Nonprofits and Philanthropy Lab


It seeks to enhance the capacity and governance of the nonprofit and philanthropic sector as a means to attain social impact. We adopt a broad definition of philanthropy, which is concerned about the leveraging of private resources – money, time, space, idea, expertise and network – for public good.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) technological developments pose intricate and complex ethical questions that the industry alone cannot answer. Important research questions in the application of AI should be dealt with not only by companies building and deploying the technology, but also by independent academic research institutions. The latter are best equipped to pursue interdisciplinary research that will benefit society.

To help support rigorous and groundbreaking academic research in these areas, Facebook is collaborating with the Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong and the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong (esteemed co-chair of the ICDPPC Permanent Working Group on Ethics and Data Protection in AI) to launch a Research Initiative to advance Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Asia Pacific region that takes into account different disciplinary perspectives. This line of research will also complement Facebook’s efforts that bolster independent research being done in these areas, like the TUM Institute for Ethics in AI and similar Research Awards offered in other countries and regions, such as India and Latin America.

School Management Review on the Handling of Teachers’ Complaints & Feedbacks and the Management of Teacher Performance (2019-2021)

The Research aims to support and facilitate a School Management Review to be undertaken by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (the Group), which aims at enhancing the effectiveness of school management under the Incorporated Management Committee (IMC) and/or School Management Committee (SMC) through improving the handling of teachers’ complaints and feedbacks, and strengthening the management of teacher performance. The Research will examine and provide recommendations for action which are instrumental to enhancing the effectiveness of school-based management (for IMC schools) or school management (for SMC kindergartens) in the 18 secondary schools, 14 primary schools, 17 kindergartens and 2 special schools currently operated by the Group in Hong Kong.

According the Census and Statistics Department in 2016, South Asians – Pakistani, Nepalese, and Indians, together constituted the biggest ethnic minority group residing in Hong Kong.  Even though the South Asian and local Chinese populations enjoy identical legal, political, and social rights and fulfill similar obligations, they appear to live in two separate worlds. Various figures suggested that the lives of many South Asians were at risk of social, political, and economic exclusion. The purpose of this study was to identify major challenges that South Asians faced when interacting with the local Chinese community, and their main obstacles in attaining societal integration. It also examined the local Chinese population’s perception and social acceptance of South Asians. Recommendations to reduce the service and policy gaps with a view to promoting social inclusion and integration in Hong Kong were made. The investigation was part of the Jockey Club Lab for Cultural Diversity Study, supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

The Giving Hong Kong 2016-2017 Report (Completed)

Supported by the Faculty of Social Sciences at HKU, the Giving Hong Kong Report 2016-2017 is the first report that strives to supply a landscape view of individual, corporate and foundation giving and volunteering behavior in Hong Kong. Giving and volunteering could be considered as efforts in mobilizing societal resources to achieve a better world for all. Hong Kong society is usually regarded as generous even by international standards. However, as giving and volunteering information are rather scattered, it is difficult to have a full picture of the overall philanthropic scene. This report was an attempt to fill this void. In addition, the study provided a forward looking perspective and should be useful to NGOs in identifying newer forms of fundraising and volunteer recruitment methods. Finally, the report has identified a few issues which ought to be addressed in order to take the field of philanthropy forward. The 2016-2017 report was published in 2019 and other activities are still on-going.

Hong Kong NGO Governance Health Survey 2018 (2018 – 2019)

Effective governance is essential to the effectiveness of nonprofits and also the long-term development of civil society and the social sector. In recent years, board governance has taken on increasing importance in the spotlight in Hong Kong’s social service sector. Regarding the oversight of nonprofits, stakeholders and the general public are demanding more transparency, accountability and effectiveness.

The Excellence in Capacity-building on Entrepreneurship and Leadership for the Third-sector (ExCEL3) Project of the Centre for Civil Society and Governance at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has collaborated with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and Governance and Management Excellence (GAME) for Public Benefit to develop a self-assessment tool for measuring governance health of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and to apply the tool to collect data for a landscape survey and analysis. Participating NGOs are offered an agency individual report in which they can find their self-assessment responses, and also relevant information which they could use to compare the governance health of their organizations with that of other participating NGOs of similar size, and to review various areas of governance practices. Further, group debriefing sessions tailor-made for NGOs of different sizes are organized to disseminate the landscape survey findings.

