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NUS leads discussions on Singapore’s social policies

15 Jun 2010



GUEST-OF-HONOUR: Singapore's Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (centre). Sitting next to him was Benjamin Youngdahl Professor of Social Development and CSD Director Prof Michael Sherraden


WELCOME ADDRESS: By Chairman of the Advisory Council of the CSDA and Associate Professorial Fellow at the NUS Department of Social Work Dr S Vasoo
NUS' Centre for Social Development Asia (CSDA), in collaboration with the Centre for Social Development (CSD) at the Washington University in St Louis, organised a two-day seminar on 7 to 8 June 2010, which brought together 60 professionals, including many local and international academics and policymakers, to discuss Singapore's social policies. The discussions were focused on the history, development, assessment and outlook of Singapore's policies such as health, housing, social security and community development.

Singapore's Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Dr Vivian Balakrishnan was the Guest-of-Honour at this event. In his opening address, he said, “As far as history is concerned, the key lessons that we have learnt in the architecture of our social policies is to remember that we have to be self-reliant; we have to look after our families; we have to build assets; and we need to be fair.” He also highlighted some challenges that would have significant impact on the development of Singapore's social policy, namely, economic volatility, an ageing population and low birth rates, the family as an institution under stress, and Singapore as an increasingly cosmopolitan city.

The conference was chaired by Chairman of the Advisory Council of the CSDA and Associate Professorial Fellow at the NUS Department of Social Work, Dr S Vasoo; and Benjamin Youngdahl Professor of Social Development and CSD Director, Prof Michael Sherraden. Prof Sherraden, who had recently been named among the world's top 100 thinkers in 2010, is well-known for his pioneering work on asset building for low-income people. The Organising Chairman of the conference is Co-Director of the CSDA and Assistant Professor and Deputy Head at the NUS Department of Social Work Dr Sudha Nair.

Launched in 2007, CSDA aims to conduct applied social research and build knowledge to inform social development policies and programmes, with a focus on Asia. CSDA's research projects are cooperative partnerships with CSD and similar academic centres in Asia.


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