Economic growth matters, but is just one facet of development. Policy makers are required to reconcile economic, social and environmental objectives to ensure that their country’s development path is sustainable and that the lives of its citizens improve.

OECD Multidimensional Country Reviews (MDCR) help governments identify the main constraints to more equitable and sustainable growth. Governments aiming for economic, social and environmental objectives need comprehensive and well sequenced strategies for reform that factor in the complementarities and trade-offs across policies. The MDCR methodology builds on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and takes a crosscutting, rather than a sectoral perspective, which allows for the discussion of policy interactions.

The MDCRs are composed of three distinct phases: Initial Assessment, In-depth Analysis and Recommendations, and From Analysis to Action. This approach allows for progressive learning and co-creation of reforms that fully respond to the country’s specific challenges and opportunities and come with guidance on implementation. The process conjugates expert policy analysis with participatory approaches including Foresight and Governmental Learning that involve actors from the private and public sectors, civil society, and academia. Analytical work is based on all available statistics on Thailand, including well-being, macro- and microeconomic data, at national, sectoral, household and firm levels, using both domestic and international sources. The analysis is also based on forecasts and indicators constructed in-house.

Benchmarking and comparison of results and experiences with other countries is a key element of the OECD method. For each MDCR a set of comparator countries is identified that includes regional peers, countries from other regions with similar structural characteristics, OECD members, and aspirational peers. Throughout the report, whenever relevant and subject to data availability, Thailand is thus compared with a set of benchmark countries in Asia (China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Viet Nam) and beyond (Colombia, Mexico, Poland, South Africa and Turkey).

The MDCR of Thailand – Volume 1 “Initial Assessment” builds on the SDGs’ structure of People, Prosperity, Partnerships, Planet and Peace. It identifies the main barriers to further inclusive development and provides a first set of high-level policy recommendations. The report highlights that tackling informality and inequality, boosting productivity, improving management of natural resources and reforming institutions should be at the core of Thailand’s development strategies.

This MDCR is designed to help Thailand formulate these development strategies, and identify and support the policy reforms needed to achieve further sustainable and inclusive development. This first volume presents a broad diagnosis of a range of constraints to development and a first set of high level recommendations. Forthcoming volumes will present a more in-depth analysis of the main constraints, with more specific recommendations for reform and suggestions for action. These analyses support Thailand’s own development agenda towards achieving a brighter future for its citizens.