Half-opened laptop

Sampling and construct validity: Singapore as the world’s “smartest” city?

The news report that Singapore is the world’s “smartest” city (ST, Oct. 3) – based on the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Smart City Index 2019, published by the IMD World Competitiveness Centre and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) – is useful for exploring the two concepts of sampling and construct validity. First, how did the IMD and SUTD team collect the survey data and to what extent are the samples representative of the 102 cities (including Singapore); and second, how did the team define and operationalise “smart” and to what extent are the survey questions and responses reflective of whether a city is truly “smart”?