Digital economy

Digital Economy and Social Security Observatory

The Digital Economy will profoundly transform our daily life, how we work and how we live.

The Observatory will provide ISSA members with an understanding of the opportunities and the challenges it will present to social security administrations.

It will look at this transformation from two angles: the changing environment in which social security institutions evolve and how Social Security institutions themselves will be impacted and can respond to these challenges.


Social impact

The digital economy is transforming the way social interaction and personal relationships are conducted.

The wide range of new social networks has tremendous impact on societies’ collective behaviours, some negative, others positive. On the one hand, technology breaks down physical barriers and provides countless possibilities to communicate, interact and meet people without consideration for their countries of residence, social origin, or time constraint.

On the other hand, technology enables the individual to withdraw into to a virtual world where it is sometimes difficult to distinguish facts from fiction, opening the door to manipulation. Those who do not have the access or the ability to navigate the digital world are becoming outcasts – creating a digital divide.

The digital economy will see significant changes in the workplace where those with less education and training at higher risk of being permanently side-lined and creating a social stigma and stress for the individual, the family and the community. Though on the other hand social media has fostered an increased awareness of key social challenges facing society such as reducing inequalities, and lifting people out of isolation or poverty.

Today social security institutions must find ways to leverage technology to break down the barriers of isolation, the digital divide and mitigate the social impact of dramatic adjustments in the labour markets. They must harness the technology to protect the social investment throughout the life course particularly during key transition: from early childhood, to education, to the workplace, job loss and re-entry in the workforce, sickness and disability and retirement.

Social security institutions must explore ways to harness data to perform predictive analysis of risks and to design prevention measures that will preserve the social investment. They must identify the new risks faced by the individual, the family and the community to adapt its programme, with a view of empowerment.

Ten global challenges for social security

Media Monitor Media Monitor

13 November 2017

France Stratégie (nov 2017) Le but de ce rapport est de sortir d’une vision simpliste (compréhension « magique » de l’IA, focalisation sur la disparition massive d’emplois, idée que l’IA nous tombe dessus quoi que l’on fasse induisant une passivité devant le choc annoncé).

9 November 2017

OECD (25.10.2017)  Of course, artificial intelligence (AI) has its own special features as a technology and is obviously different than a car or a copier. At the level of an entire economy, however, the effects of different technologies on jobs and skills are often quite similar. Will this be true for AI as well?

9 November 2017

OECD (12.10.2017) The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2017 looks at the potential and risks associated with the rapid development of AI and robots

6 November 2017

ILO Research paper No. 17 - (Sept 2016)This paper looks at one of the main drivers of technological change, digitalization and how it will impact jobs. Taking the case of Germany the paper argues that smart automation might not lead to overall job losses but considerable shifts in the structure of employment with regard to industries, occupations, skills and tasks.

3 November 2017

maschinenmarkt (02.11.2017) Die zunehmende Digitalisierung stellt die Arbeitswelt vor Herausforderungen. Führung und Zusammenarbeit im digitalen Zeitalter werden jetzt an der Universität Trier in einem Projekt erforscht. Vor allem kleine und mittlere Unternehmen will die Projektgruppe mit geeigneten Instrumenten und Strategien für die digitale Arbeitswelt unterstützen.

3 November 2017

Gestion (01.11.2017) La tecnología, por supuesto, ya hace que el trabajo independiente sea mucho más fácil. Pone a los trabajadores en contacto con los clientes y les ayuda a gestionar una oficina administrativa.

2 November 2017 (02.11.2017) Automation and a rise in atypical forms of employment have triggered welcome and necessary debates about how social protection systems can maintain effective support for those in need.

31 October 2017

afro.who (26.10.2017) With Africa currently undergoing a digital revolution, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) today signed a Cooperation Agreement in Geneva, on using digital services to save lives and improve people’s health.

26 October 2017

AVERT (26.10.2017)  E-health can play an important role in making services more accessible and person-centred, as well as improving the operations and financial efficiency of health systems.

  • Unequal access to technology means not everyone can benefit from e-health initiatives, so addressing its limitations is also important.
  • E-health interventions can benefit clinicians, enabling them to reach key populations and improving the exchange of information between health service providers.
  • User-involvement is key for successful implementation of technology and e-health-related HIV programmes
26 October 2017 (06.10.2017) This marks a new political commitment at EU level on significant priorities towards ensuring high quality, user-centric digital public services for citizens and seamless cross-border public services for businesses.

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