Civic Experiment & Wiki Challenge

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Join us today!

Register here: Google Form Link


If you're passionate about social issues in Singapore, this Wiki Challenge is for you! This is an initiative by, where people can contribute what they know about social issues that they care about. Participants can share information, identify needs, assess gaps and offer ideas or solutions. Together, we can build our knowledge of local social problems and come up with ground-up solutions. 

The challenge will start in March and last till July 2020. Feel free to sign up with your friends, and adopt a wiki page together. Come join us in this half year civic experiment & wiki challenge!


Through an online wiki platform and community networks, facilitates the citizen mapping and sensemaking of social needs, gaps and solutions in Singapore. 

We use a wiki platform to take stock of: 1) Social needs in Singapore, 2) Existing services and communal resources available, 3) Determine service or policy gaps and their causes, as well as 4) Identify possible solutions to those challenges.

We have 3 overarching aims:

  • To build a continually updated repository of research written by the people, for the people. This democratises research, and ensures that the marginalised have their voices heard in policymaking and research.
  • To nurture an active community of contributors and even policy networks that shares and refines policy recommendations and advocacy together. 
  • To learn from and with practitioners, policymakers and more social service organisations with forums, roundtables or a Community Forum organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) this year.

Since July 2016, has successfully partnered many local organisations working on various social causes: Disability (Disabled People’s Association, NVPC, NYC) Ex-Offenders (SANA), Migrant Workers (HealthServe), Seniors (Tsao Foundation). An example of a policy network would be the Disability Community Network, formed by  disability organisations, VWOs and other relevant community assets that truly and authentically represent the interests of the disability community. Other organisations currently provide support for IT infrastructure, knowledge architecture and community engagement, such as the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, A*Star, Institute of Policy Studies, Asian Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre.

What do Participants do?

For more details, refer to the section below on Updates, especially the sub-section on Wiki Challenge 101.

  1. Adopt a page (Social Cause, Community Asset or Locality) and populate it from Feb to July 2020.
  2. Recruit others with the same interest to do it together with you.
  3. Optional: Consult experts to give you insights.
  4. Optional: Make sense of and present the collective knowledge base to policymakers, NGOs & academics at Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Roundtables or Community Forum2020 .
  5. Optional: Form a ground-up community network to sustain future contributions and dialogue if there is sufficient interest (e.g. Disability Community Network, Community Development Network).

Here's how you can get started!

  1. Find at least one friend to form a small group (Mar 2020).
  2. Agree on a social cause (e.g., Seniors), community asset (e.g., Community Artists) or locality (e.g. Whampoa) in Singapore to analyse.
  3. Register your interest here (Google Form link)
  4. Kick-off event (29 Feb 2020, Sat). We will take a screenshot of the pages teams have adopted for a 'Before' snapshot and compare it with a post-event 'After' snapshot.
  5. Populate the wiki page with what you know, from research to newspaper articles to anecdotes - citing sources where available appropriately. You are encouraged to populate at least 1 item a week (and keep a record of your contributions using the template here).
  6. While you might start with a main page, you can create as many sub-pages where you think it makes sense. For example, Disability is a hub page for sub-pages such as Hearing Impairment, Arts & Disability.
  7. Recruit others to help populate information, and check in weekly with them.
    • Document what you and your immediate recruits have contributed
    • Ask for feedback and highlight any challenges faced
  8. Forward issues or any requests for IPS to help with - contact Andrew ( or Justin ( We can provide assistance regarding technical issues, research (available resources, writing tips, integrating and organising information). We can also assist you in reaching out to relevant practitioners and organisations.
  9. Mid-point check in (2 May 2020, Sat). Here, we will help you take stock and make sense of the knowledge base you have collated so far. We will also invite practitioners, academics and policymakers to provide insights and inputs to what you have contributed thus far.
  10. Near the end of July, take stock of the entire knowledge base you have consolidated (with whoever is interested to in your network), and prepare a simple presentation. Don't worry, this will not be a formal presentation! We would like to learn more about your contributions to, but more importantly, what you have experienced and learnt from the Wiki Challenge. Here's a list of reflection questions to guide you!
  11. Completion Party & Presentation (1 Aug 2020, Sat). You may not have met all of the contributors for your page, so this is an invaluable opportunity to meet everyone. Your team will also present a final presentation regarding your findings, alongside what you have experienced and learnt from the Wiki Challenge (see previous reflection questions).
  12. Present at Roundtables and/or Community Forum (Oct 2020). Teams will have the chance to present their contributions to key stakeholders in your respective sector. The best presentations (rubric here) would also be be eligible for a larger Community Forum in Oct 2020.


Participants will be conducting research on a social issue of their choice, individually or in groups, and populating the website with their findings. Their aim will be to create or adopt a page about the social issue or community of their choice, put their research findings and solutions on this platform, and work with others to refine their research into a format that is useful to external stakeholders. They will do so between March and August 2020, with a Mid-Point Check-In to be attended on 1st May.

They will be assisted in this by the Core Team, who will help facilitate the overall research journey and the reportage process for their work. The Core Team will also be on hand to answer questions about technical help as well as how research can be conducted, structured and presented.

