Research and Publications

List of Other Research Projects by Year

Latest Research Projects


Mapping and Capacity Assessment of Civil Society Sectors in Hong Kong

The Centre for Civil Society and Governance has jointly launched with the Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong, a multi-year project series to map the civil society in Hong Kong through the collection and analysis of basic data. The Centre for Civil Society and Governance undertake researches on the various dimensions of organizational capacity of civil society organizations in different sectors in Hong Kong. The sectors under research include Arts and Culture Sector (ACNGOs) and Sports and Recreation Sector (SRNGOs), etc.

Full reports on Social Service Sector, Conservation Sector and International Sector of Hong Kong's civil society are downloadable from here:
Social Service Sector in 2009
Conservation Sector in 2011
International Sector in 2014-15
Arts and Cultural Sector in 2015-16


The Asian Barometer Survey III in Hong Kong

The Asian Barometer Survey (ABS) is a comparative research aiming to gauge public opinion on issues such as political values, democracy, and governance in Asia. Its regional survey network encompasses 13 research teams from East Asia (Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia), and five from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal). The mission of each research team is to administer surveys with a common research framework and methodology so as to compile reliable and comparable micro-level data in Asia. The third round of the survey in Hong Kong has been completed.

International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) 2016 in Hong Kong

The International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) is a comparative research conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), which aims to investigate the ways in which young people are prepared to undertake their roles as citizens, and their knowledge of civics and citizenship as well as their attitudes and behaviour. The ICCS 2016 is the second cycle of the research and is participated by 25 international research teams (Belgium (Flemish), Bulgaria, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia), Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovenia, and Sweden). The study, in collaboration with Policy 21 Ltd., and commissioned by the Education Bureau, HKSAR Government, is now in progress.

Social Cohesion and New Forms of Association and Participation in Hong Kong

The aim of this study is to ascertain whether organizational participation and informal connections have separate effects on social cohesion. This question stems from an earlier study in Hong Kong that found that, despite low levels of organizational participation, respondents felt society to be cohesive (Chan and Chan 2006). Postulating that informal gatherings with family and friends might be a functional alternative to associational life, we employed multiple regression analysis to test the hypothesis.

Explaining Collaborative Service, Network structure, and Clients' Outcomes of Public Services Providers in Hong Kong and Taipei

Public services are increasingly delivered through a collective effort of organizations across different sectors and administrative boundaries. Applying the network approach, our study investigates specifically how complex interactions among public funded social service organizations might improve or worsen the outcomes of clients. By “debunking” the relationships, we seek to validate the argument that clients can benefit from accessing more comprehensive information and resources through interactions among organizations. We will conduct our research in Hong Kong and Taipei, which have undergone several movements of privatizations in the social service sector and are embedded in unique East Asian culture content. By applying network theories to the Asian social service provisions, our empirical study hopes to broaden the scope of applicability of the existing theory.


Study on the Racial Encounters and Discrimination Experienced by South Asians

The purpose was to find out perception of racial acceptance of Chinese towards South Asians and vice versa with regard to employment, education, daily social interaction, as well as provision of goods, services and facilities. In collaboration with Policy 21, the Centre conducted 19 focus group interviews, comprising 107 persons of various backgrounds, including Chinese and South Asian students, employed, retirees, and housewives. Among the participants, 14 representatives from 5 NGOs were also interviewed. The project was commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission, HKSAR Government. The final report was submitted to the Equal Opportunities Commission, HKSAR, March 2012 and downloadable here:


Study on Voluntary Services in Hong Kong for Agency for Volunteer Services

The main objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive picture of volunteering in Hong Kong. It consists of three surveys that aim to examine three aspects respectively: individual volunteering behavior, issues faced by volunteer -involved organizations, and volunteers who are currently volunteering in NGOs. The general public survey was conducted by phone from March 2009 to July 2009. After excluding 304 telephone numbers found to be long tone, fax numbers, or non-residential numbers, a total of 1 514 out of 2 696 eligible cases were successfully enumerated, representing a response rate of 56.2%. The study analyzed the extent and types of volunteer work, the motivation, and benefits of volunteering, as well as the barriers to volunteering in Hong Kong. Where appropriate, comparisons were drawn between current volunteers, ex-volunteers, and non-volunteers. For details of the study, please find the report in pdf format below:
Report of Survey on Volunteering in Hong Kong

Before 2006

NGO Management Local Case Studies

The Pun Kam Kai Institute of Management of the Faculty of Business and Economic is collaborating with the Centre in doing ten local NGO management and governance case studies. Three such cases are being carried out, and more will be conducted in the second half of 2006. These case studies will be essential to the teaching and research on NGO management.

Programme to Promote Philanthropy in China

Since its inception, the Centre has been paying attention to philanthropic development in Mainland China. Over the years, the Centre's fellows have compiled monographs and conference papers on topics related to promoting philanthropy in China, including "Donation, Trust, and Development of NGOs in China" (2003), "China: Breaking New Grounds for Community Foundation?" (2004), and "China's New Foundation dministration Regulations" and "The Prospect of Promoting the Community Foundation Paradigm in China" (2005). The Centre is now in the process of developing a three-year programme to examine the practice of Chinese Diaspora philanthropy, particularly how small and medium-sized Hong Kong and overseas Chinese family foundations have been supporting development work in China.

Study of Social Entrepreneurship in Hong Kong

This is a multi-stage research project commissioned by the Conference of Asian Foundations and Organizations (CAFO). In 2004, in cooperation with CAFO-HK, a research paper entitled "Social Entrepreneurship in Hong Kong: Perspectives, Trends and Prospects" was compiled and presented at the Asian Social Entrepreneurship Forum organized by CAFO in February 2005 at Taipei City. After the successful conclusion of the Forum, three of the participating CAFO members including Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan proceeded to conduct a second round of studies to further examine the state of development of social enterprises in the three industrialized economies. The tri-city comparative study would conduct in-depth case studies on selected social enterprises and to give recommendations on public policies and future development directions.

