The case study identifies elements of Baan Mankong’s housing programme that worked particularly well: namely, prioritising community participation and providing a range of upgrading and land tenure options. In addition, a flexible institution (the Community Organizations Development Institute) managing the programme, funding capacity and political commitment (including willingness to use public land to address the housing needs of the urban poor) helped to make implementation of the programme possible.
While Baan Mankong has a number of characteristics that are unique to the
Thai context, useful lessons can be drawn from many of the principles
underpinning it. First, having the community at the centre of the
upgrading process can help deliver maximum benefits to slum dwellers in
addressing their specific needs and empowering poor communities. Second, encouraging cooperation between different actors, and having
flexibility in the design, institutional and funding arrangements, means that solutions can be tailored to address specific settlements’
priorities. But it is worth highlighting that slum upgrading is just one aspect of housing policy for the urban poor; in order to deal with the
pressures of urbanisation successfully, improving living conditions in
existing settlements needs to go hand in hand with planning for future
urban expansion, including the provision of affordable housing.