THE CATHOLIC CONVERSATION

 
CLIENT: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore

“We can’t keep on building churches if we don’t know if we are growing as a religion. We cannot afford to have White Elephants.”

– Msgr Philip Heng SJ, Vicar General (Ecumenical Relations) and Vice Chair of Archdiocesan Finance Council

PROJECT SCOPE
 
In March 2015, Design Sojourn was engaged by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore to understand – “What is it like to be a Catholic today?”
 
The objective is to take a more scientific approach to the Archdiocese’s strategy for pastoral work and infrastructure decisions.  We supported the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning of Resources (ASPR) team, whose role was to strategise how the limited resources of the archdiocese are used optimally and accounted for professionally.
 
To understand “what”, “why”, and importantly “then what”, we scoped a human entered design research program that comprise of two distinct, but mutually complementing aspects: quantitative (survey) research and the qualitative (ethnographic) research.
 
Spanning a period of 18 months our project scope was threefold: (i) To obtain hard data on the Catholics in Singapore for strategic decision making, resource allocation, and Pastoral work. (ii) To identify the important needs and understand the challenges that Catholics face in today’s first-world society of Singapore. (iii) Engaging the Church organisation and various stakeholders on the methodology of the process as well as validating outcomes.
 
A brief summary of activities conducted:
 
  • Ethnographic research on an estimated Catholic Population Size in Singapore: 373,235. (Singapore Stats, March 2016)
  • 1 Census Survey conducted at all 32 Churches in Singapore
  • 133,688 Quantitative Data Samples Collected and Analysed
  • 7 Qualitative Focus Groups
  • 24 Qualitative In-Depth Interviews
  • 2 Multi-Stakeholder Strategy Workshops
  • 1 Insights Report, designed and published
 
With the insights gathered from the Catholic community of Singapore, the Archdiocese can now make better more meaningful decisions that ensure the Church and the religion remain relevant in an increasingly secular world.
Status: Completed (2016)
 
Competence: Ethnographic Research, Market Research, Design Thinking Workshops, Infographics and Data Visualisation, Report Copywriting and Layout design.