2022 Volume 9 Pages 42-62
Street food vending is a typical job in the urban grassroots/informal economy in Bangkok, and the modernization of society in Thailand has put pressure on street food vendors to formalize their work. Two opposing approaches to street vending have been implemented; one is the Policy of Returning Walkways to the Public (PRWP), led by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in 2014. It caused a huge decline in the number of street food vendors (SFVs). The other approach is the Street Food Program (SFP) in 2016 and is supported by the Government Savings Bank. The SFP promotes and upgrades street food vending businesses. We conducted the present study to clarify the characteristics and approaches, implementation, and outcomes of the SFP, and we evaluated its effectiveness from an inclusive development perspective. Our analyses elucidated three-basic-approaches of the SFP (financing, knowledge development, and online payment system) along with the concepts of inclusive development with an empowerment approach for socially vulnerable. It assisted 19,918 SFVs across the country (19.3%). In a pilot project of the SFP conducted in Ari, Bangkok, SFVs were assured of their business continuity under the PRWP, and it revealed that this is reflected in the SFVs' self-perceptions of social inclusiveness; the SFP participants were more positive about the future prospects of their business and their quality of life, and they did not perceive themselves to be 'left behind by economic growth' or 'socially excluded.' It can be concluded that SFP has a certain usefulness as an inclusive development approach to SFVs.