On April 2, 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between SPRI Global Director Chris De Neubourg and Thammasat University leadership in Bangkok, Thailand. According to the MoU, both organizations intend to strengthen their cooperation, especially in the field of social policy and social protection by collaborating on developing a set of professional capacity building courses and academic programs. Existing projects will be continued and new initiatives will be developed.
The partnership is set up as part of the ASEAN Centre for Social Work and Social Welfare as conceived by ASEAN and the Thai government. SPRI Global and Thammasat will collaborate with other universities in the ASEAN region to design and implement academic and professional training programs and social protection research to be delivered in the countries of the region.
After a formal signing ceremony, representatives of SPRI Global, public and private universities in Thailand and Indonesia, state ministries, NGOs, UNICEF and the ILO held a first explorative meeting on the way forward towards delivering the first programs. Future plans also include the creation of a Centre for Asia Pacific Childhood Studies (CAPCS), led by SPRI Global associate Victor Karunan, and further cooperation with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and the Royal Thai Government.
Thammasat University is one of the leading universities in Thailand and also offers many graduate programs in English for international students. The signing of the MoU highlights an ongoing partnership between SPRI Global and Thammasat University, which has focused on the creation and leadership of joint projects on social policy and social protection in Bangkok, with support from UNICEF Bhutan and UNICEF ROSA.