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openimis.org (20.03.2023) The World Bank, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) have announced an integrated new open-source software package to improve the management of social protection and health financing schemes in low- and middle-income countries. The new software combines the openIMIS initiative, financed by Germany and Switzerland, with the World Bank`s digital platform CORE-MIS. It will serve as a digital public good and can manage a variety of schemes ranging from health insurance, employment injury insurance, voucher schemes to cash transfers and economic inclusion programs. The software will be available to governments at no cost.
ILO Working paper 87 (Feb 2023) Human-centered social security administrations keep the human dimension in control of decision-making. This is made possible through the insight to be gained from digital data-driven innovation in policy and governance and managerial reforms. Moreover, there are risks associated with collecting and analysing people’s digital data analysed and using it to further automate business processes. Human centricity is examined in this paper, through a human + machine approach, starting with social policy through to service delivery. Machines using AI and related technologies are designed to aug¬ment rather than replace human decision-making capability. This augmentation approach is essential in matters where discretion, compassion, reasoning, judgement, and empathy are essential for equity, fair¬ness, and fiscal responsibility within social security administration. This working paper presents a series of vignette style case studies (13) as examples of digitisation and/or digitalisation in the context of human centricity in social security administration.
pensionpolicyinternational.com (14.03.2023) China is planning to raise its retirement age gradually and in phases to cope with the country’s rapidly aging population, the state-backed Global Times said on Tuesday, citing a senior expert from China’s Ministry of Human Resources. Jin Weigang, president of the Chinese Academy of Labor and Social Security Sciences, said China was eyeing a “progressive, flexible and differentiated path to raising the retirement age”, meaning that it would be delayed initially by a few months, which would be subsequently increased. “People nearing retirement age will only have to delay retirement for several months,” the Global Times said, citing Jin. Young people may have to work a few years longer but will have a long adaptation and transition period, he said.
World Food Programme (27.02.2023) The study examines the barriers and opportunities to strengthening digital financial inclusion for cash transfer recipients in the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on Bangladesh, Cambodia and Nepal. Specifically, it maps the existing evidence on the landscape of digital financial inclusion and cash transfer programmes in the region, and explores the perspectives and experiences of cash transfer recipients in receiving digital cash transfers. Based on this, it provides recommendations for humanitarian and development actors, governments and WFP to improve the realisation of digital financial inclusion through the digitisation of cash assistance.
iadb.org (Feb 2023) Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is one of the regions most exposed and vulnerable to climate-related risks, with large shocks occurring regularly. Climate change is exacerbating the frequency and variability of climate related extremes and increasing slow onset events, threatening social and economic outcomes in the region. Responding to climate change will require stronger risk management systems that include social protection. Social protection systems in LAC are relatively advanced, but they do not yet consider climate shocks. Overall, social protection systems suffer from relatively low coverage, leaving significant parts of the population vulnerable to transient and chronic poverty in the face of shocks. The large social protection responses that LAC implemented to address the impacts of COVID-19 present an opportunity to prepare for the challenges arising from increased climate-related shocks. This study investigates how non-contributory social protection (mainly income support) has been used to respond to previous climate-related shocks and to COVID-19, and what are the implications for managing climate-related shocks in the future.
A new web-based platform that provides easy access to cutting-edge employment policy expertise has been launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The Employment Policy Action Facility (EPAF), is a comprehensive platform that brings together the ILO’s latest evidence, expertise and policy advice. It offers innovative tools, including a curated list of key resources relevant to different stages of the policy action process.
worldbank.org (07.03.2023) Gender dynamics impact the way people are affected by disasters, including their capacity to withstand and recover from them. For example, in Mozambique, prevailing social norms often drive women to stay close to their homes while men pick up employment outside the community. When a flood comes, women salvage belongings and try to live on what is available, which may mean relying on negative coping strategies such as reducing food intake and taking their children, especially girls, out of school to help with household income. Adaptive social protection (ASP) systems play a crucial role in reducing the need for negative coping strategies by increasing vulnerable populations’ resilience and access to economic opportunities.
wtwco.com (27.03.2023) Spain passes Europe’s first law requiring employers to give female employees leave to recover from severe menstrual pain.
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) (31.12.2022) Over the past 20 years, considerable progress has been made in reducing poverty worldwide, with the expansion of social protection coverage and uptake playing a key role. To strengthen and expand the public provision of social protection, countries have been investing in the development of robust delivery systems, including digital tools, especially identification and payment systems and social registries. This report discusses the potential of digital technology to improve social protection performance in rural areas, as well as its limitations.
The Japan Times (05.03.2023) China’s population decline, which the Chinese government officially confirmed in January, has led many observers to wonder if the country’s current demographic trends threaten its stability.
fao.org (28.02.2023) In recent years, the social protection sector has made great strides in strengthening registries and information systems, in an effort to expand and improve the delivery of ben- efits and services to the diverse target populations it seeks to serve. At the same time, agriculture and allied sectors are increasingly making strategic use of digital technologies, data and digitally-enabled business models to transform agri-food systems, as a means of achieving food security and nutrition, as well as climate adaptation goals. One tool is the increasing use of farmer registries – as well as registries of those working in sectors such as fisheries and forestry – for supporting the development and delivery of tailored and differentiated policies to small-scale food producers and vulnerable rural populations. The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the potential of data exchange between the information systems that serve the agricultural and social protection sectors. This paper builds on recent experiences across a range of countries to highlight how these two information systems can ‘speak’ to each other to maximise mutual benefits and enable better support to smallholder farmers and other groups.
ilo.org (01.03.2023) This second joint ILO-Unicef report on social protection for children outlines the devastating impact of a lack of social protection on child poverty, health, education, nutrition, child marriage and child labour.
