• Published Date: 14/06/2023
  • by: UNDP

The Invisible Wall: Getting To Know the Ethnic Groups and Challenges of life Through “Ethnic Youth Dialogue”

If we talk about one unique group that most people don’t have a chance to meet or talk to that much,

an ethnic group may be one of the first ones that come to mind. But, why? Even though ethnic groups may not have a stand-out or different appearance from the majority of people in Thailand, they still have more limitations in their lives, in contrast to the modernity of this society. This dialogue will invite you to learn about the way of life and the obstacles in the lives of ethnic groups.

Ethnic youth in Thailand, which are ethnic minorities, face inequality and various obstacles in accessing the rights that should be obtained from being human in the first place, from discrimination to lack of educational opportunities, employment, and medical treatment rights. Prejudice is a major problem among ethnic youth in Thailand. Although the country is ethnically diverse, there is still discrimination against people who are different from the majority. Ethnic youths often face racism and issues in communication, especially in the workplace or in school.


The disappearance of culture

Ko (figure name), an Aka youth, shared her experience during the discussion that language differences may be a challenge for some ethnic minorities. Thai is the main language of the country, but some ethnic groups may not use Thai as their first language. This may make it difficult for them to communicate with other people, access education,  and other opportunities. She told us that when she was younger, she couldn’t speak fluent Thai at the time. She attended a Thai school, which was the beginning of her discrimination experience, whether it was from friends or teachers at the school, due to the fact that she couldn’t communicate properly in Thai. After that, she tried her best to communicate in Thai all the time, and until now, she can no longer communicate in her native language very well anymore.

This indicates the result of attempting to change their cultural identity to meet Thai social values. This has led to the disappearance of native languages and cultures in the community.


Inequality in education and employment is also a major issue for ethnic minorities. This may be related to the difficulty of the acquisition of Thai nationality. Ethnic minorities and some ethnic youth may not have access to education or job opportunities as much as Thai nationals, which may limit career opportunities and make it difficult for them to establish a successful life in the future. Therefore, their dreams have been limited.


When the distance prevents you from exercising your right to support policies or representatives you need

Linked to the problem of inequality in education, it leads to other obstacles in exercising fundamental rights. “Saeng” (figure name), an ethnic participant, said that the right to vote is  not universal. The village where he lives is almost on the mountain. So, the distance makes it difficult to exercise their rights to support policies or representatives of the country. Besides that, outsiders also take advantage of the fact that ethnic people have less knowledge of this kind of information for their own benefit. The government does not see the importance of a lot of issues such as the right to obtain Thai nationality. Some groups of people have lived in Thailand for a long time but have not acquired Thai citizenship. Despite being in the area of ​​Thailand, the community is far from the city and civilization. They still have to constantly fight for the right to citizenship because it is hard to access various welfare and services without it. 

Furthermore, there is a problem with unclear address information. Although the ethnic communities have been living in Thailand for a long time, the area is far away and close to the border, making it difficult to identify their identity. They have been questioned about being a citizen of other countries such as Myanmar or Laos, resulting in the non-recognition of nationality. Today, many ethnic youths still face this obstacle.


Alternative Treatments and Access to Public Health Services 

May (figure name), an Akha youth, shared with us that in her childhood, traditional ghost beliefs played a big role in her community. Even in Christian-dominated communities like her family, traditional beliefs were influenced. Some beliefs are influenced by her own experiences, she told us that when she was young, the wounds wouldn’t heal by modern methods, but after trying the science of beliefs and healing using dirt and earthworms in conjunction with tribal rituals, the wounds were healed.  Although in the present, there are public healthcare and health services under the welfare state. Some ethnic people may still choose traditional treatment over modern science. However, some did not have a choice, they still do not have access to public health services and have not received proper support. This is due to the lack of comprehensive access to fundamental rights and still waiting for further policy change.


It is undeniable that minorities in Thailand have to face various problems, whether inequality or the right to access education and medical treatment. These problems cannot be solved without creating a support network that can help guide and promote the system of services, along with the distribution of decentralizing basic rights. It is important to support access to rights and non-discrimination and try to push toward the next goal. There are also organizations and groups that are working to support ethnic youth in Thailand and are ready to support the rights to education, to help ethnic youths to work effectively and equally. By working together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive society for everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity

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  • Published Date:
  • by: UNDP

The Rainbow Stories: Learning the Way of Life through the Lens of LGBTI Youth

Did you know that Thailand still has a group of people who have not received equality or may not have the right to access what they deserve despite being a citizen of the same country?

