Gar Goei Loke, a Lead Analyst with the Public Service Division of the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore, hosts a talk on data-driven policy making.
Since the start, bureaucrats have always maintained an interest in Operations Research (OR). From the military and logistics, to healthcare and transportation, and to power and communications, the Public Sector is a prime source of interesting research questions in OR. Atop the wave of analytics, we see a rejuvenation of interest, accompanied by a demand for OR to enter ‘traditional’ domains of government. This has led to Smart city projects and manpower analytics, and manifested in areas of social justice and education policy. It is exciting times!
In this light, the challenge for OR is to remain relevant both in the space of adaptive optimization of government services, as well as data-driven policy-making. I contest, the larger piece of the pie lies in the latter, and I shall present two pieces of work on this. The first examines bed capacity planning in hospitals; while the second studies the Human Resource problem of hires and progressions of Public Sector employees. At the end, I will also do a sharing of the myriad of OR and analytics opportunities in Singapore.
Gar Goei Loke is a Lead Analyst with the Public Service Division, Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore. He leads a team that seeks applications of OR and analytics in Public Sector employee management. His job role also includes advocating the use of models and data in policy-making across the Public Service and providing informal consultancy to other sectors of government. In this process, he has been involved in discussions surrounding the Smart Nation project in Singapore and manpower planning in the economy.
Concurrently, Gar Goei is also researcher working with Prof Melvyn Sim at the Department of Analytics and Operations and Prof Toh Kim Chuan at the Department of Mathematics, National University of Singapore. His research interests are focused on multi-period risk-based optimization in the context of competing objectives in the Public Sector. His work lies at the confluence of optimization under uncertainty, satisficing and Markov Decision Processes. At present, he is currently taking a short break from his work and is on exchange at the Operations Research Centre, MIT, working with Prof Patrick Jaillet.mon, 12:15pm-1:15pm