NCSS Spearheads 3P Partnership Efforts to Drive Sustainable Transformation in Non-profit Sector

08 Nov 2022

SINGAPORE, 8 NOVEMBER 2022 – Three Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to bolster service, data, and process transformation in the non-profit sector were signed today, between the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) respectively. The MOU signing ceremony was witnessed by Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) in the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, at the inaugural Transformation Showcase for Non-Profits (TSNP) organised by NCSS.

2. “The TSNP highlighted many social service agencies (SSAs) and our partners’ efforts in innovation and collaboration. To ensure that these efforts bring about sustained support for individuals and families, we need to harness the strengths of partners in the public, private and people (3P) sectors. The MOUs exemplify ways we can leverage the expertise of our 3P partners and signify NCSS’ commitment in forging cross-sector collaborations to ensure that the social service sector is equipped to handle current and future needs,” said SPS Eric Chua.

3P partnerships key to sustainable transformation

3. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for the social service sector to embrace innovation to augment service delivery, particularly in areas such as digitalisation and organisation development. 3P partnerships form the anchor to sustainably improve productivity and optimise resources and processes. The new MOUs form an umbrella of service-process-data transformation support for the sector.

4. For service transformation, NCSS will work with SIT’s Community Leadership and Social Innovation Centre (CLASIC) to augment the IT capabilities of Social Service Agencies (SSAs) through end-to-end problem identification and solutioning. The Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS) approached CLASIC for assistance when they encountered challenges in pivoting to online-based social service programmes during the pandemic. Students from SIT’s ICT Software Engineering programme delivered a proof of concept that could resolve pain points and enhance the process flow in PPIS’s online service delivery. Together with the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning (NACE@SIT), NCSS’s Social Service Institute (SSI) will also empower SSAs in developing lifelong workplace learning capabilities to bolster effective long-term transformation.

5. Six SSAs have benefited from the pilot scheme – PERTAPIS Education & Welfare Centre, CampusImpact, Apex Harmony Lodge, Silver Ribbon Singapore, Lions Befrienders, and RSVP. For example, CampusImpact looked to improve customer satisfaction of its LearningCurve programme where they engage volunteers to tutor youths, and also to streamline the LearningCurve class scheduling processes. By improving the workflow of class scheduling, from using 4 different platforms to a single platform, they reduced the frequency of human errors during information transfer and update. In addition, the implementation of visual management of the work processes translated to a seamless handover between their staff, and an improvement in clarity of the class schedules for parents. The team went through a process mapping and refinement regimen, and achieved a reduction of customer enquiries and complaints by 70%. In a bid to enhance staff retention and competencies, PERTAPIS Education & Welfare Centre examined their orientation training method for new officers and redesigned it to improve its effectiveness. By introducing a competency assessment, mentoring staff were able to provide the new hires with the specific support that they require. With the new training method, staff competencies were boosted by 35%.

6. SP will offer low-bono consultancy and training for NCSS’s members to optimise process efficiency through digital transformation such as Robotic Process Automation as well as digital marketing, with three SSAs having benefitted from the pilot run that resulted in the range of 90% productivity gain. Similarly, NYP will provide process automation and data analytics consultancy to improve SSAs’ service delivery.

Forging more cross-sector collaborations in innovation and transformation

7. “NCSS’ Social Service Sector Survey 2021 showed us that collaboration is among top opportunities our SSAs feel they can seize in the next three to five years, but they also cited it as one of the key challenges. Through our partnerships with Institutes of Higher Learning, NCSS hopes to help SSAs foster collaboration, accelerate the adoption of innovative practices and build stronger organisational capability, in order to better serve their users. SSAs can also tap on existing resources and funding like the Community Capability Trust to enhance organisational capability and capacity,” said Ms Tan Li San, Chief Executive Officer, NCSS.

8. Another SSA that had leveraged technology to improve its service delivery was St. John’s Home for Elderly Persons. It recently implemented “My Guardian Angel (MGA)”, an integrated resident wellness and safety monitoring system that was set up tapping on NCSS’ digitalisation scheme. MGA is built on a Bluetooth Real Time Location System platform and is used to support nurse aids on mealtime attendance taking, fall and fight detection, emergency alerts, door access, and mobility tracking. Apart from the primary goal of improving resident wellness and safety, the Home looks to optimise operations and productivity with the MGA in place.