Among these people, LGBT people are one of the groups that have been overlooked for their needs and are often denied assistance. Due to social bias that is not open to gender diversity and may not yet understand the vulnerability of LGBTI people, they have to struggle to stand up for themselves and find a way to advocate for their rights.


Through this experience-exchanging dialogue, we would like to invite everyone to learn more about LGBTI people and their way of life in this country. 


Thailand may be known for being an open country when it comes to LGBTI issues. Despite its reputation for being progressive in this matter, the reality is that being LGBTI still isn’t easy. LGBTI youth in Thailand face challenges that are unique and different from other identities, this can make life difficult and stressful for them.

“Different” appearances lead to discrimination

One of the biggest challenges faced by LGBTI youth in Thailand is discrimination. Despite Thailand’s reputation for being tolerant of LGBTIs more than any other country in Southeast Asia, discrimination against the LGBTI group persists. This can be expressed in various ways, from verbal abuse to physical violence. LGBTI people have a way of expressing themselves differently and may not fit the “gender standard” societal norms. Of course, there are many people who tolerate it, but there are also many who do not, which may lead to threats, bullying, and even violence. Sadly, this situation often occurs, especially when they openly express their true selves.

The obstacle that LGBTI youth in Thailand often have to face is a lack of support from family and friends. Family is very important in Thai culture. Many LGBTI youth encounter family rejection or denial when expressing their identity. This can lead to the feelings of loneliness and depression. It’s difficult to find friends who understand the same things. In addition, many LGBTI youth may not have a support network to understand what they are experiencing and what they really need.



Policies that do not protect against discrimination is an indirect violence 

A major challenge remains legal protection for LGBTI people. In Thailand, there are no anti-discrimination laws that specifically protect LGBTI people, meaning LGBTI youths may be subject to discrimination in housing, employment, and education without being able to seek any legal assistance. Of course, love is not against the law, but there are still no anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBTI people, nor is there a law that allows same sex marriage or civil partnership registration.

In addition, an important issue exchanged in this dialogue is the lack of remedial measures for victims of violence due to gender identity. Thailand is another country that values the norm of men and women. However, it ignores the importance of helping those whose gender identity does not meet the main social identity standards. Although LGBTI often experiences sexual violence, the importance of treating such traumatized experiences is often overlooked.


These issues can be illustrated that people often disregard the fundamental rights of LGBTI people. One of the obstacles of being a transgender person is having to face many obstacles, such as undergoing gender affirming surgery or hormonal treatment. The expenditures for this matter are currently not supported by the government.


Thai Society’s Understanding of Gender Diversity

Finally, in the current society, Thailand still lacks awareness and understanding about LGBTI issues, which may lead to misunderstandings, stereotypes, and generalizations of what being LGBTI really is. This makes it difficult for young people to find the right information and support. Schools do not always provide support, nor do they always have resources. This may make LGBTI youth feel unsafe and difficult to stay in school. The lack of such education also makes it difficult for schools to provide safe spaces or appropriate resources and support for LGBTI students.

In summary, Thai LGBTQ youth face a series of challenges, including discrimination, lack of support from family and friends, lack of legal protection, and education issues. Despite the progress of support for all LGBTQ citizens in Thailand, there is still a long way to go to transform into a society free from discrimination and prejudice. It is important that policymakers, educators, and the entire society must strive together to create a more accessible environment for all young people. Society must consider and take gender diversity factors into account to create a society that truly benefits all groups.

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  • Published Date:
  • by: UNDP

Unheard Voices: Untold Stories of Muslim Youth Through Youth Dialogue

Imagine a Muslim family using taxi services, dressed in traditional clothing, and receiving strange and uncomfortable expressions from the driver. But family members are not really surprised either, as they are used to being stared at and having to explain their culture and values, as a Muslim family living in a country where Muslims are the minority.

Because the stories of the Muslim community may have never been discussed in mainstream education, mainstream media, and other aspects. Therefore, sometimes social services or activities in Thailand may not be aligned with their religious practices, resulting in their lack of participation in society. Therefore, we invite you to communicate their way of life from their perspective through a youth dialogue called ‘Leave No One Behind’. This is a dialogue between young people and various identity groups, including Muslims.


The problems and obstacles that Muslim youth in Thailand have to face are caused by the complex social and political issues of the country. Most Muslims in Thailand live in the southern provinces in Thailand, and although they are Thai, their culture and religious practices are different from most Buddhist populations. This may lead to the feeling of being left out of Muslim youth that we never thought of. Today, we invite you to explore the problems faced by Thai Muslim youth from this dialogue.


