have played more of a ceremonial or purely spiritual role, people wonder how monks will cope with the intense social action HIV/AIDS requires. At this stage someone usually raises the example of Thailand where monks have played a role in development activities for over two decades and have been active at grassroots level on HIV/AIDS for many years. For many countries in the Mekong region, Thailand’s example seems a hard act to follow. And it’s true that monks in Cambodia and Lao PDR, for instance, tend to be less well educated, at least in secular subjects, than their peers in Thailand. It is certainly true that their community temples have less resources. But, as UNICEF has been delighted to discover, there are many, many monks in the Mekong region for whom the realization of the extent of the AIDS problem has been a call to action. (excerpt)
[Bangkok, Thailand], United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], South East Asia HIV and Development Project, 2000 Dec. , 16 p.Religion plays a major role in our life as we learn to cope with birth, diseases, aging and death. The Buddhist monks in Mae Chan, in witnessing the devastation to their own families, relatives and friends in the community, decided to mobilize the religious sector for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support. These beautiful sermons are written by the monks based on the Buddhist precepts and are an excellent example of the religious sector’s contribution to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support from its own unique strength and the role in society which complement existing health sectors’ approach for a holistic community response. We are grateful to the monks for giving us the permission to translate these sermons from Lanna Thai to English. We hope to mobilize additional resources in order to translate it into other languages such as Laotian, Khmer, Viet Namese and Chinese to spread the words to people who can heed the preaching. (excerpt)
Thai perspectives on the consulting process: an inquiry into organization renewal strategies for rural development agencies.
[Unpublished] 1988. xv, 212 p. (Doctoral dissertation, North Carolina State University, 1988.)A researcher interviewed 18 Thai consultants, 4 of their clients, and 4 other change agents to learn what processes Thai consultants use in deciding upon intervention strategies. The researcher drew upon organization development literature, Thai history, anthropology, social psychology, and adult education. A wide range of interacting variables influenced these Thai consultants when constructing intervention strategies. Unlike Western consultants who use a system for decision making, Thai consultants make intuitive judgments by determining opportunities for change in light of environmental forces (social, political, economic, and historical forces) and the norms of predominant subcultures in the client agency. They must deal with status relations (e.g., debt and favors), resistance (e.g., power), and "balance" (e.g., having presence of mind) in Thai society which strongly lead them in determining change strategies based on values and culturally determined behaviors. The mix of clients which consultants must cope with includes members of the bureaucratic culture, the culture of technocrats, and the new breed. The 1st 2 cultures are characteristic of governmental agencies while the new breed are generally associated with nongovernmental organizations. All 3 subcultures are represented to some degree in every large development organization. Based on this research, 6 propositions were developed ranging from the proposition that despite systems theory being a useful tool for diagnosis of problems and assessment of change opportunities, it does not contribute to determining how to intervene in the Thai context to the proposition that only new practices and beliefs rationalized within the Thai culture will take root.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1983 Jan. 140 p. (World Bank Staff Working Papers No. 526)The relationship between women's economic participation and their input into household decision making was investigated in 7 village studies in Nepal. 2 distinct cultural traditions were represented in the sample: Indo-Aryan/Hindu and Tibeto-Burman/Buddhist-Animist. The village economy is conceptualized in 4 concentric spheres: 1) household domestic work, 2) household agricultural production activity, 3) work in the local market economy, and 4) employment in the wider economy beyond the village. Aggregate data revealed that women are responsible for 86%, 57%, 38%, and 25% of the input into these 4 spheres, respectively. It was hypothesized that women's participation in the market economy increases their status (defined in terms of household decision making), while confinement to nonmarket subsistence production and domestic work reduces women's status. This hypothesis was confirmed. Women in the more orthodox Hindu communities, who are largely confined to domestic and subsistence production, were found to play a less significant role in major household economic decisions than women in Tibeto-Burman communities where women participate more actively in the market sector. Money earned in the market sector allows women to make a measurable contribution to household income, and thus appears to enhance the perception of women as equal partners. In addition, women's decision making input was found to be inversely related to the income status of the household. These results indicate that integrating women into the market economy is not only an efficient use of local resources, but also improves women's status and economic security. The time allocation and decision making data reveal that women play the major role in agricultural production, both as laborers and managers. This suggests the need to train female agricultural extension agents and to make male workers aware of the need to reach female farmers. The results further indicate that involvement of women in the development process leads to lowered fertility and more positive attitudes toward educating female children. Tibeto-Burman women have lower birthrates than Hindu women, perhaps due to their greater economic security and availability of alternate female role models. An extensive methodological annex, including survey instruments, is included.