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Chapter 1 : Introduction

1.1 Rationale

In today’s world of knowledge and knowledge-based economy, information and knowledge are important to development of the individual, organizations, society and nations. The Cmmunication and information Program of UNESCO sees the need to promote the public access to information and knowledge freely and to have freedom to express their thoughts in the democratic system, as well as to participate in activities that lead to peaceful and happy living. Therefore, UNESCO needs to find out the actual status of society that enables the open and equal access to information for all. UNESCO by Nick Moore performed a survey on Information Policy of Asia in December 2005. The book included a report on Thailand which mainly focused on a status of information and communication technology policy surveyed from Internet search. Information was obtained from sources in the English language so certain facts related to Thailand’s National Information policy may be incomplete to represent the actual status. This paper attempted to explore for additional information about the topic, and sought for recommendations regarding the role that National Information Policy can play in the future.

1.2 Scope and purpose of the research

A scope of this study covers:

  • 1.2.1 Overview of Thai National Information system
  • 1.2.2 Library and Information services and Thai NATIS
  • 1.2.3 Status of Thai National Information Policy: overview and discussion
  • 1.2.4 The role of ICT and the use in national development
  • 1.2.5 National ICT Policy and ICT Indicators
  • 1.2.6 National Social and Economic Development Plans of Thailand
  • 1.2.7 National Information Policy of Thailand in the future

1.3 Objectives of the research

  • 1.3.1 To survey a current status of National Information Policy of Thailand
  • 1.3.2 To study the activities as the outcome of the implementation of National Information Policy and other policies that enabled the public access to information and knowledge
  • 1.3.3 To recommend on policy aspects that can be implemented effectively in terms of promotion the open access for the public

1.4 Literature review

This study depends on the available publications written on the National Information Policy of Thailand such as proceedings and reports from the National Library and ThaiNATIS National Coordinating Centers. There has not been any research projects or research articles on the implementation and implications of National Information Policy of Thailand with the exception to a doctoral thesis of Narumol Ruenwai’s “Science and technology information in Thailand:policies, strategies and provision” which was completed and submitted to Loughborough University in England in 2006.

1.5 Key research questions

  • 1.5.1 To what extent has the National Information Policy of Thailand accomplished since the official announcement?
  • 1.5.2 What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related and /or from the implementation of the National Information Policy of Thailand?
  • 1.5.3 Which direction is appropriate for the implementation of National Information policy of Thailand in the future?

1.6 Methodology and limitation of the research

This study collected the data by surveying from available resources, by conducting questionnaire survey and by interviewing designated members of the National Information System, and by organizing a seminar for focus groups who are potential beneficiaries from the National Information Policy.

Because of time limitation, questionnaire survey was conducted to the six libraries which represented the National Coordinating Centers of six subject areas. A survey was followed by personal interviews in order to collect further information regarding important aspects that were not covered by a questionnaire.

This research was conducted in a limited time, and depended upon the interviews of the focus groups which caused much problems liaising with all groups. It was difficult to search for update information from the internet for the reports of library and information institutions involved in the project.

1.7 Definition of term

1.7.1 Information: a definition

Based on a 2005 UNESCO report on Information Policies in Asia by Nick Moore, this study defines information policy as “the most important factors of production and wealth creation. How well an individual, an organization, and an entire society can harness, access, share, and make use of available knowledge and information will decide the ability to generate economic growth and to enhance the quality of life for all.”

An Official Information Act B.E. 2540 (1997) defines that ‘information’ means a material which communicates matters, facts, data or anything, whether such communication is made by the nature of such material itself or through any means whatsoever and whether it is arranged in the form of a document, a file, report, book, diagramme, map, drawing, photograph, film, visual or sound recording, or recording by a computer or any other method which can be displayed. The Act defines that “official information” means an information in procession or control of a State agency, whether it is the information relating to the operation of the State or the information relating to a private individual

1.7.2 Information Policy : a definition

An integration and application of such technologies as computers, telephones, television, electronic mail, on-line retrieval and multimedia. It means also policies and strategies formulated to promote and to support the national development towards a knowledge-based society

1.7.3 ICT : a definition

Information and communication technology-ICT means the definition of information as content of all forms, and communications technology as telecommunication infrastructure and the availability of computers in order to access the content of information

1.7.4 Information literacy: a definition

From definition according to the Association of Colleges and Research Libraries 2000, Information literacy means the individuals’ skills to learn and to Find information by themselves from available resources, such as local organizations, libraries and Internet. They should be able to evaluate for the reliability of the source of information as well as to adapt for suitable use.

1.7.5 ICT literacy: a definition

From Nick Moore’s definition, he referred to the advanced skill in information and communication technology. This means ICT literacy is a level of general information handling skills with over and above the basic information literacy, which means the skills that associated with the ability to handle technology in productive and creative ways.

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