Download Hong Kong NGO Governance Health Survey 2018 findings:

Various government reports have identified certain ethnic groups in Hong Kong to be more vulnerable to poverty risk. In view of the comparatively higher poverty rate of South Asian residents of Hong Kong, and their low usage of public services, including those specifically designed for them, the Special Needs Groups Task Force of the Commission on Poverty contracted a study in 2017 to look into South Asians’ awareness and satisfaction towards a few public services. The South Asian communities in the study consisted of Indian, Pakistani, and Nepalnese; while major public services referred to those offered by the Labour Department, the Employees Retraining Board, the Social Welfare Department, and the Home Affairs Department. The objective was to identify the underlying reasons of the low usage of public services, and recommend improved measures. The report was submitted in 2018.

Social inclusion is a UN target of a sustainable world; it states that everyone, irrespective of one’s characteristics, such as various forms of disability, should be included as a member of society. Participation in the labor market is an important means through which an adult takes part in society. Despite the Hong Kong government’s efforts in nurturing and educating the intellectually-disabled from an early age, and numerous studies that demonstrated the multiple benefits of open employment to the disabled, businesses, public spending, and social inclusion, the chance of open employment for the intellectually-disabled was still rather slim. This study was an attempt to discover the hindering factors behind open employment for the intellectually-disabled, highlighting potential policy and service gaps, and put forward recommendations to improve the situation. The study was supported by the Faculty of Social Sciences, HKU, and completed in 2018.

Twenty-four countries/cities took part in a study to understand lower secondary school students’ knowledge of and attitudes towards civics and citizenship, as well as their participation in related activities within and outside the school. The study was commissioned the Education Bureau, HKSAR in 2016. As a member of the international research consortium, the study followed the research design and instruments of the International Assocaition for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The aim of the research was to find out the ways in which young people were prepared to take up as citizens. Ninety-one secondary schools took part in the research. The report was submitted to IEA and the Educational Bureau in 2018.

This inter-disciplinary ExCEL3 project aims to build the capacity of Non-Governmental Organisations and empower civil society in Hong Kong, as well as build research and teaching capacity in the study of civil society within the University. Through training, sharing, and research, the project seeks to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship, strengthen the leadership, management, governance and organisational capacity of the third sector; and build a platform that brings together philanthropists, foundations, and institutional investors with Non-Governmental Organisations, as well as the academic community.

Chairman of Shing Cheong Charitable Foundation Ltd

Dr Patrick Poon is the Chairman of Harvest SCP Group Company Limited and Sing Cheong Charitable Foundation Limited. He has over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, and has served as the CEO of various multinational insurance companies. Dr Poon is the first Hong Kong born citizen to obtain full actuarial professional qualifications from the Institute of Actuaries in the UK. He was also Past President of the HK Actuarial Society.

Dr Poon is a recipient of HKSAR Honours and Awards – Silver Bauhinia Star 2018.  He is very active in public services, especially in the high education sector.  At HKU, he is the Deputy Chairman of Foundation for Educational Development & Research, a member of Audit Committee, member of International Advisory Council of the Faculty of Business and Economics. He was a Court and Council member of HKU and Chairman of HKU Convocation.

Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor in Public Administration, University of Southern California

Professor Shui Yan Tang’s research focuses on institutional analysis and design, common-pool resource governance, environmental politics and policy, collaborative governance, and governance reform. He is the author of Institutions and Collective Action: Self-Governance in Irrigation (ICS Press, 1992) and Ten Principles for a Rule-ordered Society: Enhancing China’s Governing Capacity (China Economic Publishing House, 2012). He has published in numerous journals, including Comparative Politics, Economic Development Quarterly, Environment and Planning A, Governance, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Land Economics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Public Administration Review, The China Quarterly, and World Development. Professor Tang was associate editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

Walker Family Professor for the Arts and Sciences, University of Washington

Aseem Prakash is Professor of Political Science, the Walker Family Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Founding Director of the Center for Environmental Politics. He is the Founding Editor of the Cambridge University Press Series in Business and Public Policy as well as Cambridge Elements in Organizational Response to Climate Change: Business, Governments & Nonprofits. Professor Prakash’s research focuses on climate governance, NGOs, and voluntary regulation. He has a byline in Forbes.com.


Aseem Prakash is a member of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Environmental Change and Society and International Research Fellow at the Center for Corporate Reputation, University of Oxford. He was elected to the position of the Vice President of the International Studies Association for the period, 2015-2016. His recent awards include the American Political Science Association’s 2020 Elinor Ostrom Career Achievement Award in recognition of “lifetime contribution to the study of science, technology, and environmental politics,” the International Studies Association’s 2019 Distinguished International Political Economy Scholar Award that recognizes “outstanding senior scholars whose influence and path-breaking intellectual work will continue to impact the field for years to come,” as well its 2018 James N. Rosenau Award for “scholar who has made the most important contributions to globalization studies” and the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Regulatory Governance’s 2018 Regulatory Studies Development Award that recognizes a senior scholar who has made notable “contributions to the field of regulatory governance.”

Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography and Resource Management, CUHK

Professor Lam graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a degree of Bachelor in Arts in Geography and Geology in November 1970 and a degree of Master of Philosophy in November 1974. He obtained a degree of Doctor of Philosophy from The University of New England in Australia in April 1981. Professor Lam was admitted as an Honorary fellow of The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, the United Kingdom in April 2006, of Hong Kong Institute of Acoustics in June 2012 and The Hong Kong Institute of Environmental Impact Assessment in June 2012. For previous community services in Hong Kong, Professor Lam was a council member of the Sustainable Council from March 2003 to February 2011, the Advisory Committee on Water Resources and Quality of Water Supplies from April 2000 to March 2004, Hong Kong Observatory from October 2006 to September 2010, and the Advisory Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries from May 1988 to May 1992. He served as the Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment from January 2003 to December 2009 and had been the Chairman of the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Steering Committee from June 2013 to May 2016. He was also a member of various statutory Appeal Boards of the Hong Kong SAR Government, including those dealing with Town Planning from November 1991 to December 1999, Registration of Persons from June 1999 to May 2005, Air Pollution Control from March 1989 to January 2001, Noise Control from February 1989 to January 2004, Environmental Impact Assessment from April 2013 to March 2016, and Waste Disposal from February 2013 to January 2016.  Professor Lam is currently an Environmental Consultant with The World Bank on contract.

Chief Corporate Development Officer, China Light and Power HK Limited

Ms Quince Chong joined CLP Group on 1 September 2012 as Chief Corporate Development Officer and is a Director of CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd. She is responsible for CLP Group’s corporate affairs, overseeing communications, external relations and stakeholder engagement matters. Her role helps promote CLP’s reputation, drive service excellence and strengthen ties with customers, stakeholders and the community as a whole.  In addition to her work with CLP Group, she is also the Chairman of the Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence, member of the HKSAR Environmental Campaign Committee, member of the Vocational Training Council and director of the Hong Kong Justice of Peace Association. She is also a member of the 12th Hunan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Ms Chong has over 30 years of experience in corporate communications and customer services after having held various senior management positions in the tourism, hotel and aviation industries.  Before joining CLP, Ms Chong was Director Corporate Affairs of Cathay Pacific Limited and worked at the Hong Kong Tourism Board (formerly the Hong Kong Tourist Association).

Honorary University Fellows, HKU

Dr. Sarah Liao is currently Senior Advisor at the Centre for Civil Society and Governance and Honorary Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Hong Kong. She is a member of the Chinese Council of International Cooperation on Environment and Development since 2009 and is on the Board of Trustees of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Dr. Liao was formerly the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works of the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2002-2007 when she managed a budget of over 40B HK dollars per annum and adopted sustainable development strategies in her policies to achieve a balanced approach in social and economic development while protecting the environment at the same time. She also encouraged public engagement to building strong community awareness and encouraged the usage of new technologies wherever possible. Prior to her Government appointment Dr. Liao was in the consultancy business and amongst her many projects she was engaged as the environmental consultant to the Beijing’s Olympic Bid and Organizing Committee in 2000-2008. She was Senior Advisor to the Vice- Chancellor of HKU from 2008 to 2014, Acting Director of the Kadoorie Institute from 2012 to 2016 and Mater of New College at The University of Hong Kong.

Dr. Liao is a Fellow of the Royal Chemistry Society, the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers and The University of Hong Kong. She was awarded the Members of the British Empire (MBE), and Justice of Peace and the Gold Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government.

Misinformation Policy Manager, Asia Pacific, Facebook

Jenna is a Product Policy Manager on Facebook’s Misinformation Policy team. She specialises in global health misinformation and misinformation in the Asia-Pacific region, and is based in Singapore.

Product Policy Manager, Inauthentic Behavior, Facebook

Sam Traynor is the Product Policy manager for Inauthentic behavior at Facebook. For almost the last decade he has been working in the integrity space in variety of roles and companies mainly focusing on protecting user voice, the authenticity of conversations, and the integrity of the civic process.

