The 2020–2022 triennium of the ISSA began with a world confronted with extraordinary uncertainty. The coronavirus swiftly spread across the globe, bringing many economies to a virtual standstill, with unimaginable loss of lives and livelihoods. Amidst this turmoil, social security institutions are standing ground and keeping the promise to deliver benefits and services. It reaffirms once more that at all times but especially when disasters strike, social security is an important face of government.
The impact of the virus woke social security to a massive surge in demand for benefits and services. As the pandemic spread and took hold of the world, the sheer urgency of citizen needs compelled tight turnaround times and imposed volumes of work that established new peaks on a daily basis. All countries responded at record-setting speed, clearly proving the value of staff teamwork and real-time access to reliable information and digital connectivity. In all this, the social security administrator set the tone of calm and confidence for the public and for the internal staff, sending the unequivocal message, “Social security is here for you.”
There will be no let up in the work of social security to build and strengthen the ramparts of social protection even as the ramifications of the virus continue to evolve, and the path to economic recovery remains precarious and uncertain. The dynamic leadership of ISSA member organizations and their dedicated staff, supported by virtual work stations and effective ICT, are the primary enablers of this resilience. As reflected by the name of this Technical Commission, the operative words for social security are to organize, to manage and to innovate as the world ushers in a new normal.