Annex A -  Likely Asked Questions

Annex B -  Translations of Key Terms

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National Council of Social Service (NCSS)

NCSS is the umbrella body for over 500-member social service agencies in Singapore. Its mission is to provide leadership and direction in enhancing the capabilities and capacity of our members, advocating for social service needs and strengthening strategic partnerships, for an effective social service ecosystem. Community Chest is the fundraising and engagement arm of NCSS and Social Service Institute (SSI) is the human capital development arm of NCSS.

Annex A - Likely Asked Questions

  1. What is the Transformation Showcase for Non-Profits (TSNP)? Will it be a recurring event, and will the topics in the next Showcase(s) be different? 

    National Council of Social Service (NCSS) intends to hold the TSNP regularly moving forward to highlight different instrumental aspects of transformation. In its inaugural run this year, the focus is on innovation and collaboration. The aim is to encourage more social service agencies (SSAs) to leverage new technologies and harness the strengths of partners in the public, private and people sectors to maximise positive impact on and ensure sustained support for service users.

  2.  What is the Community Capability Trust (CCT)? 

    The CCT is a Trust Fund that is dedicated to strengthening our SSAs to make use of resources more sustainably and deliver better service outcomes, amidst demographic changes, and resource and manpower challenges. Through the CCT, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and NCSS hope to raise awareness of the importance of a strong social service sector and encourage donors to support SSAs in their capability and capacity-building efforts, in addition to supporting their social service programmes. 

    The CCT aims to resource the sector with up to $480 million over 10 years. In addition to an upfront capital provided by the Government, Tote Board, and Community Chest, there will be a dollar-for-dollar matching for funds raised for CCT by Community Chest to catalyse donations to the CCT. This matching will be up to a cap of $100 million over 10 years from the Government, and up to a cap of $50 million over the first five years from Tote Board.

  3. How does NCSS ensure that the CCT is responsive to the sector and SSAs’ needs? 

    CCT is expected to support the needs of the sector over 10 years. This enables NCSS and MSF to take a longer-term view to plan and strategise capability-building initiatives aligned with sector development directions, and to take a more integrated and focused approach to building capability and capacity. MSF and NCSS will curate initiatives and schemes, through data driven insights, to help SSAs identify and prioritise their capability building needs and support them in implementing solutions and strategies to achieve organisational excellence.

  4. What does the CCT support?

    The CCT will provide funding support to SSAs to strengthen their organisational capabilities in areas including productivity, people practices and research, to support their capability and capacity to meet growing service and client needs. The CCT does not support programmes and direct services. SSAs that wish to seek funding support for new or existing programmes can tap on existing funds like the Tote Board Social Service Fund.

  5. How is NCSS helping SSAs and charities to address the difficulty of innovation and transformation? 

    NCSS has rolled out many initiatives over the past few years such as Bite-sized project, Tech Booster and Back-to-Basics. These projects are aimed to achieve productivity and user-satisfaction with technology adoption. In September 2020, NCSS launched Tech-and-GO!, a one-stop tech hub offering funding for IT solutions, advisory and consultancy, digital training opportunities, workshops and more to encourage SSAs to embark on their digitalisation journey. 

    We have received encouraging feedback from SSAs on the support Tech-and-GO! have provided and recognise the need for a guided approach to help SSAs prepare for future challenges and harness the power of technology. With that, NCSS developed the Industry Digital Plan for Social Services to respond to the ground needs, and will continue to review and develop initiatives that are beneficial for SSAs and their service users.

    Tech-and-GO! is now available for applications under the CCT and will continue to provide support to SSAs and charities in the form of IT solutions, consultancies, and training programmes. In addition, NCSS, together with the Agency for Integrated Care and SG Enable, has set up a new CommCare and Social Service Robotics and Automation (R&A) Cluster to make the adoption of R&A solutions easy and cost-effective for clients and caregivers. More details will be provided when the solutions are ready for market adoption.

  6. Does this Transformation Showcase replace the Tech Exhibitions that used to be held at the Social Service Summit? 

    Ahead of next year’s Social Service Summit and Transformation Showcase, we will synergise on potential areas for alignment.

Annex B - Translations of Key Terms





National Council of Social Service


Majlis Kebangsaan Perkhidmatan Sosial

தேசியச் சமூகச் தசவை மன்றம்

Social Service Institute


Institut Perkhidmatan Sosial

சமூகச் தசவை கழகம்

Transformation Showcase for Non-Profits



Community Capability Trust


Dana Amanah Keupayaan Masyarakat

சமூக ஆற்றல் அறக்கட்டவை நிதி

4ST Partnership Fund

4ST 协作基金


Social service agency


Agensi perkhidmatan sosial

சமூக தசவை அவமப்ப


Ms Tan Li San
Chief Executive Officer, National Council of Social Service