Social biases faced by Muslims

The first major topic of conversation during the dialogue is social prejudice. Muslim youth in Thailand face discrimination and prejudice because of their religious and cultural practices. When taking time to discuss the obstacles and challenges of being a Muslim, this seems to be a common experience among Thai Muslims. It can appear in the form of social exclusion and stereotypes. Negative attitudes towards them may make it difficult for Muslim youth to fully participate in society. This is due to a lack of awareness and education about the Muslim population in Thailand. This may lead to the fear of initiating the conversations that would help with the understanding among religions. Because of this, many Muslims have to try very hard to work together through media and community engagement projects to address these issues.

Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik


When “Home” is not a safe place

When asked about the main obstacles in life, there is always one story that has been brought up by Muslim people in the South. The three southern border provinces of Thailand have been faced with political instability and violence for many years. This has created a sense of danger and fear among Muslim youth in the South, thus limiting their future opportunities. To fix this problem, more conversations need to be initiated on this issue. Peacebuilding and conflict resolution initiatives should be established. This may include initiatives that promote dialogue and understanding between communities,  as well as projects addressing the causes of conflict such as poverty, and inequality. and discrimination Muslim youth in Thailand often experience economic disadvantage due to inequality in the community. This may make it difficult for them to find work or access economic opportunities. This could have a long-term effect on their future. This is the main point raised in the conversation all the time.


Parents of most Muslim youth in the southern region do not encourage their children to go to school outside the province due to the violence that is happening, resulting in them choosing to keep their children at home to help take care of each other’s safety. This is mostly caused by safety concerns and low income due to limited career opportunities. It is directly linked to political instability in the area, which is still the main obstacle that is extremely difficult to solve.


Access to education is an ongoing challenge for Muslim youth in Thailand, especially in the southern provinces. Education systems in these areas are often underfunded and understaffed. This results in limited resources and facilities. Moreover, Muslim youth that attend schools with a Buddhist majority may face discrimination and prejudice from teachers and classmates, which makes it difficult for them to adjust to the school environment.. To fix this problem, more investment in education in southern provinces is needed. This may include building new schools, hiring more teachers, and providing resources and support to students. In addition, there is a need for greater awareness and education about the importance of understanding for all members of society, regardless of their background or religion.


An environment that is suitable for adaptation is also necessary. More and more Muslim youth want to study in Bangkok for a better quality of education. But instead faced problems caused by the overlook of religious beliefs, such as finding halal food. There are few or no halal food restaurants provided in educational institutions. This is another reason why young Muslims may feel that they are not part of society and are being ignored.

Through this dialogue, we learn and understand more about the lifestyle and practices of the Muslim population, including the situation of Muslims in the three southern border provinces. As Thai Muslim youth face challenges that we may not have anticipated, due to unfamiliarity with religious practices and the complex social and political landscape of the country, it is necessary to address these challenges. More investment is needed in education, economic development, and peace initiatives.

It is important that solving this problem is the responsibility of all religions. It is necessary to raise awareness and education about the Muslim community in Thailand to combat discrimination and prejudice. By working together, we can create a more inclusive and equal society for all members of the community.

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  • Published Date:
  • by: UNDP

Different, Not Less: Pushing the Limits Through Learning the Life Experiences of Youth with Disabilities

Have you ever thought about how we all have different abilities?

Some people run very fast, some sing well, and some have cool ideas for changing the world. However, when we talk about people with disabilities, sometimes we forget that they are not different from people without disabilities. We may not be aware of their abilities, as we may never understand identities that are different from those we are familiar with.


In this blog, we will discuss the lifestyle of young people with disabilities and the obstacles they face through a youth dialogue with people with disabilities and other identity groups, in order to understand problems and solutions to help them receive the equality they deserve.

Disability is a major issue affecting many people worldwide, especially Thai youth. Disability is not necessarily a physical disability, mental disability is also considered a disability. According to the 2017 Disability Survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics, there were approximately 140,000 children with disabilities. Most of them come from low-income families, with over 38% of people not in the education system, 27% lack of access to health promotion services, and 4% of people unable to access medical services during illness. Nearly half are not registered with the government and do not receive monthly disability living allowances.

Thai people with disabilities face challenges that may have a significant impact on accessing resources and opportunities. These challenges are particularly severe in societies where physical performance is highly valued and the needs of people with disabilities are often overlooked.

