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Strategic Public Policy Research - Layman summaries of projects funded in 2011/2012 exercise

Trends and Implications of Poverty and Social Disadvantages in Hong Kong: A Multi-disciplinary and Longitudinal Study
Principal Investigator: Prof Hung Wong (CUHK)

This Strategic Public Policy Research is a coordinated effort of inter-disciplines and inter-institutions to perform a comprehensive and longitudinal research to measure and gauge the current trends as well as implications of poverty and social disadvantages in Hong Kong. The first research focus is to develop a specific measurement and calibration about poverty, deprivation and exclusion in Hong Kong and to measure the current impacts of policy initiatives in tackling poverty. The second focus of this research is to investigate the impacts of poverty, inequality and social disadvantages on young people's health and well-being. Interaction between poverty and health inequalities is our third focus. How and to what extent social factors influence health in the local context is not known. Our research will fill in this research gap.

Creating an Adequate and Equalizing but Affordable Retirement Protection System in Hong Kong
Principal Investigator: Dr Kee Lee Chou (EdUHK)

The purpose of the project is to assess population aging's effects on poverty and income inequality and their implications for retirement income protection system in Hong Kong. We will focus on estimating and analyzing the effects of ageing on four pillar of the current retirement income protection: old-age welfare, Mandatory Provident Fund, private retirement savings, and financial support from adult children. We will also assess the feasibility and effectiveness of the key reform proposals. The existing and proposed programs will be assessed for financial sustainability as well as effectiveness in alleviating poverty and reducing income inequality among the aged. Based on the research findings, the proposed project will offer concrete policy recommendation for reforming the current retirement income protection. The findings of the proposed study is expected to make substantial contribution to policy debates in Hong Kong and, eventually, improving the living conditions of the aged.

Effective Nuclear Safety Governance for Hong Kong and Guangdong China: A Stakeholder Trust-based Model
Principal Investigator: Professor Peter R Hills (HKU)

This project enhances nuclear safety (NS) governance in Hong Kong (HK) and Guangdong, China. Nuclear energy and social harmony have been accorded key priorities in the Twelfth Five Year Plan. Nuclear accidents could bring catastrophic impacts. To coordinate various sectors, NS governance must build on stakeholder trust and engagement to avoid social chaos and promote effective rescue in emergency.

It advocates close cross-border collaboration and greater trust between HK stakeholders and the HK and Guangdong governments. The policy framework will emphasize relationship between risk, trust, stakeholder engagement, and safety governance. Three studies will be conducted. It explores stakeholders' view on the determinants of effective NS governance. Delphi surveys will scrutinize international best practices of NS governance. SE exercises will collect views from international, Chinese and local stakeholders on the key priorities and procedures of NS management. The policy areas, i.e. public health, food/water safety and cross-border collaboration, will be targeted.