What is a basic standard of living (Photo by Ng Shi Wen)

What is “a basic standard of living”? A deeper research and methodological dive into the Minimum Income Standard study (with Drs. Ng Kok Hoe and Teo You Yenn)

Since the publication of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) study (whatsenough.sg), which sought to establish what constituted basic needs in Singapore and the household budgets needed to meet those needs, public discussion has taken two related directions. First, focusing solely on the S$6,426 dollar figure needed per month for partnered parents with two children, and then extolling Singaporeans to “spend within their means”. And second, criticising the study’s methodology without, in my opinion, fully understanding it. Some said, for instance, that the MIS study was analogous to interviewing colleagues about daily budgets before asking bosses for a salary raise.

Every research study has its limitations. But a fair evaluation only follows if we know the research motivations and methodology. It is with that in mind that we host Drs. Ng Kok Hoe and Teo You Yenn, members of the MIS study, who explain a “basic standard of living”, detail the study methodology, and address five common responses and rebuttals to the study.

Laptop on desk (Photo by lucas law on Unsplash)

Beyond the laptop: From digital access to digital inclusion and literacy (Lim May-Ann; COVID-19, one year on)

One year ago, we documented community initiatives and discussed structural challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore. One year later, we are inviting the same guests back to talk about their work, how they are feeling, and what they think we have learnt or have yet to learn from the pandemic. Today, we have Lim May-Ann, a volunteer with ​​Engineering Good’s Computers against COVID initiative. She shares how her work has evolved since the end of the circuit-breaker last year and evaluates Singapore’s progress in making sure that every student has a laptop.