Engaging Citizens in Public Service Co-production: Lessons from Volunteer-Based Road Construction in Thailand’s Local Government

  • Grichawat Lowatcharin the College of Local Administration, Khon Kaen University
  • Judith I. Stallmann Rural Sociology, Public Affairs, and a Community Development State Extension Specialist
Keywords: Thailand, Nongwaeng SAO, Public Participation, Local Governance


This study takes advantage of a natural experiment to compare building costs and outcomes of two manners of road building: citizen co-production road construction and traditional contracting for road construction. This study explores the genesis and outcomes of citizen co-production of infrastructure relative to contracting with the private sector using a case study of co-production road construction projects in Nongwaeng3 Sub-district Administration Organization, a local government in Thailand. Nongwaeng SAO came to the authors’ attention when it received recognition for co-production of roads.

This study addresses several key questions. First, how did the citizen co-production road construction projects emerge and develop? Second, what were citizen motivations for participation? Third, how did citizen volunteers participate in the road construction projects? Fourth, what were the costs and outputs of the projects compared with traditional contracting? Last, what were the conditions—politically, economically, and socially—conducive to the success of the road co-construction projects? The subsequent sections provide a literature review of public participation, methods, data, and analysis. Findings and conclusion are presented in the final sections.


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How to Cite
Lowatcharin, G., & Stallmann, J. I. (2017). Engaging Citizens in Public Service Co-production: Lessons from Volunteer-Based Road Construction in Thailand’s Local Government. Social Science Asia, 3(2), 116-139. Retrieved from https://socialscienceasia.nrct.go.th/index.php/SSAsia/article/view/33
Research Article