This thesis, which is a qualitative research in nature, has three main objectives, namely: (1) to study concept of Buddhist social development in Theravada Buddhism, (2) to study Buddhism for Development Project (BDP) in Lao society, and (3) to analyze the roles of Lao Saṅgha on Buddhism for Development Project (BDP) in Lao society.
The result of the study found that the aims of social development in Theravada Buddhism have two steps, namely: primary aim is the development a good living life in society, developing human right, nature, environment and secondary aim is development to be a noble person. It also found that Buddhism for Development Project is concerned with longer term and sustainable social development in Laos, particularly in the six fields of (1) Vipassanā meditation, (2) Dhamma Sanjorn (3) Community Development, (4) Media and Communications, (5) Training and Curriculum, and (6) Mettadhamma. All of the departments in the BDP have functions related to social development in Lao society.
Finally, it also found that Buddhism has played an important role in Lao society from the former times to the present day. It can be concluded from the study that the role of the Lao Buddhist Saṅgha is concerned with the application of Buddhist doctrine to social development. In more detail, has had as well an influence on the traditions, cultures and political authority of Laos. The Lao Buddhist Saṅgha performs many roles as it uses Buddhist doctrine to further social development and improve the lives of many people in Lao society. Furthermore, according to the study, the members of the Saṅgha also take part in a range of Buddhist ceremonies, lead people in the community with the development of organic agriculture, support and protect the environment, and play various roles in the HIV, tuberculosis prevention and treatment activities.