One of the challenges faced by people with disabilities in Thailand is discrimination and social stigma. Despite efforts to increase awareness and understanding of disability, many people with disabilities also face social and economic biases and discrimination, which may lead to difficulties in receiving education, employment, and healthcare, including a lack of government and civil society representation.


Challenges in Accessing Education and Training Opportunities 

Ja (figure name), a mobility-impaired person in the group, shared her high school experience. When she was in high school, she attended a school without an elevator, making the travel to study in each lesson very difficult and tiring. Many schools and universities do not have spaces for students with disabilities, this may limit their ability to access basic education. This can lead to limited employment opportunities and diminished earning potential. This could have a profound impact on the quality of life of people with disabilities. In addition, people with disabilities in Thailand face challenges in accessing healthcare services. Many medical facilities are not equipped to provide the necessary accommodations for people with disabilities, this may limit their ability to access treatment and care and lead to worse health and lower quality of life.


In addition, young people with disabilities in Thailand face challenges due to the lack of technology and equipment. Many young people with disabilities need technology and equipment to help them with their daily lives, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, and communication devices. “Chak” (figure name), one of the blind people in the conversation, said that these devices can be expensive and difficult to access, especially for rural residents or low-income families. Their income is not enough to buy these things. This will limit their ability to access education, employment, and other opportunities greatly.


The challenge of preventing people with disabilities from participating in social activities

Another challenge faced by young people with disabilities in Thailand is the lack of public transportation. Although there are newly invented applications to help alleviate the difficulties of using public transportation such as Viabus, most public transportation systems in Thailand are still not designed for people with disabilities, which may limit their ability to travel and receive education, independent Employment, and medical services. This may lead to people with disabilities having to rely on family members or caregivers for transportation, further limiting their independence and social opportunities. Many participants shared similar experiences where their family members did not encourage traveling alone because they were concerned about safety.

Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

In terms of hobbies and recreational activities, since young people with disabilities may still face challenges in accessing information and communication technology, this may limit their ability to access information and resources, as well as participation in online learning and socializing. Many websites and digital platforms are not designed for people with disabilities, increasing more limitations of access to these technologies. “Jin”(figure name), a blind person, told us about how she also wants to do online shopping like a person without disabilities. However, it is nearly impossible, because most applications or online shopping websites do not design or provide screen-reader programs for visually impaired people. Even though it seems like a minor problem, this creates social divisions, a lack of opportunities, and what a human being deserves.


Challenges in accessing legal services and information

Finally, what we have learned from youth with disabilities in this dialogue is that they have faced difficulties in obtaining legal services and information. Many of them are not aware of their rights and their legal protection, which may make it difficult for them to obtain legal services and maintain their rights. In addition, many organizations that support people with disabilities are located in urban areas, which may make it difficult for low-income and rural disabled youth to obtain these services. To face the difficulty of these challenges, relevant governments and civil society must work together to promote the rights and inclusiveness of people with disabilities, this might involve amending laws and policies to ensure a more inclusive environment and protect them from discrimination. This includes raising awareness and promoting understanding of a more accepting society for people with disabilities.


The voices of people with disabilities and their stories allow us to better understand their daily life, dreams, and needs. Their needs are not different from people without disabilities, they hope to have a good quality of life and an atmosphere that allows them to achieve their wishes and dreams. The existing services and benefits may meet the needs of a large population. However, if we understand the specific circumstances of people with disabilities, we can design services that are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

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  • Published Date: 26/05/2022
  • by: UNDP

Youth Meaningful Participation: 8 rungs to the meaningful engagement

Have you ever experienced full and effective youth participation? ???
It is clear that these days, youth is becoming an important stakeholder and everyone seems to be eager in bringing youth to the table or organizing fun activities to promote many issues towards our sustainable future.
However, how many of us actually understand the level of youth participation that is needed.
Today, we have a solution to share. After learning about these 8 rungs of ‘Ladder for Young People’s Participation’ by Roger A. Hart published in Children’s Participation: From tokenism to Citizenship, please let us know which rung have you experienced or would like to experience more?

Starting with the lowest level of youth participation.

Rung 1 – Manipulation: projects or activities that are entirely designed and run by adults. It is conveyed and pretended that the causes presented in the event are inspired by young people, while, in fact, children and youth are barely getting any meaningful roles for that event, for example, children or youth’s performances that are purely guided by adults, young people holding political signs without understanding the context and their action, and the news titled ‘Youth action for climate change’ while there is no details on how youth involve in that event or mostly mentioned as run by adult ‘officials’.