Study on Civic Engagement in Public Policy Making

This is the Centre's flagship study for 2006/7. This project aims to study how best to engage with civil society actors and organizations in government's policy making process, in order to enhance the quality and effectiveness of governance. The project analyses current patterns of civil-society engagement in four policy areas: arts and culture, environment, planning, and social welfare. The study conducts interviews with government officials, civil society groups as well as study of selected overseas cases. The project was commissioned by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre.

Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility

The Centre, in cooperation with Policy 21 Ltd., has successfully bided for what is perhaps the most comprehensive study of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Hong Kong. The study is commissioned by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education to find out the situation of CSR in Hong Kong with a view to preparing a handbook and developing a charter for corporate citizenship. Major research instruments of the study include focus group interviews, a survey of a sample size of 10,000 companies, including big corporations as well as small and medium sized enterprises in all industry sectors, and case study of corporations which have already had relatively successful CSR measures in place. The study was commissioned by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, HKSAR Government. The study commenced in March 2006 and is expected to complete in first quarter of 2007.

Study on the Role of Cross-border Civil Society Networks

The study aims to review the ten-year networking experience of Conference of Asian Foundations and Organizations (CAFO), a regional network promoting civil society development in Asia, and to examine the prospect of promoting cross-border collaboration entering the next decade. The Centre has been engaged by CAFO-HK to undertake the Hong Kong portion of the study, and the emphasis of the Hong Kong study is threefold: 1) selected case studies on past CAFO-HK exchange programs with an aim to examine how cross-border learning could be effectively achieved, 2) the roles assumed by different kinds of civil society networks operating in the regional and international arenas; and 3) the roles of Hong Kong foundations and civil society organizations in supporting development work in China. This study was commissioned by the Conference of Asian Foundations and Organizations (CAFO).


Hong Kong Civil Society Index Research

The Civil Society Index Project (CSI) is a flagship research project of the Centre for 2005/06, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and academics in the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The Project follows the framework devised by CIVICUS, an international alliance of civil society organizations. CSI is a participatory action-research aiming to assess the state of civil society in countries around the world with respect to its structure, environment, values and impact. Since 2003, CSI has been carried out in more than 50 countries and cities, including the PRC and Taiwan. Acknowledging the importance of the research objectives, the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, the HKSAR Government, agreed to sponsor part of the Project; the additional funding has allowed the Centre to extend the scope of some studies and go into more depth in others. Members of the CSI research team attended a CSI conference in Scotland in June 2006 to share the findings and research experience with CSI teams from other countries. The results will also be presented to the Committee on the Promotion of Civil Education in the summer of 2006. This project was partially sponsored by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, the HKSAR Government. The full report is downloadable here:

Study of Arts Development and Government-Civil Society Partnership

The Hong Kong Arts Development Council, formally established as a statutory body since 1995/96, marked its 10th anniversary in 2006, the Centre for Civil Society and Governance has been engaged by IATC to conduct a research to review arts institutional and policy developments in 1995-2005, with an aim to publish the findings in a commemorate volume. The book which includes chapters of our work was published in 2006 titled A Decade of Arts Development in Hong Kong. This project was commissioned by the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC, Hong Kong Branch).


NGO Statistics and Social Auditing Practices in Hong Kong: A Feasibility Study

In collaboration with the Research Division of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, this research aimed to unveil existing NGO reporting, statistics and data collection practices and social auditing in Hong Kong and to explore ways to strengthen these practices. Two task force groups were established to give expert opinions on these issues. A detailed report has been completed. The project is part of the ongoing effort of the Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium (APPC), sponsor of the study, to strengthen nonprofit accountability and governance in the region, so as to achieve the regional network's wider goal to enhance the flow of philanthropy in Asia. The research was sponsored by the Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium (APPC).

A final report was completed in May 2005 and downloadable here:
Appendix 1
Appendix 2

Opinion Survey on Civic Education and National Identity

In collaboration with Policy 21 of HKU, a door-to-door survey on civic education and national identity in Hong Kong was carried out in summer 2004. This study is part of an on-going series of opinion surveys conducted by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education on civic education. Eight surveys in the series have been conducted between 1986 and 2002. The main objectives of the survey are to assess the community’s sense of belonging to and confidence in Hong Kong, to assess the community’s perceived sense of identity. The emphasis of 2004 survey is to obtain information related to the following three categories: a) National identity and national pride, including sense of belonging to and identity with Hong Kong; b) Civil behavior and personal values; and c) Civic duties and participation. The results were presented to the Committee on 23 May 2005, to the press on 1 June, and to an international conference on national education held in Hong Kong on 7-8 June. An academic paper entitled "Patriotism and nested identities in Hong Kong" was presented in a regional conference held in October 2005 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The survey was commissioned by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, HKSAR Government. Executive summary of the opinion survey can be downloaded from here:


Opinion Survey on Social Cohesion

A door-to-door survey of social cohesion in Hong Kong, the first of its kind, was carried out between August and October 2003. The study was funded by the Faculty of Social Science, HKU. The project results in two academic publications: Joseph Chan, Ho-Pong To, and Elaine Chan, "Reconsidering Social Cohesion: Developing a Definition and Analytical Framework for Empirical Research," Social Indicators Research Vol. 75, No. 2 (2006): 273-302; and Joseph Chan and Elaine Chan, "Charting the State of Social Cohesion in Hong Kong," to be published in The China Quarterly, No. 187 (Sept), 2006.