Benjamas Siripatra

Synergos Senior Fellow & Vice chair of Local Development Foundation and Foundation Manager

Benjamas Siripatra's foundation works with Environmental Development, Education, Health-care reform.

She has since 1996 been the Director of the Local Development Institute (LDI) in Thailand, an autonomous, non-governmental organization whose mission is to strengthen the capacity for self-determination among poor communities by enhancing the effectiveness of Thai NGOs and community development programs for the poor.

Ms. Siripatra has over several years of experience in the field of rural development, having worked as Vice Manager of the Siripatra Rice Mill and Farm, a family business, Program Department Head for Foster Parents Plan International, where she was responsible for all management activities for the rural development of 102 villages in three Thai provinces, and Thai Project Supervisor for Catholic Relief Services. From 1990-1991 Ms. Siripatra was the Program Coordinator at the Local Development Institute, and from 1993-1994 she worked as a consultant and trainer for the Urban Environmental Management Project of GTZ-DOLA.

Ms. Siripatra has extensive experience in participatory training technique and urban environment management training. She was a Senior Fellow in Philanthropy at the Institute for Policy Study of the Johns Hopkins University during the fall of 2001.

Ms. Siripatra holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and a Masters of Rural Development Management degree from Khon Kaen University in Thailand.

The Local Development Institute was established in 1991 as an outgrowth of the Local Development Assistance Program (LDAP) funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, and provides a forum and academic support for NGO workers and government officials as well as interested individuals whose concern is local and rural development. It conducts research and publicity work on impacts of mainstream development approaches followed by the government of Thailand and has channeled funds for projects in capacity-building of local leaders and networks, alternative agriculture, forest conservation and community revolving funds, among others. LDI’s current work is moving from the community level to the provincial and national levels for civil society and social reform.