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Public Administration News  
Singapore to Mine Citizen Sentiment in Social Media
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Monday, November 22, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Singapore
Created: Nov 22, 2010

The Singapore government is looking at using social media Business Analytics tools to get a better understanding of how Singaporeans feel about its policies.

The tools will enable public services to be better tailored to individuals by “listening” to views expressed in social media, explained Professor Neo Boon Siong of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

The software, developed by IBM, trawls social media for key words or phrases, which can be defined as positive or negative, to identify current and emerging trends in public sentiment.

“The government has collected information on citizen sentiment in the past, but citizens tend to respond in an artificial way through traditional channels,” said Neo.

The system could mark a shift in how the Singapore government deals with citizen feedback, from computing quantitative customer satisfaction scores to use citizen views and ideas to customise design and delivery, he noted.

“The government has tended to be rational and pragmatic - to listen to reason, but ignore feelings. Now there are tools that can go beyond seeking feedback to get citizens involved in initiating reviews and redesigning policies.”

Investment in Business Analytics was named as part of Singapore’s S$1.1 billion (US$800 million) ICT procurement plan, announced in May 2010.

Singapore’s next e-government masterplan for 2011-2015 is themed ‘Collaborative Government’, with a focus on co-design and co-delivery of citizen services.

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