Elderly men reading newspapers

On the researcher’s privileged position, community partnerships, data and research advocacy: Postdoctoral fellow Rayner Tan

Postdoctoral fellow Rayner Tan, at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health in the National University of Singapore, studies substance use, recovery from addiction, and trauma as risk factors for substance use disorders in Singapore. Because his research projects involve and centre on the community groups with whom he works, we talk about his community partnerships and the structural challenges communities face when trying to do research. We conclude on the importance of data and research advocacy in the country.

View of a block of HDB flats

“They Told Us to Move”: Challenging the contributions of academia

Focused on the relocation of Dakota Crescent residents to Cassia Crescent, “They Told Us to Move” (2019) by Ng Kok Hoe and the Cassia Resettlement Team (CRT) – a volunteer team founded in 2017 to help these residents settle into their new homes – is a powerful collection of resident and volunteer narratives, unfortunately let down by the uneven and seemingly disconnected academic contributions, especially in the final third of the book. In this vein, the book is both a testament to the strong resident-volunteer forged through the relocation, resettlement, and redevelopment process as well as to the challenges of drawing meaningful connections between developments on the ground and the work of academia to effectively translate research into practice or policy change.