The International Social Security Association (ISSA) has released its Annual Review 2021/2022, which highlights a year with strong levels of engagement in the ISSA community, including four regional forums, two international conferences, webinars and other activities.
The report covers the period from July 2021 to June 2022. Never have so many large events been organized in such a short period of time. From October to May, all the regional forums were organized – in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific and Europe, as well as international conferences for actuaries, statisticians and investment specialists, and on information and communication technology in social security. In cooperation with the International Labour Organization, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, the ISSA also organized the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work.
Overall, it is estimated that over 10,000 participants registered to an ISSA event in the last year. While the majority of events were organized in a virtual format through an innovate web platform, ISSA members were also able to meet in person for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May 2022, the Estonian National Insurance Board hosted both the Regional Social Security Forum for Europe and the 16th ISSA International Conference on Information and Communication Technology in Social Security. In June 2022, Diploma training courses and technical seminars also resumed as in-person events for the first time since 2019.
Important developments also took place in terms of the ISSA regional structures, strengthening cooperation based on linguistic and cultural ties. A new Focal Point for French-speaking Countries was launched, and the Focal Point for Portuguese-speaking Countries was relaunched. In addition, new hosts took over the leadership of the Liaison Office for Arab Countries and the Liaison Office for North Africa. Many of the 19 ISSA Focal Points and Liaison Offices have been active in organizing webinars based on regional priorities, and ISSA members have shown great interest in these events. It is estimated that 19,200 participants have registered to ISSA webinars since they first started in March 2020.
The Annual Review also presents the technical reports that have been issued by the ISSA in the last year, on important topics such as behavioural insights, cybersecurity, digital inclusion, digital operational resilience, human resource management, international agreements, long-term care and migrant workers. Some of these have been developed in close cooperation with partner organizations such as the ILO and the United Nations University, Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV). Four regional reports on priorities for social security were also produced and published in connection with the regional forums.
The ISSA Technical Commissions (TCs), Special Commission on Prevention and Special Working Group on Rehabilitation presented the triennial outcomes during the 16th ISSA Forum for Technical Commissions. In the coming weeks, more reports produced by the TCs will be published running up to the World Social Security Social Forum in Marrakech, Morocco, 24–28 October 2022. This is the most important event of the ISSA triennium, and it will be a great opportunity to network, share and learn with the global community of social security leaders, experts and professionals.