Singapore Policy-Making Processes: The Impact of ICT to Enhance Public Participation and Gather Meaningful Insights

Singapore Policy-Making Processes: The Impact of ICT to Enhance Public Participation and Gather Meaningful Insights

Antonio Feraco (Fraunhofer IDM@NTU, Singapore) and Wolfgang Müller-Wittig (Fraunhofer IDM@NTU, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6236-0.ch020
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Abstract

In Singapore, ICT plays a key role in enabling technology for most of the sectors, several initiatives have been launched to gather insights from these large amount of data, and the utilization of visual solutions as a means to provide useful insights represents the basis for policymakers' decisions. In addition, Singapore is promoting the usage of new channels of communications to optimise the processes of e-Participation, to enhance public inputs in governmental activities, and other initiatives to gather insights from geo-spatial, behavioural, commercial, and scientific data. This chapter provides an overview about Singapore IT strategy development and the relation between government and key stakeholders to define and establish new policies, governance, and the framework implemented through the value add provided by IT and visual solutions ad-hoc utilised.
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Singapore: The Young City Nation And The Evolution Of The Ict Sector

In 1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles claimed Singapore as a trading post for the British East India Company, and after combined with Penang and Malacca in an administrative entity known as the Straits Settlements, became a crown colony of Britain in 1867. The Japanese invasion, after the Second World War, in 1942 interrupted the colonial rule. In 1959 Singapore was granted the right of internal self-government and joined Malaysian Federation in 1963. But due to irreconcilable differences broke away two years later. Singapore began as a place for maritime trade. During its new life Singapore faced daunting challenges in economic development. Unemployment was high and with the withdrawal of British troops, many jobs opportunities were lost. Furthermore urban slums proliferated, crime rates were high and only half of the population was literate. Its multi-racial and multi-religious population also created natural fault lines that were an ever-present source of potential social instability. Singapore situation was also compounded by its natural attributes. The limited land area of about 700 Km2 caused immense challenges in land use planning to house the needs of its nation state, in developing sustainable and strategic industry cluster, and a robust infrastructure of transportation system to support the growing economy. Nevertheless doubts of the small island survival arose, Singapore flourished under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew and the People Action Party (PAP). The PAP won elections in 1959 and has remained in office ever since keeping today 81 out of 87 seats in the unicameral parliamentary republic (Henderson, 2012). During this period Singapore’s openness to the rest of the world was not a choice but a necessity due to its almost total lack of natural resources. The most of policies were build under two strategic imperatives: economic development and domestic stability. This has formed the backdrop of Singapore’s development and underpinned the foundations of governance based on connectivity.

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