The extension of coverage is one of the greatest challenges for social security today. Studies estimate that between 70 and 80 per cent of the global population live in a state of “social insecurity”. There is, however, growing recognition of the contribution of social security systems to social stability and poverty reduction. Ambitious new initiatives by the ISSA and the International Labour Organization seek to extend social security coverage, but will require improved governance, financing and administration of social security programmes.
A major ISSA study on “Examining the Existing Knowledge on the Extension of Social Security Coverage” provides an overview of global trends and challenges facing the extension of social security, reviews the main concepts for measuring performance, and identifies both lessons learned and gaps in knowledge as a basis for future action.
As an outcome of the study, the ISSA has developed a strategy for the extension of social security coverage , which was presented at the World Social Security Forum in 2010. The strategy defines the priority challenges for coverage extension, specific opportunities for social security institutions, a collaborative ISSA process for defining action plans of social security institutions to work towards extending coverage and the role of the ISSA in supporting its member institutions to implement these plans.
On the invitation of the ILO, the ISSA contributed a Statement on the strategic objective of social protection (social security) which was a central discussion at the International Labour Conference in 2011. The Statement underlines the specific contribution of social security administrations to the extension of coverage.
In June 2012, the International Labour Conference voted on an historic Recommendation for social protection floors , which will support the extension of social protection coverage and the progressive building of national social security systems.