1. What can the participants from the Citizens’ Workgroup on Reducing Excessive Consumption of Disposables expect and what will NEA do with the ideas proposed from the Workgroup?
This Citizens’ Workgroup will allow Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents from all backgrounds and age groups to come together to identify and discuss inclusive recommendations to collectively address the issue of excessive consumption of disposables.
Participants will be given access to resources to enable them to better understand the topic. The resources provided will be more than what is made available through typical engagement sessions. For example, participants will have access to data and subject matter experts from the people, private and public sectors will be at hand during the sessions.
Participants will then generate ideas on how to better manage the issue in the local context and form teams to develop practical and inclusive recommendations, with guidance from subject matter experts. The groups will then present their recommendations in the final session. These recommendations will also be published online.
Following this, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) will study the groups’ proposals. Where feasible, proposals will be prototyped and piloted. If there is interest by participants to follow up on their recommendations, NEA will also consider supporting them.
2. What is the scope of the discussion for the Citizens’ Workgroup on Reducing Excessive Consumption of Disposables?
The Citizens’ Workgroup on Reducing Excessive Consumption of Disposables will discuss and co-develop practical and inclusive recommendations to collectively reduce the excessive consumption of disposables in Singapore.
3. Who will make up the Workgroup and how will members be selected?
All Singapore Citizens/Permanent Residents aged 15 and above can apply to join the Workgroup. From the applicants, 50 individuals from diverse backgrounds will be selected to form the Workgroup. These individuals will be chosen to be reflective of our society’s demographics in terms of age, race, gender and socio-economic status.
4. Why is NEA rolling out this workgroup amidst the current COVID-19 situation, and what are NEA’s plans for the Citizens’ Workgroup sessions to ensure the safety of the participants?
The Citizens’ Workgroup sessions are currently scheduled to take place from September 2020 to March 2021. With the reopening of Singapore in phases amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, NEA’s current plan is for the workgroup to meet through online sessions with the health and safety of participants in mind. When the situation improves, NEA will consider the feasibility of face-to-face meetings, with the necessary safeguards in place, to enable group discussions.
We will closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and will adjust our plans as necessary. NEA will also follow the latest advisories by MOH to ensure the safety of the participants.
5. What is expected of participants?
Participants should be keen to improve the current situation in which there is often excessive consumption of disposables. Participants should also be keen to share their personal views and ideas on the topic and be open to hear from and work with others who may hold different perspectives. The sessions will be conducted in English and some/all of the sessions will be run through online sessions using online meeting platforms.
Participants will also have to commit to full attendance and participation at all sessions of the Workgroup, which will include working on a report of the recommendations. The report will be made available online and presented to MSE and NEA. Participants may also have to spend time between the sessions for additional research, discussion, and testing of ideas within their team.
6. Why are there so many sessions and why do I have to commit to attending all sessions?
Workgroups have an intensive programme and are usually planned as 4 to 5 full-day sessions. However, because the sessions will tentatively be run online using online meeting platforms, we have split the 4 to 5 full-day sessions into 9 half-day sessions to make it easier for participants to maintain focus.
Full participation in each session is crucial to allow more meaningful and inclusive recommendations. For instance, participation in phase 1 (Introduction to the problem and sharing from experts) will allow participants to gain a deeper understanding of each of the topic and approach the issue from various perspectives. Hence, it is important for Workgroup members’ full participation in all sessions for meaningful engagement among all participants and to co-create well-considered and inclusive recommendations that can potentially tackle the issue.
During the selection process, please note that priority will be given to citizens who are able to commit to attending all sessions.
7. What support will participants receive?
Participants will be supported with information than what is made available at typical engagement sessions. For example, participants will have access to data and subject matter experts from the people, private and public sectors will be at hand during the sessions. Each session will be conducted by trained facilitators to generate and refine ideas. For those who are unfamiliar with online meeting platforms, remote technical assistance will be provided.
If there is interest from participants to follow up on their recommendations, NEA will also consider supporting them.
8. I still have more questions. Whom do I contact should I have queries on the Workgroup?
For queries about the Workgroup, please email us at NEA_RD_CWG@nea.gov.sg.