European Social Policy Network (ESPN), europa.eu (31.01.2023) “Transparency” of social protection systems is essential for people's awareness of their rights and obligations concerning social protection and enables them to take informed decisions. It requires, in particular, that countries provide full information on social protection schemes, and also that they simplify, wherever needed and to the extent possible, access rules and administrative requirements linked to these schemes. This report explores the measures put in place by 35 European countries to improve the transparency of their social protection systems, focusing on the period January 2017 - April 2022. It shows the significant progress being made in the provision of digitalised, high-quality and easily accessible general and personalised information, partly accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis. In addition, the report explains that countries have simplified the rules, digitalised application procedures and streamlined administrative structures, with a view to ensuring a better flow of information. Nevertheless, several points are highlighted for further improvement, including: a) making access to information easier for the more vulnerable, for people with disabilities, and in certain cases for non-standard workers and the self-employed; b) simplifying complex rules governing application procedures, and promoting automatic granting of benefits; and c) evaluating regularly the transparency of policies and practices, including the consequences of digitalisation on access to information and the importance of bridging the “digital divide”.
spdci.org (2023) - This document offers guidance on the application of the PDDs to social protection. After presenting the background and objectives, it sets out how each principle applies to digital social protection solutions. First, the original definition is presented for each principle, followed by the social protection perspective, and the key actions to apply it in practice. Barriers to implementation are highlighted and ways to overcome these barriers suggested. Country-level examples of good and bad practices, as well as additional resources, are provided throughout.
worldbank.org (14.02.2023) Imagine this scenario. A mother delivers a child at a health facility. When the birth is recorded in the health information system, it notifies the ward office. The mother receives a call from the ward office to register her child’s birth. At the time of birth registration, she learns if the child is eligible to receive a child nutrition grant. She also receives information about vaccinations and early childhood education. The birth registration system is linked to a household registry. Each new birth also updates the household database providing the palika with an overview of all households and individuals at any time. Such seamless access to services and information about benefits and services is unfortunately not quite what mothers face in Nepal. The lack of linkages is apparent if we just look at rates of facility delivery (77.5 percent) compared to birth registration before 12 months at (59.5 percent). That means over 17 percent of births that occur at health facilities are not registered in the first 12 months. One reason, among many, for low birth registration is a lack integration both at the front-end (point of service delivery) and the back-end (information system). Nepal is now working to establish an Integrated Social Registry which can serve as a platform to link across social protection programs and information systems and help address this issue, among several others.
oecd.org (23.02.2023) The COVID-19 pandemic had massive consequences for societies and health systems across the OECD and beyond. Health systems were not resilient enough. Resilient health systems plan and are ready for shocks, such as pandemics, economic crises or the effects of climate change. They are able to minimise the negative consequences of crises, recover as quickly as possible, and adapt to become better performing and more prepared. Smart, targeted investments in health system resilience are needed to improve health and ensure the next shock is less disruptive and costly. This report reviews the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and applies them to build policy recommendations to ensure the global community is ready for the next crisis. The reviews and recommendations cover health system issues – including workforce, digitalisation, continuity of care and mental health – and other topics, including long-term care, supply chains and international co-operation.
Health Systems & Reform Volume 9, 2023 - Issue 1 - The Chilean presidential elections of 2021 included an unprecedented topic in the country’s political debate: long-term care (LTC). Although some public policies and programs have been in place for at least 20 years, during this 2021 presidential election LTC was mentioned for the first time in a political campaign. Five out of seven candidates highlighted the importance of LTC in their proposals and designed policies to address it. Why did this topic gain momentum as a campaign topic in 2021? What can explain the sudden inclusion of a new topic on the Chilean political agenda? Using Kingdon’s multiple streams framework this article aims to understand the factors explaining the inclusion of LTC in the Chilean political agenda during the past presidential elections. A two-step qualitative research design was performed using a case study approach. As a first step, a documentary analysis of the campaign programs was conducted searching for references to LTC proposals. In a second step, semi-structured interviews were carried out with representatives from three of the seven campaign teams, including the teams that reached the ballotage. Data were analyzed using Kingdon’s multiple streams framework. Results showed that the availability of national data on LTC needs helped highlight the problem and acted as a facilitator for advocacy; international organizations and other countries’ experiences in implementing LTC systems served as policy entrepreneurs; and four events—the feminist movement, the social outbreak with the constitutional process, and the COVID-19 pandemic—pushed LTC forward on the political agenda. The case of Chile illustrates how Kingdon’s framework can be used to identify facilitators for LTC inclusion on the political agenda, serving as an example for other countries facing similar issues and fostering the global debate around the increase in LTC needs.
aarp.org (14.02.2022) In Mexico, they’re teaching Indigenous artisans how to sell their textiles and crafts online. In Ethiopia and Colombia, they’re experimenting with new ways to provide health care services to residents in rural communities. In Bangladesh and Ecuador, they’re using targeted cash transfers to help older widows and others avoid poverty when they are unable to earn income. Around the globe, governments and other policymakers are exploring solutions to prevent older adults from living in poverty or otherwise being shut out of society, according to the Aging Readiness & Competitiveness Report 4.0 from AARP International.
(25.01.2023) Low-income Americans are struggling to obtain help from state governments when they most need it, facing long delays and sometimes insurmountable hurdles when applying for social safety net programs such as food assistance, welfare benefits and health insurance, according to a new report.