Jin Yao, Kwan
PhD candidate (Social Welfare), UCLA
Born and raised in Singapore
I am a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin School of Public Affairs – under the National University of Singapore (NUS)-Overseas Graduate Scholarship – who graduated as valedictorian of the class of 2017 with a Master in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS.
My primary research interest revolves around children and adolescents from low-income families, and in particular on the family structures and family quality associated with positive adolescent and family development. I am also interested in the civic engagement of adolescents and youths as well as the social and public policies governing the non-profit and philanthropy sector in Singapore and in Asia.
I have three main ongoing research projects. In addition, I am also working on a roundtable project, on a sports- and community-based programme as well as a solution-focused evaluation, and on two COVID-19-related projects (in Singapore and in the United States):
Singled out: The social capital of low-income, single-parent families in Singapore (funded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development of Singapore, “Social and Family Research Fund”, NUS IRB S-20-016 and UCLA IRB#19-002086).
“Why are we doing this in the first place”: School- and community-based volunteerism in Singapore (funded by the National Youth Council of Singapore, “National Youth Fund”, UCLA IRB#18-001764).
Family structure, family quality, and the positive development of adolescents: The family social capital of grandparents in low-income Singaporean families (UCLA IRB#18-00877).
Having previously volunteered with the Association of Women for Action and Research, Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association Singapore, as well as the social empowerment initiative “I Am Talented”, I now volunteer or work with Singaporean charities on research projects and data analysis.
In addition, I am founder of and advisor to PREPMUN, Singapore's Model United Nations Preparatory Conference (organised by the United Nations Association of Singapore from 2011 to 2018), where we recently published a Singaporean guidebook to Model United Nations.
Finally, I have been working with Dr. Justin Lee of the Institute of Policy Studies on serve.sg, an open-source volunteer matching platform in Singapore. It is funded by the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth, under the “Our Singapore Fund”.
I now run socialservice.sg and an accompanying bi-monthly newsletter (tinyletter.com/socialservicesg), focused on presenting and explaining social service research and applied data analysis in Singapore.
I had a personal socio-political blog (July 2009 to July 2019) which is now archived (guanyinmiao.wordpress.com). I previously also wrote for three now-defunct sites: the “Breakfast Network” in 2013 and “The Middle Ground” from 2015 to 2016 as well as “SALT”, an online publication by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre in 2014.
These archived posts best represent who I am as a blogger (at my best and worst):
Personal Posts and Contributions