Rung 2 – Decoration: refers to the occasions when young people are used to help or promote the cause without them understanding about it. The difference from the first rung is that adults do not pretend that the causes are inspired by young people, for example, young people are invited to the event for refreshments, wear a t-shirt and take a photo without them knowing what is the context of the issues they participate in.

Rung 3 – Tokenism: young people appear to be given a voice, with little or no options for participating in the subjects. They barely have the opportunity to formulate their own opinions. The voice or inputs proposed are not seriously taken forward into the decision-making process or no feedback to the proposal at all, for example, an event invite young influencer to join the workshop with the other youths and discuss about the cause but there is no explanation of background on the topic or clear representation of each participants, the next day, the news posted the event with the focus only on the influencer and no mention about other young people’s involvement and inputs related to the youth voice given to the process.

Rung 4 – Assigned but informed: this is the level that young people are assigned to a specific role and being informed about details on intention of projects, who made the decisions related to their involvement and why, being put in meaningful role rather than decorative ones either as functional or symbolic purpose, and volunteer to the project after the details are well-informed to them, for example, young people are assigned to their works as supporting information for the discussion process or advocating for emerging topics to gain attention and convince stakeholders on issues that most impacted to them which might lead to the adoption of certain issues or practices.Rung 5 – Consulted and informed: happens when young people are consulted and provide advice to the adult which they know that the inputs are taken seriously through the adult-led process and outcomes are made by the adults, for example, youth are invited to participate in a consultation workshop where youth inputs are taken into account for the formulation of a transportation roadmap for the city. Youth also get informed about the background and have enough time to prepare their inputs to propose at the meeting. However, the final call of the roadmap and its operation will be made by adults after.

Rung 6 – Adult-initiated, shared decisions with young people: of course, not all types of community development projects can be initiated by people from all ages. However, it is crucial to ensure participatory processes are implemented with involvement of various groups in particular of young, elderly and vulnerable groups. This rung occurs when the projects are initiated by adults but young people take part and share their decision together with adults, for example, a company is having a budget to organize community activities with youth in the local area. Youth are invited to take part in the planning and implementation of the workshops. Youth get to make decisions on communication materials and workshop facilitation together with adults resulting in collaborative outputs and outcomes for the projects.Rung 7 – Young people-initiated and directed: this happens when young people initiate their own projects by having adults play supportive roles to those youth-led projects. It was also found that usually adults are bad at responding to young people’s initiatives as it is hard for them not to jump in, suggesting safe solutions, stopping inappropriate actions in their view or, sometimes, even take charge which if improperly executed, might become an obstacle for young people to learn, feel empowered, and show their potentials and creative skills, for example, a youth club decided to organize a camp with their peers at the university about LGBTI+. Young people have taken a lead on formulating ideas, proposals and implementation, adults are being supportive by providing resources either as financial or resource persons and logistics to make their ideas/projects come true.

Rung 8 – Young people-initiated, shared decisions with adults: is the top level of participation as young people are able to use their aspiration and creativity to initiate projects that most respond to their purposes and needs by still including adults in the shared decision-making process. This way of participation does not only allow youth to fully exercise their ability, but learn and develop themselves from working with experienced adults on relevant skills and topics, for example, a group of young people created a project helping the youth community who struggled from the impact of COVID19. The youth group has created the proposal and taken the lead of the project while still inviting adults to be part of the team and share decisions on implementation together. In the meantime, youth get to learn how to best operationalized the project and resources. The youth team also learnt management skills and getting more networks from working with the adults which will benefit them in the long-run after this project.

From all of the participation levels presented, it is not necessary that young people always must apply the highest possible rungs of the ladder. Different children and youth have different times, responsibilities, preferences and constraints that allow them to be involved at a certain degree of participation. The important principle is that programmes should be designed which maximize the opportunity for any young people to choose to participate at the highest level of their ability at that moment.

UNDP Thailand understands the importance of youth participation and has been working with youth on various topics covering civic engagement, economic empowerment, and change agent for SDGs. Check out more details about the UNDP Youth Strategy at https://bit.ly/3BZyx7S

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  • Published Date: 02/12/2020
  • by: UNDP

Learning journey of Youth Co:Lab 2020

Experienced by youth, Initiated by youth, and the solutions by youth is the idea of the Youth Co:Lab, the always sphere for youth to create social innovation.

