We live in a dynamic and unpredictable world where governments have been challenged with unforeseen situations such as the September 11 attacks and the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The Government of Singapore thus places a strong emphasis on planning for the future. To boost the government’s capability to better anticipate emerging strategic issues, the Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning (RAHS) Programme Office was established in 2004 by the National Security Coordination Secretariat (NSCS).

To support NSCS, DSTA developed the RAHS system, which is essentially a human augmentation sense-making application. In the system, software modules and tools are categorised under three main capability areas – namely Research and Analysis, Perspective Sharing, and Modelling. The modules and tools augment the analyst’s work in identifying patterns from seemingly disparate data.

For example, the Research and Analysis module provides the analysts with the means to gather information from numerous websites, search through content and make sense of it quickly. The RAHS system was deployed successfully in 2007.

As the effective exploitation of technology is critical to the success of RAHS, the RAHS Experimentation Centre (REC) was also established in 2007. REC, which is managed and staffed by DSTA, supports RAHS by spearheading technological exploration, experimentation and capability development.

To further improve the analysts’ sense-making process, the DSTA team has since developed the second-generation RAHS system, providing additional analytical and modelling tools as well as enhanced usability features. This system was commissioned in 2012, enhancing the situational awareness of analysts.