More government data can be made available to advance social science research: ESM Goh

SINGAPORE - The Government can help to advance social science research by making more data readily available to researchers, said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on Thursday (April 21). He was speaking at the Social Service Research (SSR) Centre Conference 2016, held at the National University of Singapore Guild House.

Having data is important for research, and research can help to improve existing policies or provide ideas for new policies, he said.

" In this regard, Government agencies should see an alignment between quality social science research and effective policy-making. They can advance social science research by making more government data readily available to researchers," he added.

He also called for the social service sector and community partners to step in to plug gaps that the Government has yet to, or cannot, reach; to alert the Government to blind spots; and to help ensure that existing programmes serve people effectively.

The partnerships between the Government, the community and academia need to be stronger than before as Singapore faces more complex social challenges such as greater income inequality, he said.

Speaking to more than 300 people from the three different groups, he said: "This SSR conference... is an important platform where knowledge can be shared, ideas exchanged and the links between the theory of social science research, government policies and the practical aspects of implementation on the ground strengthened."

Topics covered in the conference include the effects of debts on low-income families, help for the elderly, and the needs of transnational families.

Speakers include professors from local universities, representatives from family service centres, and Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua.

goyshiyi@sph.com.sg