NUS Department of Social Work launches new award to recognise and support social innovations that benefit ASEAN communities

Inaugural award honours Singapore’s Father of Charity Dr Ee Peng Liang

The Department of Social Work at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences announced the establishment of a new award to encourage social innovations that can make a positive impact on communities in ASEAN countries. 

Known as the ASEAN Social Impact Award, this initiative is a partnership with the Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund, Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) and Ashoka Innovators for the Public. The long-term goal of this award is to build communities of social innovators who work together to transform society and design new ways for communities to be more entrepreneurial, productive and connected. The award will also convene philanthropists committed to collective action for community betterment in the ASEAN region.

Inspired by the selfless drive of Singapore’s Father of Charity Dr Ee Peng Liang in uplifting communities in need and supporting causes that make a lasting change, the Award, in its first year, will be in honour of the late Dr Ee and his charitable contributions. 

Dr S Vasoo, Associate Professorial Fellow with the Department of Social Work, NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Chairman of the Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund Committee, said, “The late Dr Ee Peng Liang was always ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and the disadvantaged, and he firmly believed that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. His lifelong commitment to advancing human development in communities in need is an inspiration to all of us.” 

“Through this new award, we want to celebrate the many good works of the men and women who embody this selfless spirit and to also inspire social innovations that provide sustainable solutions to address challenges face by communities in need and, in turn, help build an inclusive society for all in the ASEAN region,” Dr Vasoo added. 

Mr Stanley Tan, Chairman of APC, and Chairman of the ASEAN Social Impact Award committee, said, “APC is delighted to support this award. Asian philanthropists would like to see and support Asian leaders in social innovation, so that we may share and spread best practices across the region. While we copy many models from the West, there are also many successful programmes in Asia that we should help to scale and replicate.” 

The ASEAN Social Impact Award

The ASEAN Social Impact Award will recognise individuals, who have a strong drive and vision to resolve social issues and create positive social impact in their respective communities in ASEAN countries. 

To be considered for the award, candidates’ organisation would need to fulfil three key criteria: benefitted the disadvantaged community in the ASEAN region; achieved a demonstrable scale of impact, and in operation for at least three years.

Candidates and their initiatives would also be assessed based on social impact, entrepreneurial quality, innovation quality and sustainability. The candidate’s area of work can include sectors such as: 

  • Economic development
  • Migrants
  • Environment
  • Health and nutrition
  • Ageing
  • Learning and education

Three winners will be selected, and each winner will receive a cash prize of up to S$50,000 to further scale the impact of their work. 

Applications are open until 15 July 2017. For more details on the award and the application process, please refer to https://www.ashoka.org/en/story/asean-social-impact-awards