Researchers at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy have conducted a study about homelessness in Singapore. In addition to a street count of homeless people in Singapore, the study also involved in-depth interviews with homeless individuals who stayed at a shelter.

The study has identified two new groups of homeless people during the Covid-19 pandemic. The first group (i.e., “Newly homeless”) consists of homeless people who had not slept on the streets before the pandemic. This group includes people who lost their jobs during the pandemic and could not afford to rent a place on the open market. The second group (i.e., “Transnational homeless”) comprises mainly Singaporean males who live in Indonesia or Malaysia and used to commute to Singapore for work. Due to border control and travel restrictions during the pandemic, they could not travel back home and thus sleep on the streets in Singapore.

The study also identified a third group of people who have been homeless before the pandemic (i.e., “Long-term homeless”). These homeless individuals live in “extreme poverty” and some of them have been on the streets for many years.

The researchers reported common issues that these three groups of homeless people might face, such as having low-wage and insecure jobs, poor health conditions, family conflict and estrangement.

Suppose the Singapore government would like to know more about homelessness in Singapore (Note: Both rough sleepers and individuals staying in homeless shelters are usually considered as homeless). You are tasked to submit a research proposal that will elaborate on how you can apply relevant concepts and research methods to study the topic. Your proposal should be written as an essay and include the following five parts.

(a) Title and Abstract of Research Proposal
Propose a title that fits your research proposal. Also, include an abstract that properly describes and summarises your proposed study. The abstract must not exceed 150 words.
• Both the title and abstract should be included in your total word count.
• The title should clearly indicate what your proposed study is about.

(b) Background and Literature Review
Examine relevant literature on an issue related to homelessness that you would like to study. Analyse the identified literature, examine the research methods used in the existing studies, and critique the strengths or weaknesses of these studies.

Following your literature review, you should propose a specific and clear research question that you would like to study. The research question should be about homelessness in Singapore. You should also discuss the importance of the study you have proposed.
• You can choose to study any topic related to homelessness in Singapore. The key is that you clearly describe the topic you would like to study based on your literature review. Examples of possible topics include the following: factors that may contribute to homelessness in Singapore, experiences of being homeless in Singapore, impact of a specific intervention that aims to help homeless people in Singapore and so on.
• For your literature review, you need to include at least five academic journal articles that are relevant to the topic of your choice. It is acceptable if one or more journal articles that you have selected are not done in Singapore. The key is that you should explain explicitly how the selected journal articles inform your proposed research.
• In your literature review, you should critically evaluate the strengths or weaknesses of the selected journal articles, rather than merely present the methods or findings of these previous studies in a descriptive manner. Based on your literature review, discuss the importance of the study you propose, such as how your proposed study addresses a specific limitation of the past studies, any theoretical or practical contribution(s) your research finding(s) may make, etc.
(35 marks)

(c) Research Design
Apply relevant concepts and propose a research design to address your research question with respect to the following aspects: (i) explain whether you plan to use quantitative or qualitative method and why, (ii) briefly describe your proposed method and discuss critical elements in your research procedure, and (iii) discuss possible threats to the validity of your research and explain how you will address these threats.
• You should first explain whether you plan to use quantitative or qualitative method. Provide at least two reasons to explain why you choose one method over another. If you choose to use both quantitative and qualitative methods, provide at least two reasons to justify your choice too.
• Next, discuss the critical elements in the research procedure. You are required to at least describe your sampling strategy, data collection method(s), and procedure of data collection.
• For sampling strategy, at a minimum specify the population your study targets (for example, individuals who stay in homeless shelters and are between the ages of 21 and 65), the number of participants you will recruit, and how you will recruit participants for your study.
• For data collection method(s), if you choose to use a quantitative method, you need to include the survey. If you choose to use a qualitative method, you need to include the interview (either semi-structured interview or focus group) questions. You should explain clearly whether you plan to develop the survey/interview questions from scratch, use existing survey/interview questions, or adapt existing survey/interview questions to study your research question. You need to include all survey or interview questions that you propose to use in the Appendix.
• Describe the procedure of administering the survey or conducting interviews.

• You should also discuss at least two possible concerns in the use of survey or interview method that may threaten the validity of your research. Explain how you will address these concerns.
(40 marks)

(d) Ethical Issues
Recognise and appreciate at least two ethical issues in your proposed study that concern research participants. Discuss action(s) you will take to address each issue, to ensure that your proposed study will be conducted ethically.
• The two ethical issues that concern research participants (for example, protection of participants’ autonomy) should be discussed specifically in the context of your proposed study.
(10 marks)

(e) Limitations of Research
Discuss at least two limitations of your proposed study in understanding the chosen topic about homelessness in Singapore.
• Examples of possible limitations you can discuss include: the planned sampling strategy, limitations in the chosen data collection method(s), etc. The discussion should focus on the limitations of the chosen methodology to address the research question of your proposal.

Research Proposal Title: An emprical analysis on different types of homelessness residing in shelters in Singapore

Background and Literature Review: The issue of homelessness is a major problem in Singapore, and it has increased further after covid-19. Because of the pandemic, many people in Singapore have lost their jobs, and they could not afford a home, and have to live in shelters. Covid-19 has also affected the commuters who travel between Indonesia or Malaysia and Singapore, as many of them could not travel back home because of border control and travel restrictions, and they were forced to live in shelters.


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