On 17 June, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) participated in the launch of a study on digital transformation of social insurance administration and services in China. The ISSA is a contributor to this project, which is led by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MoHRSS).
Under the European Union’s Partnership Instrument “EU-China Cooperation on Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion”, a study will look into the digital transformation of social insurance administration and services. The background for the study is to contribute to universal social protection coverage in China, and aims to:
- Identify and synthesize the international and European experiences in the successful digital transformation of social security systems;
- Support the digital transformation of China's social insurance administration and services on par with global best practices; and,
- Enhance the capacity of social insurance administration to deliver more efficient and robust social security services for universal coverage in China.
China has had an extraordinary extension of its social security coverage, adding 70 million new members every year for the last decade. In 2016, it received the ISSA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Security for its efforts and results in this area. With the increasing need to reach difficult-to-cover groups, such as the self-employed, seasonal and migrant workers, the study will look at the role of digital solutions in meeting this challenge.
The ILO and the MoHRSS are leading the study, and the ISSA will contribute with its expertise on developments and innovations in the use of digital tools by social security institutions. Digitalization of social security management and services is one of the priority areas in the current ISSA triennium 2020–2022, and the ISSA is running a webinar series on digital inclusion in social security.
The study will be carried by the Information Centre of MoHRSS in cooperation with the Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance of United National University (UNU-EGOV). The ISSA already has a close partnership with UNU-EGOV, and the above-mentioned webinar series is a joint project between the two organizations.
The MoHRSS is an active member of the ISSA, and has contributed to a number of its webinars over the last year, in particular to share its experiences of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Digital developments and innovations have been an important element of the response to the crisis in China, as it has in social security institutions all over the world.