Administration and management

Striving for excellence in social security administration

Administering a social security programme involves the simultaneous management of at least four broad areas of concern, namely, the financial design and actuarial measures to ensure programme sustainability; coverage extension, contribution collection, social security benefits and services; the investment of programme reserves; and the management of the requisite human resources and information and communication technology (ICT) systems.

There are considerable regional and country variations on how social security institutions manage these four broad areas. Regardless, there is growing consensus on the centrality of good governance to realize excellence in the performance of an institution's social security mandate.

More than ever, there is pressing demand on social security institutions to deliver on the promise of adequate benefits and services. In addition, there are heightened public expectations on the role of social security institutions as key enablers to achieve national aspirations of social inclusion and economic growth and development.

To support the efforts of its member organizations to continually respond to these challenges, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) has developed a series of guidelines that provide professional standards for social security administration. The ISSA guidelines are based on the governance principles of accountability, transparency, predictability, participation and dynamism.

The ISSA Centre for Excellence launched in 2013 consolidates the technical support that the Association provides to member organizations in implementing the ISSA guidelines. The Centre offers member organizations with a range of technical services that include self-assessment tools; good practices, benchmarks and references on international standards; a roster of external experts and consultants; and a recognition programme for member organizations to obtain formal ISSA recognition of their implementation of the ISSA guidelines.

The ISSA Centre for Excellence offers capacity-building and training seminars on the ISSA guidelines through the ISSA Academy. The ISSA Centre for Excellence also oversees the regular review and update of existing ISSA guidelines and, as needed, the development of new sets of ISSA guidelines to address other critical areas in social security administration. 

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