The social security systems of the region of Europe have a track record of promoting inclusive growth and social cohesion. In addition to workers’ social insurance, systems typically address income poverty and its root causes through tax-financed income transfers and social assistance. A life-course approach to social protection is a priority, especially for the region’s comprehensive systems. Generally, social protection in Europe mitigates risks that occur from birth through to the start of the working life, as well as in work and during periods of unemployment, incapacity for work or when work is no longer possible.
Social security institutions in the region of Europe are fostering institutional maturity in governance and performance, and embracing information and communication technologies (ICT) to achieve service excellence in the programmes they administer.
The application of information and communication technologies (ICT) is enabling the implementation of comprehensive and effective social security systems throughout the world. This article considers data-driven innovations in Asia and the Pacific, building on good practices of member institutions of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in the region.
Sickness benefits are an essential component of social health protection, promoting the human right to health and social security, by preventing impoverishment due to the loss of income during sickness. The COVID-19 crisis has brought sickness benefits into the spotlight as a major measure to mitigate the spread of the disease and ensure income protection for those who fall sick. At the same time, the pandemic has emphasized coverage gaps and key concerns that need to be addressed for sickness benefits to attain their purpose.
Through strategic partnerships and modern information and communications (ICT) solutions, member institutions of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) are strengthening the scope, extent, and adequacy of social security coverage.
There are emerging signs that the global economy is beginning to recover from the COVID‑19 crisis. A wide divergence in the pace of recovery across the world is anticipated. In Asia and the Pacific, the more developed economies are likely to have a faster rebound than those that are less developed. Generally, the poor – and those who fell into poverty because of the crisis – face an uncertain period of hardship.
Social security institutions are an important face of government and serve as important barometers of public opinion for a country’s political leadership. This is one compelling reason that drives administrators to strive for service excellence in the administration of social security programmes.
The region of Asia and the Pacific is home to over 60 per cent of the global population. The COVID‑19 pandemic provoked a crisis that destroyed millions of jobs and livelihoods. Across the region, its impacts and government responses to it have differed widely. While there were 640 million multidimensional poor people in the region in 2019, the pandemic’s socioeconomic impacts may double this figure (ESCAP, ADB and UNDP, 2021). Like in other regions, the pandemc imperils progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular by reversing gains in poverty reduction (ILO, 2021a, p. 19).
The COVID-19 pandemic and rapid change of working environments are challenging for social security and for the occupational health and safety community worldwide. The global discussion on how to achieve resilient social security coverage for all and zero injuries, zero diseases and zero deaths at work covers many work-related aspects. This includes the digital transformation of work, the use of new technologies for prevention, social dialogue, mental health protection, and the promotion of a global prevention culture.