“Sufficiency Economy” is the philosophy bestowed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great to Thai people in 1997 as a guideline for their conducts and livelihoods with the view to promote balanced, inclusive, and sustainable development.


The Sufficiency Economy Philosophy is comprised of 3 principles of “Moderation,” “Reasonableness,” and “Self-immunity” with 2 conditions of “Knowledge” and “Integrity.” Individuals, households, communities, and all sectors in the society can apply SEP for their benefits and sustainable development under different contexts and situations at all levels.

3 theories 2 rings


The application of Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) aims to help create balanced and stable development, by developing the ability to appropriately cope with critical challenges arising from extensive and rapid changes in economic, social, environmental and cultural conditions.


SEP stresses the importance of following the middle path to development at all levels (e.g. individual, household, grouping, community, national and beyond). This middle path focuses on 3 main principles of sustainable and human-centered development (Moderation, Reasonableness, and Self-Immunity) and 2 conditions (Knowledge and Integrity).

3 Theories


Development through moderation means not doing too much as to risk development volatility, but not too little as to risk ineffectiveness.


Development with reasonableness means that all decisions and steps taken should derive from provable knowledge, credible principles, moral values and norms.


Development, while ensuring self-immunity, means efforts have to be undertaken with resilience, safety net, and risk management in mind, so as not to risk dangers from internal and external uncertainties.

2 Rings


Comprehensive knowledge and academically justifiable approaches have to play important roles at every stage of development, ranging from planning and project design to implementation and evaluation.


All stakeholders have to adhere to virtues and morals.

The 9 Steps to a Sustainable Development Approach
According to the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy

1. Analyze the local areas

Analyze the local areas to acquire information on the geo-society in detail.

2. Identify challenges

Identify challenges and set targets
of development.

3. Acquire relevant knowledge

Acquire relevant knowledge and local wisdom to solve local problems & develop the areas.

4. Promote communication

Promote communication among villagers and seek agents of change (stakeholders).

5. Begin the process of developing the areas

Begin the process of developing the areas and keep monitoring & evaluating regularly.

6. Expand development

Expand development partners to create a sense of belonging and teamwork.

7. Create models of success

Create models of success & expand their development.

8. Regularly learn

Regularly learn and monitor development.

9. Enhance local human capacity

Enhance local human capacity and a mindset of self-sufficiency, and sustainable development.

The Application of SEP in Thailand

In Thailand, SEP has been integrated and stipulated in our constitution as well as National Economic and Social Development Plan.

The National Constitution

Section 83 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand stipulated that
“The State shall promote and support the implementation of the Volkgeist in Sufficiency Economy.”

National Economic and Social Development Plan

Since 1997, SEP has been the guiding principles behind Thailand’s national development.

It was first included in the 9th National Economic and Social Development Plan of 2002 and continues to be part of the current 12th Plan (2017-2021).

National Level

6 study centers established across Thailand serving as living museums of SEP.

Currently, SEP has been applied to guide Thailand’s path toward sustainable development at all levels. There are more than 24,000 SEP communities, over 4,000 Royal Development Projects and 6 Royal Development Study Centers throughout the country. Each addresses particular problems in the area and conducts studies and research suitable for the locality.

Six Royal Development Study Centers

1. Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Centre.
2. Huai Sai Royal Development Study Centre.
4. Puparn Royal Development Study Centre.
3. Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre.
5. Huai Hong Khrai Royal Development Study Centre.
6. Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Centre.

Individual and Community Level

The success stories from communities where SEP is applied a used in community development, both in effective village administration and prospering household microeconomics.

The Application of SEP in Agricultural Sector

SEP application in the Individual and community level can be explain through the 3-step model of “The New Theory”.

“The New Theory” is an application of SEP in the agricultural sector. It is a holistic farm management theory that aims to minimize farmers’ vulnerability and promote sustainability, food security, water preservation and biodiversity. The New Theory calls for an implementation.

Stage 1 – Farmland Division

The land is divided in a ratio of 30 : 30 : 30 : 10.
– 30 percent is for growing fruits, herbs and vegetables for consumption and, where there is a surplus, for sale.
– 30 percent is turned into a pond to contain rainwater for use.
– 30 percent is for rice farming for consumption throughout the year. The remaining.
– 10 percent is for a residence, a corral for livestock, and other purposes.

Stage 2 – Community-based Agriculture

Farmers work together as a cooperative/community in preparing soil, distributing seedlings, making irrigation systems and marketing their farm products through community enterprises.

Stage 3 – Expansion of Networks

Farmers expand their activities through reaching out to other communities
and partners to share knowledge and experiences and create networks with private firms, banks and other external sources. The network creates activities including fund raising, direct sales channels, seeking funds for establishing a community rice mill or a cooperative store that improves the livelihood of farmers.

The Application of SEP in Business Sector

Due to rapid changes created by globalization , business organizations recognize and adapt to local and global changes by enhancing competitiveness through innovation and appropriate technology, while practicing risk management. Business administration must be based on good corporate governance. Companies also seek to upgrade their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to better benefit the society and the environment.