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Singles & dating media queries

  1. Private dating industry's role

    Reply from MSF Spokesperson
    Issued on 6 November 2012

    SDN continues to uphold SDU and SDS’ goals of facilitating marriage through nurturing a pro-marriage culture, equipping singles with relationship skills and creating a vibrant dating scene for singles to interact. The merger of SDU and SdS to form SDN in 2009 was a continuation of the evolution of SDU and SdS. Even before the merger, the Singapore Government had been developing the private dating industry to provide more options for singles in the areas of direct dating services. The merger further enables SDN to consolidate its role as the national agency that steers singles efforts, while leaving the provision of more direct dating services to industry players. 

    Nevertheless, SDN continues to sculpt the dating environment. Apart from working through the dating industry, it also partners community and business organisations, institutions of learning and the Public Service to organise larger scale or more focused events. At the same time, instead of catering to only members, SDN now reaches out to all singles to provide them with information on dating resources, promotions and events planned by SDN and its partners. It also undertakes public education efforts to equip singles with relationship skills and inculcate a pro-marriage mindset. 

    The private dating industry continues to be an important pillar in SDN’s efforts to create a vibrant dating environment. Since 2005, SDN has sought to raise the quality and professionalism of the dating industry. We introduced the Partner Connection Fund in 2005 to support the work of the dating industry, and implemented the SDNTrust Mark in 2007, a national accreditation system for dating agencies. Over the last 5 years, the number of accredited agencies has grown from zero to 11 now, with 17 dating practitioners. With its creativity, the dating industry is able to provide more options for singles, such as online and mobile dating services. 

    We are happy that the number of marriages has increased from 24,363 in 2010 to 27,258 in 2011. Majority of the singles still desire marriage (about 80% of respondents in the Singles Attitudes Survey 2009 indicated their intention to get married). SDN will continue in its efforts to help singles realise their marriage aspirations and work with other Government agencies, the dating industry, community partners and institutes of learning to better identify the needs of singles, and formulate new programmes to address them.
  2. Role of Social Development Network

    Reply from Social Development Network Spokesperson

    Issued on 1 February 2012

    SDN’s long term goal has always been to help singles realise their marriage aspirations through equipping singles with relationship skills and creating a vibrant dating scene for singles to interact. SDN seeks to meet singles’ needs through a myriad of channels, such as dating agencies, workplaces and community organisations. To achieve this, SDN works with different partners from the people, private and public sectors. The multiple platforms complement one another to provide greater opportunities for singles to interact and form relationships. 

    The development of the private dating industry remains a key thrust in SDN’s overall effort. Since 2006, SDN has put in place the SDNTrust Accreditation framework and introduced the Partner Connection Fund to develop private dating businesses. Today, there are 9 accredited agencies (AAs) and 15 dating practitioners that meet the standards set out in the SDNTrust Accreditation framework. Dating agencies and practitioners which are accredited can leverage SDN’s website, publicity platforms, networks and partnership to reach out to more singles. They also enjoy preferred vendor status in providing facilitation services to singles at SDN’s major events. SDN administers the Partner Connection Fund, which helps to offset the development costs of selected projects proposed by dating agencies. Since 2007, SDN has disbursed about $523,000 for 18 projects. 

    In addition to developing the private dating industry, SDN collaborates with agencies in the public sector under the Social Development Officers (SDO) Network. It also partners community organisations like SAFRA, the National Library, and the Preservation of Monument Board to organise bigger scale events for singles. These events, being larger in scale and unique in nature, are less likely to be provided by the dating agencies. Where relevant, accredited dating agencies are involved in these larger scale events. 

    To encourage the provision of affordable options, SDN provides financial and other types of support to its partners, including dating agencies. Apart from the Partner Connection Fund, SDN supports the accredited agencies through tie-ups and joint promotions. For instance, SDN had co-paid part of the Dating Treats sampler packages for singles to try out services of the accredited agencies in 2009. SDN is currently working with dating agencies to introduce the Valentine’s Day Dating Deals from 12 to 29 February 2012 where singles will enjoy $25 off selected dating events or packages offered by SDNTrust accredited agencies. More details can be found on www.sdn.sg

    For bigger scale events organised by community organisations, SDN encourages its partners to provide discounted admission or venue costs. 

    SDN will continue to play the strategic role of creating an overall environment that is conducive for singles to form relationships. It does not seek to compete with the dating industry, but rather, supports it and works with it and the rest of society to provide more services and options to singles. The multiplicity of platforms will not only reach out to more singles, it will also increase their receptivity to dating services provided by the industry. 

    Since 2009, SDN organises between 7 to 11 events with its partners each year. These include more unique events or events of larger scale. Some of the larger events could also involve accredited agencies. In contrast, prior to 2009, the then Social Development Unit (SDU) had worked with various partners to organise over 50 events per year under its Romancing Singapore Festival. These were on top of the many events organised by SDU and the then Social Development Services (SDS) for singles directly.
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