​The severe global issues, the pandemic of the COVID-19, have made it easy for the organizer to select the theme that fits the society’s current challenges. The theme, the COVID-19 Recovery, has been initiated regarding the questionnaire responded by the youths across Thailand concerning their challenges during the pandemic of the COVID-19. Relatively, the sub-themes on social issues cover educational problems, economic challenges, mental illness, and gendered domestic violence.

​The whole process of Youth Co:Lab consumed several months, the situation of the pandemic of the COVID-19 has been changed. During the preparation stage of the program, the pandemic of the COVID-19 was severe in Thailand. In contrast, the situation has become better on the workshop day. However, the seemingly better circumstances on the pandemic of the COVID- 19 in Thailand do not affect the program’s selected theme as there are collective issues youths have faced regardless the COVID-19 situation. However, the pandemic of the COVID-19 and the new normal did accelerate and insist on the crucial demands to tackle these social issues.

The insights on the social issues during the development process of their project has become crucial to improve and advance their project. Most significantly, the program also aims to bring together all those new generations that share similar interests on social challenges as done by all previous programs. Therefore, this article is to conclude the lesson learned that made this year’s Youth Co:Lab program successful.


Online Classroom

Learning from the experiences of organizing the previous years’ Youth Co:Lab, the staff acknowledges that the three-day program was tense and intensive for the participant to learn, develop and pitch the project under the time limitation. Thus, it was hard to expect for an obvious learning curve. The organizers, therefore, have frequently been discussing and considering organizing the program online in order to lengthen the learning period. Responsively, this year is the first year that the Youth Co:Lab has been organized online.

The increasing use of online channels for learning and meeting purposes has become normalized during the pandemic of the COVID-19. Therefore, there are possibilities to change from organizing the physical workshop to the online one. This online workshop allows us to provide more inclusive information and learning materials to the participants. The program consists of a four-day online workshop and the physical workshop of two and a half-day. As a result, the participants have an opportunity to pitch their projects that they have been developing for the entire period of almost two months.

​The result of the online workshop is worthwhile, while there are some disadvantages. On one hand, the online channel offers more intensive content of the workshop. On the contrary, the organizers are aware that participants might feel more comfortable and safer to interact and exchange in person than online. However, it is found that hosting the workshop online and extending the workshop time allows the participants to feel safe to engage with each other. The continuity of the workshop eventually enhances the participants to interact, discuss, and share. The friendships, the shared interests, and commitment to transform to a better society even more greatly contribute to the relation of the participants overcoming the disadvantages of the online.

However, the online channel could not be in replacement for the in-person workshop. The organizers, therefore, decided to hold a physical workshop at the end of the programme to create a sphere for participants to exchange their interests and information, to draw out the lesson learned from the workshop and present their project that is developed according to what they have discussed and learned from the both online and offline workshop.

One more advantage of hosting the workshop online is that all the information and resources have been collected online, reducing the unnecessary repetitions of data collection. The online workshop, in addition, portrays more concrete improvement and commitment of all participants.



All support is Ready

Before the workshop starts, the organizing team has contacted the experts on several social issues to share their insights, their expertise, and to reflect on the projects, so the participants can advance their projects to be more efficient. Sanon Wangsrangboon, Co-founder of  Locall, has provided the suggestion on the employment creation in the restaurant industry during the pandemic of the COVID – 19. Dr. Rangsan Wiboonuppatum, an education officer from UNICEF, also provided consultations on educational innovation in the workshop.

​This year is the first year that the workshop has been supported by the Youth Co:Lab alumni to be the mentors or supporters for each group. The mentors are responsible for answering any possible questions that the participants might have, providing suggestions, and strengthening the group project.

One of the mentors who was a participant from last year Youth Co:Lab revealed that while helping and providing suggestions to improve the project, it is an opportunity to learn the more updated innovation, which is more intensive and different from last year.


What’s inside the online workshop?

Thank you to HandUp Network and ChangeFusion to help us facilitate in the processes of the four-week online workshop. In the first week, along with the ice-breaking activities to enhance the engagement and learning environment, participants have a chance to meet and introduce themselves. The first classroom’s main objective is to provide an understanding of the problems that their solutions are to be solved.

​The tool, problem tree, used to create an understanding of the problems does not provide only the current situations that the team is interested in but also the understanding of the root of the problems and a well-rounded understanding of their impacts.

After seeing through the problems, each group of participants was assigned to do the stakeholder mappings and figure out what each stakeholder does. This step helps the participants to appropriately situate themselves in the problem nexus and focus on the main problem.

​The session ends with solidating the problem statement to clearly define the territory of the project that each group is coping with.

