What is TPMAP?
Where are the poor? What are their basic needs? How to alleviate their poverty? These three questions can be answered by Thai People Map and Analytics Platform (TPMAP). Developed by the Office of National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Ministry of Science and Technologies, TPMAP is Thailand’s data analytics tool aiming at precision poverty alleviation and improving quality of life for Thai citizens. As people who live in different areas may have different problems, policy-makers can use TPMAP to derive precision poverty alleviation programs that are suitable for individuals in each province, district (amphoe) or sub-district (tambon).
History of TPMAP
According to the 5th meeting in 2017 of national strategy committee (คณะกรรมการบริหารราชการแผ่นดินเชิงยุทธศาสตร์), the meeting quorum agreed to constitute a special committee to study possibilities of developing a government Big Data system and appointed the minister of digital economy and society to host the committee. In May 2017, the committee assigned Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) to develop a case study of the Big Data system that helps improve quality of citizens’s lives in terms of increasing income, reducing burden in living cost and improving employment opportunities. Both organizations subsequently collaborated to implement the first prototypical version of TPMAP.
On January 11th 2018, the Prime Minister Delivery Unit (PMDU) submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister to inform the progress of the study. The Prime Minister then agreed to assign the committee to report the progress and demonstrate how TPMAP might reduce poverty and improve quality of citizens’ lives, to the joint committee on regional development policies (คณะกรรมการบูรณาการนโยบายพัฒนาภาค).
Data in TPMAP
Starting as a pilot project from Thai government’s Big Data initiatives, TPMAP aims at integrating data sources from different government agencies. The idea is to compare different data sources for verification. Currently, TPMAP uses data from two government agencies: 1) a census-based Basic Minimum Need (BMN) data of approximately 36 millions individuals from the Community Development Department, Ministry of Interior and 2) a register-based data source of approximately 11.4 millions individuals from the Ministry of Finance.
To identify the poor, TPMAP uses Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) developed by Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP). Recommended by NESDB, TPMAP currently uses five poverty dimensions: healthcare, education, income, living standard and access to public services. Government officials can use TPMAP to identify the problems of the poor based on these five poverty dimensions.
What questions can TPMAP answer?
TPMAP’s aims is for precision poverty alleviation and improving quality of life for citizens. The platform itself can be used to answer the following three questions: where are the poor? what are their basic needs? and how to alleviate their poverty?
Where are the poor?
To answer where the poor are, TPMAP has the hierarchical drill-down function which enables users to assess poverty information (e.g. the number of poor and poverty ratio) from country level to detailed data focusing on particular provinces, districts (amphoe) or sub-districts (tambon).
What are the poor’s basic needs?
To answer what are the poor’s basic needs, TPMAP uses detailed Basic Minimum Need data collected annually by the Community Development Department. The platform processed and analyzed BMN data to calculate the number of individual houldhold members that are identified as the target poor. Poverty indicators used by TPMAP are as follows:
Health Care
  • Did the newborns in the house weigh above 2.5 Kg?
  • Did the household’s food consumption meet minimum hygienic standard?
  • Did the household members use medicines in a suitable manner?
  • Did the household members with age above 6 years old exercise regularly 3 times a week, 30 minutes each?
Living Standard
  • Was the condition of the house safe to live in?
  • Did the household members have enough drinking water (5 liters per person per day)?
  • Did the household members have access to clean water for daily usage (45 liters per person per day)?
  • Was the house kept tidy and hygienic?
  • Were children age 3-5 years old in the household properly raised and taken care off?
  • Were children age 6-14 years old in the household received mandatory nine-years education?
  • Were children who finished mathayom 3 able to continue on to mathayom 4 or comparable education level?
  • Were household member age 15-59 years old able to properly read and write Thai, and perform basic math calculations?
  • Were household member age 15-59 years old have proper jobs and income?
  • How much is the average income per year of individual household members?
Access of Public Services
  • Were the elders in the houldhold properly taken care off by their family, community, government or private agencies?
  • Were the disabled in the houldhold properly taken care off by their family, community, government or private agencies?
TPMAP also compares individual indicators in 2018 with those in 2017 to assess if poverty is in fact reduced. These year-to-year comparisons can be used to assess and choose suitable the poverty alleviation programs.
How to alleviate their poverty?
Information and visual analytics from TPMAP will provide some insight into various problems that might contribute to poverty in a certain region. Such insight will help policy makers and government agencies to formulate and implement “solutions” for individual regions that might have different problems more precisely. TPMAP will soon integrate more data from other government agencies, which cover more population and in turn enhance data analysis for optimizing government’s welfare programs.
Implementing TPMAP for Poverty Alleviation
TPMAP have been presented to local government agencies in Lamphun, Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom provinces where local government officials are also trained to use the platform. Feedbacks from these government agencies will further be used to adjust and enhance the capabilities of TPMAP so precision poverty alleviation can be realized. The TPMAP team is also looking forward to networking, discussing and receiving feedbacks from both central and local government agencies. Anyone who is interested can contact NECTEC’s Public Relation Department at 02-564-6900 ext. 2330-2340 or line @tpmap.