The Social Investment Fund in Thailand


The paper documents the development and achievements of the Social Investment Fund in Thailand. The Fund was launched in 1998 in response to the Asian Financial Crisis. The Thai economic crisis that began in 1997 had forced Thai society to reexamine its priorities, and even attempt to reshape some salient features of its society. The crisis had also put an additional burden on the social relationships that bind individuals in society, although the extremely rapid growth and the accompanying economic restructuring that took place in the decade before the crisis were no less responsible for their fraying. It is now increasingly realized that the existence of the state alone is inadequate to solve many of the free-rider problems that exist in society. What is also necessary is an actively functioning civil society to pressure the government to do its job well. Hence, it was hoped that the Thai social investment fund, by financing activities undertaken by community organizations, would lead to a revival of socially-conscious capital.

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