Government lab helping to drive Thai innovation

The Government Innovation Lab has created five new pilot project mobile apps designed to help science students, disadvantaged people, foreign workers, exporters, with the goal of kick-starting innovation in the public sector and accelerating development a digital society and economy.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is a key supporter of GovLab, as the laboratory is commonly known. GovLab’s mission is to design and create prototypes and new public service models. Users provide feedback to the lab on the prototypes so they can be refined to best serve the public.

To help nurture the next generation of innovators, GovLab has released an application to aid students studying the sciences in Thailand’s public schools. To drive the Kingdom’s higher-tech development, the government is devoting more resources to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education.

“We also have a new model for science teaching in schools, which focuses on providing students with hands-on experiences. All the pilot projects developed by our innovators are designed to make people’s lives easier, increase the efficiency of public services and improve the country’s competitiveness,” said Pakorn Nilprapunt, Secretary-General of the Public Sector Development Commission.

GovLab is also applying its developing skills to create apps that promote and support human and civil rights. Prakai Theerawattanakul, one of the developers, said Thailand has more than 15 million disadvantaged citizens, and so the lab was determined to create an app that would assist them.

“Some specific groups of people such as those from ethnic minority communities, those with mental health issues, long-term illness or disabilities are less likely to know their rights, and often fail to get help and suffer adverse consequences,” she said.

“We have found that some people do not know about the universal health coverage scheme, so we decided to develop a mobile application that helps to inform them about their basic rights and the welfare that the government provides to all citizens,” she said.

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