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Policy Recommendation

This tag is associated with 377 posts

Ground Engagement Should Be The Norm For Politicians And Civil Servants

The recent focus on ground engagement among politicians and civil servants – to “go out and engage stakeholders and Singaporeans” (ST, Nov. 22) and to develop and nurture “a consultative relationship between the government and citizens” (ST, Nov. 22) – is odd not because of its importance in the context of increasingly complex governance demands, but because it might have been assumed that it should be or that it is already the norm. Central to policymaking is an understanding of the problems and how they are perceived by the individuals affected by them, and these interactions with constituents are especially important if the politicians and civil servants hail from different demographic or socio-economic backgrounds, and therefore have dissimilar perspectives and life experiences. Continue reading

Tweaks To DSA Will Not Fix Fundamental Disparities

The latest round of tweaks to the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme – making applications free of charge and centralising the online submission of applications (TODAY, Nov. 7) – will not fix more fundamental disparities between students and the families they come from. Furthermore these changes, and how they have been communicated thus far, are not helped by the lack of more precise data and information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the students who benefit from the DSA: The employment status of their parents, their housing type and household income, and perhaps even their primary schools (and how they were admitted). Continue reading

Ensure Consistency And Effectiveness Of Hawker Consultation

The fracas surrounding hawker centres operated by social enterprises has highlighted the challenges of consultation and communication, and in this vein the need for the government to urge these social enterprise operators to “meet the hawkers’ feedback groups on a regular basis to discuss concerns and issues so that these can be addressed quickly” (ST, Oct. ) only highlights the absence of and the need for progress. That operators have only embraced consultation right now through the formation on feedback groups – instead of viewing it as a consistent feature from the get-go, not only to solicit hawker views but also to be attuned to concerns on the ground – reveals a deeper and persistent malaise of potential apathy and lethargy. Continue reading

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