:: The Kanchanaburi Project ::
          The Kanchanaburi Project, being a member of the INDEPTH network and implemented by IPSR, was established with a 1999 Wellcome Trust Award to IPSR as a Center for Research Excellence.
          The field research centre is located at the new Mahidol University campus in Saiyok district, Kanchanaburi province, about 200 kilometers west of Bangkok.

          The field centre is dedicated to the monitoring of population change and the evaluation of the effects of intervention based research. The core research activity is the creation of a database on the demographic, health, social and economic composition of the target population. Associated research projects are in the areas of improving adolescent reproductive health outcomes; illegal migrants and health care; population and environment; arrangements for the care of the elderly; family formation, vital events and their registration; social roles and mortality. The results of the research will be used in formulating and modifying related policies. This field centre will also be used for training Ph.D. and MA.students as well as participants in short courses, both from Thailand and other countries, in monitoring and evaluation methods. Students and trainees will be encouraged to utilize the data from the core and associated research projects.
:: Research Activities

          The central task envisaged by the project revolves around the construction and maintenance of a database of field site communities consisting of 100 urban communities and villages in Kanchanaburi province. The communities were randomly selected on a stratified basis, defined by ecological and population features. The five strata are rice field areas, crop areas, high land areas, urban and industrial areas, and other areas which cannot fit in the above four categories.

The aims of database are
           to undertake studies of change in a wide variety of population and social processes,
           to link variation in change in these processes to community and household level variables,
           to examine how access to services affects a variety of outcomes at household and community levels, and
           to examine the effects of population change on environmental processes.  Additionally, the database will serve a central role as input into intervention studies through:
           Providing the source of data to allow matching of intervention and non-intervention communities.
           Providing a source of data for evaluation of the long-term effects of interventions (i.e., the effects that occur after the period of data collection associated with an intervention study has completed).
          The research methodology employed in the intervention studies will depend on the particular study undertaken.  Because of the nature of field research, there will be a strong emphasis on quantitative data collection for impact evaluation.  This includes, but is not restricted to survey research. For process evaluation, there will be heavy use of qualitative methods - including in-depth interview, focus group discussion and observation.  As part of our efforts to collect standardised community and household data, we will also experiment with various forms of community involvement in data collection and the possible integration of data collection into school activities.

          The household and individual database will be linked to a community and Geographic Information System (GIS) database.  The GIS database will be updated each year through an annual survey and incorporation of data from new satellite imagery.  This will provide a valuable resource for both researchers and planners who wish to undertake longitudinal studies of the relationship between population and development processes.

          Data from annual updates to the database will be made available via our web site to other researchers who are interested in using this data to conduct longitudinal studies of communities.  In addition to making this data available to a wider audience, it is hoped that this will stimulate increased interest in the use of the field station to undertake intervention studies in the communities.

          The first database collection was undertaken between 1st July - 15th August 2000.  The baseline survey included 100 sample villages and covered all 13 districts of Kanchanaburi.  There were 10 data collection teams consisting of 10 supervisors and 83 interviewers.  The data was collected from 11,612 households and 27,902 individuals.  Also included are 86 village profiles.

:: Training Activities
         Postgraduate students from IPSR will participate in various aspects of the studies, with their field participation forming an important component of their training. International students' participation will mainly concentrate on actual research design, developing research instruments, recording field observations and analysing data. Thai trainees will take part in collection of data and in community training.

         In the Ph.D. programme, the field centre will fulfill a significant role as a "laboratory" for extended participation in applied research activities that would be a required component of the programme. Both international and Thai students will be encouraged to develop projects in the field centre area and use the data collected for their dissertations.

         In addition to training of postgraduate students, the field centre will offer a series of short courses and workshops. These courses will be targeted at three groups:

           Short courses related to population and development issues, and research methods for national and international planners, policy makers and researchers. These courses will draw extensively on the experience gained from the projects undertaken in the field site.
           Short courses to promote development activities that our research demonstrates to be effective in improving the quality of life of local residents. These courses will be designed for local level officials.
           Short course to demonstrate how to implement development strategies. These courses are designed for selected community leaders (both formal and informal).
           Moreover, the field centre plans to offer more academic oriented short course training to other institutions, both internationally and locally, on a fee basis. This can be expected to contribute income to help support the field centre in the long term.
www.ipsr.mahidol.ac.th - Revised: December 2, 2008
Copyright © Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University
Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand
Tel. +662-4410201 Fax. +662-441933 Web master : prwww@mahidol.ac.th