​The first-day online class is very intensive and strict with a short break. The reflection on the program has been used to improve the next class to be more flexible.  

​The second online workshop is about ideation. Because all the team has already prepared their ideas since their application, the session focuses more on revising their ideas, finding pros and cons, and identifying the significance of their innovation.

​To make the participant not too exhausted with their project, the Ice Breaking activities have focused more on the interaction and share information of the participants on general topics so that they can be away from the central theme of their work for a short while.

​The third online class is about learning business plan through the Business Model Canvas. The content is sophisticated and complicated, so the session’s central idea is to remind the participants not to forget the business side of the innovation, which will ensure the creation of the innovation and sustain the innovation.

​When each team has a clear picture of the problem, finds some ideas to solve the problem, and recognizes the importance of the business part, the last online class discusses the social impacts under the Theory of Change.

Once each team can identify their expected social impact, each team is asked to make a reverse plan from one-year estimated outcomes to six months and provide more details on milestone activities and action plans that will bring success to the project.

​The online workshop does only aim for providing inputs to develop an innovative project for each team, but to build the social transformer network of the youth. During the workshop, the political movement in Thailand is very intense. Therefore, the organizing team provides the space for discussing the current situation under the safe and respectful environment to express opinions. The organizing team believes that creating social innovation while ignoring the current social issues may be unavailing.

Our First Meet

One of the purposes of the Youth Co:Lab is to create a network between participants, supporters, and all stakeholders.

​Even though the learning session about the tool used in developing innovation has been completed online, the meeting and exchange in person have been performed. This is the purpose of the organizers to bring all participants to meet in person.

​Almost all the participants agreed that meeting all the workshop participants in person is the most impressive part. Participants meet with diverse groups of people such as Pkakenyaw from Mae Hong Sorn province, Muslim youth from the three-southeast provinces of Thailand, and youth from the central part of Thailand. All the participants have different skills and interests so that they can share their views and experiences. This helps to broaden their viewpoints and to learn about different cultural contexts and backgrounds.

Ideas Become True

​During the meeting between the participants, the organizer team has invited the Social Entrepreneurs who have succeeded in business and created the social impact to share their experiences to inspire and become the participant’s motivation to continue their project. Some of the social entrepreneurs are the alumni of the Youth Co:Lab, such as Thanakorn Promyot, the co-founder of Yonghappy (Youth Co:Lab alumni 2017), and Sarocha Tiansri, co-founder of Pa’ Learn (Youth Co:Lab alumni 2019).  

​Before the last day of the program, each team reviewed the status of their projects and learned about the SDGs where each team got to apply the concept of inclusive society to their projects as well as considering the economic, social, and environmental impacts. Even though the SDGs are not obligated in this presentation, it increases each team’s awareness to review their project, whether it leads to sustainable and inclusive transformation.

​One of the participants mentioned that the session on SDGs is one of the most impressive sessions because it helps to broaden the direction of the project and find the possibility of the project to be more inclusive.


Project Presentation

The end of the first phase is when the participants pitched their project to the committee and other participants. The presentation provided crucial information to help the audiences understand and find social innovation, which has been eagerly developed during the program with the challenges on time limitation, beneficial.

Before presenting the project, issues that should be included, and examples of the effective presentation methods and strategies have been suggested. The suggestions will be only the guides that the participants can adopt, apply and design if they fit with their innovations. The presentation is not only for the contest, but the organizers hope that it will be an excellent opportunity for the participants to narrate the problems that they or their relatives or friends experience in their everyday lives. The organizers also hope that the participants can summarize the ideas and knowledge from the workshop and share it with other participants.  

All ten team have developed their projects, and they have their work plan ready to be implemented and eventually, achieve their goals. Even though only five out of ten teams will receive the funds to trial their project for three months, it does not mean that all the team will gain nothing from their work developed along with the program. They are able to further their projects in several ways, such as making a prototype from their idea, finding a new partner in the program to proceed with their projects, or making a proposal to the other activities or other opening opportunities.


This project could not be successful without the collaboration from the enthusiastic youth who apply for this program. We are thankful for our partners, Citi Foundation, UNICEF,Thailand Institute of Justice, True Incube, and the National Innovation Agency (NIA) for their collaboration on organizing the program, providing multidiscipline knowledge to the participants. We are very grateful to the facilitators from the Hand Up Network and the Changefusion for their hard work on instructing and supporting all ten teams throughout the program.

What are the stories behind the five selected team, who will benefit from their innovation, and how will the innovation solve these particular social problems? It will be narrated in the next articles. Please stay tuned!


