Parliamentary reply by Acting Minister Chan Chun Sing on disbursement of Community Integration Fund (CIF)
TWELFTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
TUESDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 2012
Asst Prof Tan Kheng Boon, Eugene:
To ask the Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports with regard to the Community Integration Fund (CIF) (a) what is (i) the amount that has been disbursed since its inception in September 2009; and (ii) the nature of activities that have been funded; (b) what are the measures, proxy or otherwise, of outcomes from activities funded; (c) whether a comprehensive review will be conducted with a view to improve the funding mechanism, including providing for multi-year programmes; and (d) whether there are plans to renew the CIF and to increase the funding available.
Mr Chan Chun Sing:
CIF Programmes and Activities Funded
The Community Integration Fund (CIF) was launched by the National Integration Council (NIC) in September 2009 to co-fund and support ground-up integration initiatives.
We have since engaged more than 150 organisations and disbursed $5.1 million to support around 220 projects. Another $3.1 million has also been committed to ongoing and upcoming projects. These efforts have brought the people, private and public sectors together to foster integration across all levels of our society.
The CIF projects are typically organised by students, companies and community and cultural groups. They have helped our immigrants better adapt to their new environments and provided platforms for locals and newcomers to interact with and better understand one another. As a result, friendships have been forged and our new immigrants have deepened their appreciation of the various aspects of Singaporean life that makes us unique as a people and nation.
For example, in Project One Heart organised by Republic Polytechnic in May this year, 230 local and international students from our five polytechnics got to know each other better as they teamed up to engage and provide assistance to elderly residents in the community.
Assessing Outcomes and Plans Moving Forward
The CIF has resourced individuals and organisations who are interested in playing their part in integration. Many have thus recognised the importance of integration and will continue to find common ground so that we can remain a cohesive society.
All CIF initiatives and programmes have different KPIs, depending on the desired outcomes. These may include measurements tied to the participation rate, profile of participants and a project’s longer-term sustainability. While we continue to monitor these KPIs, we will also raise awareness of the CIF so that worthy projects receive the support that they deserve.
The NIC regularly reviews how this Fund can be enhanced to better achieve integration outcomes. For instance, we have allowed for more flexibility in funding organisations that have a good track record and are able to provide substantive proposals with clear action plans. Similarly, we have started to fund longer-term programmes to help sustain their momentum and deepen the relationships between locals and new immigrants. One such example is the Singapore Healthcare Immersion Programme (SHIP) to help foreign Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) adapt to their life and work in Singapore.
The CIF will continue to support those with good ideas and are keen to join us in bringing new immigrants and locals together, so that integration can be effective and sustained over the longer term.