Our research interest

Project SEVANA conducts a series of studies, research, and open dialogues with different groups and people in Southeast Asia. Knowledge gathering through research is crucial in two ways: first, it serves as an underlying tool to bring relevant groups at local, national, and regional levels together to work and learn together; second, its findings will feed into designing different campaigns at the regional level.

Project SEVANA is particularly interested in action research with local community groups. We believe that there are still many communities in the region willing to engage in the regional movement by reflecting their knowledge and wisdom on their livelihood, natural resources, and the situation they are facing through the research work. Civil society groups, organizations, and academics can always support such action research. Most of all, every group should join in the research work with the common intention - to gain more knowledge, awareness, and capacity to work and live together in this region and to keep learning from experiences and wisdom that remain among us.

A participatory socio-economic study on the change of Huay Mak Tai Village, July-December 2023

This study considers a process to understand the ground situation of the critical village affected by the Pak Mun Dam on the Mun River. If built, severe impacts will be experienced from the upcoming Phou Ngoy and Ban Koum dams in Laos. Huay Mak Tai was chosen after a discussion among the community leaders, the Ubon Ratchathani University team, the UMFD, and LDIM members. The village of 139 households is located at the lower Mekong mainstream’s most crucial area of fish migration, where the Mun and Mekong Rivers meet. It is one of the most famous tourist spots. Since the construction of the Pak Mun Dam on the Mun River began in 1990, less than 10 kilometers away from Huay Mak Tai along the two rivers,  the severe impact on fisheries caused the loss of occupation and traditional livelihood. For that reason, Huay Maktai has joined the Assembly of the Poor movement.

See Some pictures of the research process; 

Executive summary of the study “The Story of Huay Maktai” (In the Thai language)


Energy Research - 2019 onward

Since 2019, Project SEVANA, together with Laos Dam Investment Monitor (LDIM), has supported the work of many alliances for energy research/study. The study followed the format of desk studies, internal forums, and open forums. Some handbooks and documents are being produced and distributed among interest groups.

Research on“Migrant workers as a consequence of land grab" - 2016

Research on “Migrant workers as a consequence of land grab: Change of lives and communities, and potential impacts to the region” was conducted in 2016. Project SEVANA, together with the team members and local leaders and activists from Cambodia and Thailand, conducted the research titled “Migrant workers as a consequence of land grab: Change of lives and communities, and potential impacts to the region”. This research aims to understand the situation of Cambodian migrant workers who relocated from sugar cane plantations and came to work in Thailand. The research has gained much of the understanding of organizations on the current situation, not with the Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand, but the overall situation in the region. 

Research Discussions

Phnom Penh Discussion: Research review and more lessons on the sugar industry

9-11 December 2016

This meeting invited the key community leaders from Koh Kong and Oddor Meanchey and the representative from the Sustainable Agriculture Network in Thailand to meet together. The team members helped to clarify some key issues being gathered for the research related to the sugar industry, land grabbing, migrant workers, and people's livelihoods. Some more profound knowledge of the sugar industry was also exchanged among the group.