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  • Published Date: 22/07/2020
  • by: UNDP

How Covid-19 affects Youth?


Covid-19, in some ways, is affecting everyone including children and youth.

The Children and youth’s  worriness have stemmed from different issues, from physical health, mental health, education challenges to economy regression.

UNICEF together with The Children and Youth Council of Thailand, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) surveyed 6,771 individuals from all 77 provinces from 28th March – 10th April ,which aimed  to understand how Covid-19 has affected this specific group of people and what are their concerns and needs.

This article will brief the survey findings and highlight some of their thoughts on the impact of pandemic that cause to their personal life.



8 out of 10 youths answered that they were worried about the economic status of their family members, since most of them still rely on their parents. This means that they are affected as well.

The financial stability also had something to do with education as they have to pay for university admission fees and tuition fees. Some youths opined that education should be cheaper, if not free, adding that the government should subsidize or provide more scholarships to the students.

From the economic aspect, some youths work part-time while studying to support themselves financially. Some of them worked in informal sectors. The government schemes to alleviate the affected employees; namely through social security schemes and through 5,000 THB handout package, seem to not cover this group of people. It is also found that 23 percent of respondents who work full-time and part-time indicated that they were unemployed due to the pandemic.

For those who just graduated, over 30% were seeking for jobs. The fact that many businesses have been shut down during the lockdown makes them worry about their own future.


Mental Health

What’s inevitable when it comes to Covid-19 is a worry. There were many issues bothering young people. 7 out of 10 revealed that life during lockdown has caused them stress, boredom, lack of motivation, and distress.

Some youth’s concerns were directly related to the pandemic. They were fearful whether they or their families would be infected as well as whether they would be able to access PPE due to the supply shortage and high prices.

Media and the government management also mattered. Some youths mentioned that they hoped the government revealed the information and data more transparently. Some explained that they were concerned about the uncertainty of government policies in dealing with the Covid-19 situation.

Regarding the media, the influx of information which sometimes hard to distinguish between truth and fake news cause them anxiety.

In a personal level, keeping oneself in a house due to the lockdown and not seeing anyone except family members while their activities were limited by space made them feel uncomfortable and distressful about staying at home.

The answers from the survey also showed that LGBTQI youths were worried about their gender identity. Four percent said they feel uncomfortable and pressured about staying at home as they are unable to express themselves in front of their family members. Additionally, some who have continuously taken hormones faced difficulties in getting the supplies.



For youth, education is considered as one of the biggest matters. As the schools continued postponing new semester dates, the students were worried about their educational plan, especially those who are about to change their educational institutions or those who plan to continue their education at a higher level such as from high schools to universities.

When it comes to online classrooms, though most agreed that classes shall be carried on even under the new form, some youths questioned about accessibility, efficiency, and readiness of the new normal.

Domestic Violence

The saying ‘Home is where the heart is’ may be true to some people but definitely not to all. Some find it hard to confront the situation occurring in the house as lockdown somehow forced them to stay together.

7 percent of the respondents addressed that they were concerned about domestic violence as there were conflicts among the parents.


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There are many innovation platforms all over the world. What makes Thailand Social Innovation Platform unique is that we have created a Thai platform fully dedicated to the SDGs, where social innovators in Thailand can access a unique eco system of entrepreneurs, corporations, start-ups, universities, foundations, non-profits, investors, etc. This platform thus seeks to strengthen the social innovation ecosystem in Thailand in order to better be able to achieve the SDGs. Even though a lot of great work within the field of social innovation in Thailand is already happening, the area lacks a central organizing entity that can successfully engage and unify the disparate social innovation initiatives taking place in the country.

This innovation platform guides you through innovative projects in Thailand, which address the SDGs. It furthermore presents how these projects are addressing the SDGs.

Aside from mapping cutting-edge innovation in Thailand, this platform aims to help businesses, entrepreneurs, governments, students, universities, investors and others to connect with new partners, projects and markets to foster more partnerships for the SDGs and a greener and fairer world by 2030.

The ultimate goal of the platform is to create a space for people and businesses in Thailand with an interest in social innovation to visit on a regular basis whether they are looking for inspiration, new partnerships, ideas for school projects, or something else.

We are constantly on the lookout for more outstanding social innovation projects in Thailand. Please help us out and submit your own or your favorite solutions here

Read more

  • What are The Sustainable Development Goals?
  • UNDP and TSIP’s Principles Of Innovation
  • What are The Sustainable Development Goals?


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