The ISSA Technical seminar on approaches to the reform of social security systems in the Arab countries, hosted by the National Organization for Social Insurance of Egypt, is organized in collaboration with the Liaison Office for North Africa and the Liaison Office for Arab Countries.
Social protection in the Arab countries is well entrenched and has reached respectable levels in terms of coverage as well as diversity and adequacy of the services provided. Nevertheless, with a relatively young population, the region has not been spared from the global trend of demographic aging. Moreover, the organizational choices and techniques adopted require improvement. They no longer meet the growing expectations of the populations, the requirements of technological progress or the new constraints linked to the transformation of the labour market. In addition, there are the impacts of pandemics and armed conflicts. The financial sustainability of social security schemes, some of which have reached maturity, also remains a major concern for policy makers.
For these reasons, most countries in the region have embarked on deep reforms of their social security systems. Two main axes being:
- The standardization of social legislation for different socio-professional categories or, failing that, its harmonization, which often results in the merger of social security administrations.
- Digitalization of procedures, cooperation with public administration services and the banking sector, and the use of mobile phones to improve services for insured persons and stakeholders.
The objective of this technical seminar is to analyze these two axes of reform by pooling a selection of experiences from Arab countries to identify the main challenges as well as best practices in addressing them.
Theme 1: Unifying/harmonizing social legislation in order to guarantee equitable, effective, sustainable and cost-effective social security
Q1. What are the ethical, social, economic and organizational reasons for the unification/harmonization of social legislation and the merger of social security administrations?
Q2. What are the major difficulties and challenges related to the unification/harmonization of social legislation and the merger of institutions?
Q3. What is the role of the State and the social partners?
Theme 2: Digitization, integration of information systems and banking services for effective and inclusive social security
Q1. How to take advantage of the progress of information and communication technologies and access to mobile phones in order to improve services and access to benefits, to shorten delays and to reduce the costs of social security?
Q2. What role can the banking sector play in improving the quality of services for insured persons?
Q3. How to achieve digitalization and automated data exchange between the different public administrations for better efficiency and effectiveness of public services?
Q4. What role can digital services, particularly mobile phone services, play in extending coverage to vulnerable groups?
The technical seminar will be held in Arabic. It is open to representatives of ISSA member institutions from Arab countries, as well as invited participants. There is no registration fee for ISSA members.