Policy Analysis: IT Policy Thailand Advancement Essay

Pages: 13 (4154 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 13  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

Policy Analysis: IT Policy Thailand

Advancement in science and technology in articulation in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) has a very important role all through the world. Currently science and technology are being applied in every sector that include education, health, industry, politics, society and military etc. (Petrides, 2000) Some important and significant developments in ICT were deeply observed in the past decades that ICT has an increasing effect on economic and social activities in the world. ICT has had a significant role in the economic growth for developed and developing countries in the recent years. Many development strategies have mostly focused on pursuing economic strategies and policies that seek to promote a more attractive environment for the ICT industry. Development strategies are needed for developing countries to adapt ICT as a potential force not only for creating new economic growth opportunities but also for enhancing political participation of citizens and strengthening of social processes by using the convergence effect of ICT (Ramilo C., 2002).

No approach on ICT has any doubt that it has had a significant impact on most countries in the world, especially in the ways of communications, working, and learning (Vu K., 2004a). Current essay is exploration and analysis of IT policy of Thailand. The author has discussed the why policy was formulated, the goals of the policy and implementation. In particular its implications for public sector and suggestions to improve the condition of IT in the country have been described.

2. IT Policy Development in Thailand

Currently Thailand is progressing in IT because previously the significance of IT was not realized by government and that's why it did not shore up the use of IT in the country in particular funding information infrastructure. In particular the private sector in Thailand suffered due to this behavior to the IT at government level. The private sector was in need of IT infrastructure for contacting clients as well as supplies both in and out of the country. This was situation which called for an IT policy in the country.

The Internet has revolutionized everything, from communication and entertainment to business. By one estimate, the Internet contains approximately 487 billion gigabytes (i.e., 487 exabytes) of data, and by the end of 2010, there will be more than two billion Internet users (J. Lynn, 2010). Nearly one-quarter of these users are members of social networking sites such as Facebook (F. Statistics, 2010). There are many reasons for the Internet's extraordinary growth, including its vast applications, anonymity, and global outreach.

The government of Thailand was forced to formulate and implement an IT policy in the country for two main reasons (Guntasopatr, 1999). One is the business sector of the country and second is international organizations and corporations. Guntasopatr (1999) concludes that Private sector played main role in the formulation of Thailand IT policy because it was in need of a competitive tool for running business at national and international level. Thus the private sector in Thailand insisted on the requirement of computer and Information Technology in the country through the development of IT policies so as to reduce the investment risk for businesses in the country. For this purpose the private sector conducted a seminar and formulated a draft IT policy to be presented to the Government.

3. First National Policy (IT 2000)

As mentioned above, in Thailand, the importance of Information technology and telecommunications for the development of economy and society has been realized at Government level since 1992. This was the time when the National Information Committee (NIC) was founded. The main task given to this committee was to convert policies into practice. This committee was reorganized in 2003 and it became National Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications (NCTC) by additionally giving it a representation of ICT Ministry in Thailand which was also a newly formed ministry in Thailand. To help this committee to formulate and implement national IT policies and implement there have been founded other government institutions like National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (NECTEC) and Software Park which facilitate the NCITC in completing its task. The committee has completed many task including drafting electronic transaction and laws related to computer crimes; issues on digital divide; use of ICT in the Public sector; human resource development and internal policy.

The first national IT policy in Thailand was formed for a period of 1996-2000 and its main focus was on three agendas: investing in the information infrastructure; investing in people to obtain an adequate trained human resource foundation in technology; and investing in good governance to make sure that implementation and facilitation of IT will ultimately bring a decrease in economic and social gaps.

The first IT policy considered IT as a tool for achieving broader national goals both at both economic and social sector. Information technology was an efficient tool for the economic and social development as it increased the income opportunities. Additionally it helped to strengthen the sectors of business, industry and international trade. If used in a proper way, IT can help the country in following ways; a) extend employment opportunities for both rural and urban Thais and thus make them prosper: (b) it will improve democracy and culture in the country: (c) it will help to decrease traffic jams in the capital and other big cities: (d) it will provide equal educational and health care opportunities for all citizens and (e). It will protect the natural resources. In brief, the information technology was helpful in improving the quality and equality in the country. Although this technology can have both positive and negative impacts, a good policy can be helpful in reaching the objectives of the country (National Information Technology Committee Secretariat, 1996).

Agendas in IT 2000

The IT policy 2000 set three main agendas (National Information Technology Committee Secretariat, 1996)

The first agenda was to make investment in a fair information infrastructure for the empowerment of human capabilities as well as to improve their quality of life. To invest in infomaiton infrastructure will help the Thailand in benefiting the common man. It was also helpful to boost the Thailand economy as people all through the country could use information technology for their interests. The national information infrastructure comprises of telephones, pages, fax machines, switches, copper wire and coaxial, fibre optic cable, microwave transmission, computers, printers, compact discs, scanners, bar-code readers, cameras, televisions, monitors, and an ever-expanding range of new equipment and technologies in particular in the fields of applications and systems. The most basic infrastructure is obviously the telephone service along with a high speed telecommunication network to connect all the parts of Thailand. At that time though both these services were present in Thailand but the quality of these services was not according to the international standards. In particular the telephone service which was not available in every village. Another issue was service costs so as the rural Thais may afford it.

The second agenda of IT policy 2000 was to invest in people including spreading IT education and preparing a skilful workforce in the field of IT. As there was shortage of skilled workers in almost all the sectors and in particular in IT the country needed to conduct fundamental assignments for the preparation of future workforce to ensure a sufficient IT human resource base. For this purpose this agenda focused on IT education and e-learning.

Another focus was to ensure that information accessible through interne is useful for the people and could enhance the eagerness of people to learn new technologies. For this purpose it was necessary that information should be created by Thai experts instead of depending on imported information.

The third agenda of the IT policy 2000 was to make investment in the good governance. According to this agenda the government must offer its duty to encourage, promote, support and coordinate to establish an institutional infrastructure, industry and human resource. It is the duty of the state to remove critical hindrances. First the government must itself believe in IT and use it so as to become a role model for the society at large. This mean that every government institution must have information technology and the skilled workforce to use this technology.

Comments on IT policy 2000

The IT policy 2000 received criticism from many experts. For instance Seymour, professor of business and public administration, University of Arizona, USA, analyzed that the IT plan of Thailand: "is unusual and refreshing in that it does more than provide minimal lip service to the most important social and economic realities of the country. It tries to address them head-on. The "prosperity" portion of the title is not given the same attention, but it is more or less assumed…that this will follow directly from the program to provide more socially equitable access to IT (Thaichayapong, 1997, p. 280).

Although the rationals and aims of IT policy 2000 were very impressive yet practically it was not strong because it required government support to an organizational context and funding. Goodman… [END OF PREVIEW]

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