This tag is associated with 10 posts

Better Data And Tools For Greater Social Good

That charities and leaders in the social service sector “are slowly warming up to the potential of mining big data and analysing it to identify social trends and solve social problems of the day” (ST, Jul. 24) is encouraging, and in particular needs analysis (understanding, for instance, the profile of the beneficiaries who require assistance) and programme evaluation (ascertaining the extent to which a project has been effective or successful, against benchmarks) should take centre stage. In fact, the intermediate steps preceding big data and analytics – that is, the collection, management, and usage of data in general – are equally critical too. And in this vein there are at least three ways through which such progress can be furthered. Continue reading

Data Can Do More For Persons With Disabilities

To complement the government’s plan to find out the number of persons with disabilities in Singapore, in the next census in 2020 – which also seeks “to uncover the type of disabilities they have, their age, and their household structure” (ST, Apr. 28) – two related proposals should be considered: first, the creation and subsequent maintenance of an official central registry for the disabled; and second, the use of data and statistics for analytics, and therefore for better policymaking. The census is a useful first step for an “invisible population” that we know little about, yet given the amount of work involved it is only conducted once every 10 years, whereas needs are more dynamic and require more updated information. Continue reading

To Boost Volunteerism Rates

For years the government has sought to encourage more Singaporeans to volunteer, and even though the focus is now on “volunteering over a sustained period of time” (ST, Dec. 1), no significant breakthrough has been achieved in recent years. Besides the lack of useful information about volunteer patterns and their impact – beyond the “Individual Giving Survey” conducted by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre and the more recent “World Giving Index” by the Charities Aid Foundation, both of which rely on survey data, or the anecdotal feedback gathered by the National Council of Social Service – strategies to get more individuals involved in the non-profit sector must be more specific, more targeted. Continue reading