Looking Through Social Capital Lens: Community Evaluation of the Local Government’s Resource Capability in Managing Earthquake Emergency in Chiang Rai, Thailand

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Wanwalee Inpin
Maya Dania


The roles of local government in emergency prevention and response have become more critical considering the increasing threats of natural hazards. However, it is still an understudied area in the disaster literature in Thailand. The study aims to amplify the resource capability factors of Thai local government institutions to build community resilience in crisis response by utilizing the social capital lens by Robert D. Putnam. Social capital is a network of reciprocity norms and institutional relationships that has two forms: bonding and bridging social capital. In this study, resource capability in the disaster response model from Cigler (2007) and Kusumasari, Alam, and Siddiqui (2010) was woven to integrate Putnam's social capital measurement. There was six resource capability of the local government evaluated: 1) institutions, 2) human resources, 3) policy for effective implementation, 4) finance, 5) technical facilities, and 6) leadership. By applying a mixed-method analysis, this study collected qualitative data through a literature review and semi-structured field interviews with four policymakers and local leaders in Phan district, Chiang Rai province. One sample T-Test statistics from a Likert scale survey were generated quantitatively to outline the local community's feedback measuring the local government's capability effectiveness. The result shows that the local government had the highest capability in technical and policy for effective implementation. Contrastingly, human resource and financial capability scored the lowest. From the bonding social capital lens, the local people had thick trust that the local government would effectively support and assist the community to provide protection and support. However, it was still challenging for the local government to build the bridging social capital under vertical hierarchy commands. This study offers a third way of linking social capital as an alternative approach to effectively managing DRG locally in Thailand.

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Inpin, W., & Dania, M. (2022). Looking Through Social Capital Lens: Community Evaluation of the Local Government’s Resource Capability in Managing Earthquake Emergency in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Political Science and Public Administration Journal, 13(2), 157–186. Retrieved from https://so05.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/polscicmujournal/article/view/255812
Research Article


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