Kick Off Event Summary

Justin (Advisor)shared about socialcollab (check out the slides here): 

  • What socialcollab is about: democratising research and needs assessment
  • Why is socialcollab important: 
    • lack of information AND information overload at the same time. 
    • It’s difficult to identify or learn about different social needs and existing services or policies
    • Experts (academics, professionals, policymakers) are usually leading research (undemocratic methods of research, top-down methodology). Such experts often regard clients, caregivers, citizens as merely data.
  • How do we define a need? - Discman example (wants vs needs, perennial but also changing needs based on time and context). Please check out slide 15
  • Needs Assessment 101: Needs, gaps, causes of gaps, and solutions should all clearly identify the problem and how to solve it
  • Most impt points from Slides: timeline, weekly check-ins
  • Andrew - shared on Disability, demo-ed use of wiki 
    • Some functionalities of the wiki such as how to add pages, add new sections.
    • Do hit-up Andrew if you encounter any technical difficulties along the way

Wiki Challenge 101

The information below can be found in the slides here.


  1. Kickoff (29 February)
    • Can also decide to form own networks and community action groups
    • Encouraged to recruit friends to do it with you along the way
    • Addition into Telegram chat, grouping with others
  2. Mid-point Check-in (2 May)
    • First meetup of groups based on topics
    • Facilitated/Moderated by VWO
    • End of recruitment
  3. Completion (1 Aug)
  4. Roundtables/Forum (TBC)

Key Takeaways

  • Focus on populating the page first, and with what you are interested in. For example, if you are interested in studying financial adequacy of Seniors, put down as much as you know first and don't worry about covering too much breadth regarding eldercare as a social issue.
  • Pages can fall under multiple issues - don't worry. For example, Dyslexia could be covered under Disability as a sub-page, or Mental Health. For the time being, just pick one and roll with it - we can cross-link later.
  • If you feel intimidated, focus first on filling the wiki page with what you know. If you are not sure about how to go about doing needs analysis, put down what you know first and ask for help from others :)
  • Feel free to involve as many or as little people as you want. If you are connected to specific agencies, go ahead to link up and see if they're interested in getting on board. Whether you would like to work by yourself / in a group, that's fine too.
  • Have fun! Approach us if you have any other doubts. Please give us at least 1-2 days to respond, we’re really busy!


Andrew - @laxsnore (disability and mental health, technical support)

Calissa - @moreteaplease (gender-related issues, feminism, lgbtq+)

Darryl - @Darry_Shya98 (youth, inequality, climate)

Simon - @SimonZXH (elderly)


Please indicate your final choice by 7 March 2020, 2359 hours. If you wish to change your group preferences after this date and time, please contact us directly and we will make arrangements on your behalf. 

To facilitate the linking-up process between contributors, kindly fill up the excel form here

Please indicate your secondary and tertiary interest (if you have any) in Categories 2 and 3 - do tell us in this chat if you wish to change your Category 1 interest as well, so we can allocate you into different groups. 

Finally, please decide on a group number and have all group members enter it in the Group Numbers Column - this will be used to determine your specific groupings within the topics themselves.


Wiki Challenge Guide

This has helpful recaps of the Wiki Challenge, tips to get you started and important links if you need further guidance!

Archive of Important Telegram Messages

We've compiled all important announcements on Telegram here!

Weekly Informal Submission

Each group would have to make one submission every Saturday, by 2359 hours. Please use the form linked in this form for each weekly submission. After submitting your form, you are also encouraged to backup the content on a google document in the format below so as to keep track of the research and resources that you have gathered. The document would ideally be shared in the general-access Social Collab folder in the following format!

Content Page Structure
Abstract (link to your content/Google Document here)
  • Summary
  • Issue-specific
Weekly Informal Submission
  • Refer to below
  • Up to Group Leader to decide depth and breadth
... ...

What Participants Can Learn

Participants can:

  • Acquire skills on needs assessments and asset mapping. You can learn more about the way needs and assets are measured, evaluated and analysed. After all, Wiki pages are structured in a needs assessment format and record useful resources and assets. You also gain experience liaising and engaging policymakers and NGOs.
  • Contribute to policy or practice. You can present your findings and learn more from policymakers, NGOs and academics. This helps inform the work they do, while providing useful exposure and experience for you!
  • Democratise research and contribute to the commons. You're taking part in a collective project to crowdsource analysis of social issues and generate their solutions! Your efforts to understand the lived experiences of others allows those without a voice to meaningfully contribute to a collective knowledge base instead of relying on others to set the agenda, or define their challenges and needs for them.
  • Partake in an experiment in decentralised collaboration. Groups can find their own people, form their own networks and decide how they want to work with one another.

Organising Committee

Co-chairs - Andrew Lim & Calissa Man

Members - Darryl Shya & Simon Zhuang Xun Heng

Co-organisers - A Good Space

Advisor - Justin Lee

Want to support this initiative?

If you are a company, foundation or organisation looking to support this initiative, these are some opportunities for consideration:

  • Donations in kind or vouchers to thank participants that act as completion rewards
  • Space or venue for smaller events like Roundtables (30-50 pax) or larger Forums (around 200 pax)
  • Refreshments for events
  • Printing T-shirts to give the participants a sense of commitment and identity, as well as to market

However, we welcome any meaningful kind of contributions or deeper kinds of collaborations and if you are keen to propose something, please get in touch with Andrew ( or Justin ( if you would like to donate or sponsor this initiative.

  • Internships or sponsored field trips for the best team?
  • Provide IT support and development?
  • Marketing and communications?

How do I sign up?

Please fill in this Google Form to register your interest!

If you have further questions, feel free to contact:


How do I edit the pages?

1. After logging in, click “edit” on the page you would like to edit.

Screenshot 1.png

2. If you’ve landed on the html editing page, click “edit” another time to access the visual editing page.

Screenshot 2.png

3. You may edit on the visual editing page.

  • To add a new section, use the font type “Heading” when writing the section title
  • To add a new sub-section, use the font type “Sub-heading” within the section
Screenshot 3.png