Head of Content Regulation, Asia Pacific, Facebook

Meg Chang is the Content Regulation Policy Lead for Facebook in the APAC region. Prior to this role, she was an Elections Manager and led Facebook’s election integrity efforts across EMEA, including the European Elections, the UK general election, and the Polish parliamentary and presidential elections, among many others. Before Facebook, she was the head of operations and publisher at EUobserver, a Brussels-based EU political and investigative news outlet. She also worked as a management consultant for Global 1000 companies in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. She studied politics and law at the University of Kent in the UK.

Public Policy Research Manager, Data for Good, Facebook

Alex Pompe is a Research Manager on Facebook’s Data for Good team. This team builds privacy-protecting data sets to aid response work for natural disasters and public health crises (here is a recent example from the COVID19 response: https://research.fb.com/blog/2020/06/protecting-privacy-in-facebook-mobility-data-during-the-covid-19-response/). Previously, Alex led the growth team at a startup scaling the company to 35 countries over 3 years. Prior to this he worked on access to information and Internet programs for 6 years at an international NGO called IREX; first in Ukraine, next in Namibia, and then in Washington DC. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching mathematics in Namibia from 2006 to 2008. Alex holds a BS in physics from the University of Illinois, and an MS from the University of Michigan (where he also taught astrophysics.) He has served as a guest lecturer for the University of Maryland’s School of Information.

Public Policy Manager, Hong Kong, Facebook

Head of Privacy and Data Policy, Asia Pacific, Facebook

Raina is the Head of Privacy and Data Policy, Engagement, APAC for Facebook. She is a lawyer by training and is a former regulator, having previously worked at the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in the position of Assistant Privacy Commissioner (Legal, Policy & Research). Prior to joining the Hong Kong data protection authority, Raina had extensive legal in-house experience and held management positions in both Hong Kong and Shanghai. She served as the Assistant Chief Counsel – Head of Legal at Hong Kong Disneyland and was the Deputy Chief Counsel – Head of Legal at Shanghai Disney Resort during the initial construction stage of the project when she helped set up the legal function at the Shanghai Disney Resort. Raina held a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong

Dr. Chan’s primary research concerns the institutions that shape the consumption and distortion of information in different organizational settings. His current research explores how bureaucrats handle information and the impact of institutions on their choices.

Ongoing projects deal with different aspects of bureaucratic control in authoritarian regimes, such as administrative oversight, juridical intervention, internal reporting, and legislative decision-making.

He holds a PhD Degree in Public Policy from the O’Neill School of Public and Environment Affairs and the Department of Political Science, Indiana University Bloomington.

Deputy Director and Principal Lecturer, Centre for Civil Society and Governance

Dr Winnie Law is the Deputy Director and Principal Lecturer at the Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on sustainable development, community planning and environmental management. She also works with a team of researchers and conducts policy research, action research and knowledge exchange projects on rural revitalization, social innovation, community engagement and corporate sustainability. Dr Law has been a director of the Conservancy Association since 2005 and has served on a number of HKSAR Government’s advisory committees including Advisory Council for the Environment. At the regional level, Dr Law was commissioned by the EU and UNDP as a planning and social monitoring expert for their city planning and environmental management programmes in Vietnam. Dr Law was one of the invited speakers for the first TedxTongChongSt’s series on Hacking the Future and delivered a talk on Future of Sustainability in 2019.

Director, Centre for Civil Society and Governance

Wai-Fung (Danny) Lam is Director of the Centre for Civil Society and Governance (CCSG), and Professor in Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. He finished his undergraduate study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University, Bloomington. Professor Lam is an expert in common-pool resource management, institutional policy analysis, public governance, and civil society. His research has focused on the design of efficient institutional arrangements for the governance and management of public resources, a core issue in public administration and sustainable development. Professor Lam has served on the editorial committees of Public Administration Review (PAR), International Review of Administrative Sciences (IRAS), Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (JCPA), Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), and Asian Politics and Policy (APP), and is co-editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Administration (APJPA).

Director of Public Policy, Greater China, Mongolia, and Central Asia, Facebook

George Chen joined Facebook in January 2016 as the company’s first-ever policy representative based in Hong Kong, home for Facebook in the Greater China region. Currently as the Public Policy Director for Greater China, Mongolia, and Central Asia, George serves as Facebook’s “ambassador” to engage with the people and governments across the vast and diverse regions.

Prior to Facebook, George has worked in the media sector for about 15 years. George was a 2014 Yale World Fellow and a 2015 fellow of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. George is a doctoral candidate at the University of Hong Kong where he focuses his research on freedom of expression and misinformation.