Social Security Media Monitor


Social Security Media Monitor

The Social Security Media Monitor offers a selection of social security news articles from media around the world. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the ISSA is not responsible for the content of external sites.

23 October 2023
Delivering Digital G2P Payments to Urban Informal Populations: Lessons and Future Policy Implications from COVID-19 Responses (03.10.2023) The COVID-19 response in many Sub-Saharan African countries included the rapid deployment of social protection programs leveraging digital systems to counteract the income losses that were disproportionately experienced by urban informal populations. Using data from three in-depth country case studies, this paper finds that these digital government-to-person (G2P) payments contributed to countries reaching beneficiaries quickly and safely and that G2P payments may be particularly viable in urban, as compared to rural, areas due to greater access to digital and financial infrastructure, creative use of big data, and population density that allows for mass communication.

19 October 2023
The silver lining in India’s imminent ageing problem (17.10.2023) India’s youthful population is often described as a key strength of the economy. India is among the youngest emerging market nations, and will remain so in the near future—a demographic dividend that makes it an attractive investment destination. According to the United Nations, a country is considered to be “ageing” if the share of the population over the age of 65 is more than 7%, “aged” when the share exceeds 14%, and “super-aged” when it crosses 20%. India will not be super-aged until 2050, but most Brics members will attain this dubious distinction earlier. Having grown used to the idea of a young, aspirational India, it is quite disconcerting to discover that a rising elderly population could pose significant social and economic challenges in the years ahead, as the recently released India Ageing Report 2023 by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) noted. The experience is not unique to India: the gradual ageing of a population over time is a natural demographic shift caused by falling fertility rates and higher longevity. Thus, it is not the ageing per se, but the pace of ageing that is a matter of concern. The population of India has been ageing at a faster rate since the early 2010s. It took 67 years from 1950 to 2017 for the 65-plus population to double from 3.1% to 6%, but the next doubling is projected to happen in just 25 years. By 2050, one in five Indians will be over 60 years of age, that is, effectively a senior citizen.

19 October 2023
More German pensioners are slipping into poverty each year (18.10.2023) For an increasing number of retirees, Germany’s state pension payments are not sufficient to keep up with the rising cost of living. While the Left Party are calling for a 1.200-euro per month pension, the VdK argue that insecure working conditions lie at the heart of the problem.

16 October 2023
Pathways toward digitalization in Social Protection and Labor (SPL) service delivery (05.10.2023) This paper offers three key contributors to the excising literature. Firstly, it reviewsthe use of technology across each phase of delivering social protection and labor (SPL) benefits and services. Secondly, it reviews evidence on potential outcomes arising from digitalization initiatives, and identifies factors and conditions that facilitate successful design and implementation. Lastly, the paper outlines a conceptual framework for different digitalizing pathways. This framework distinguishes between: (1) the progressive digitalization of analog core SPL architecture; (2) ‘leapfrogging’ innovations, which use novel digital approaches from the outset in contexts where SPL provision is nascent and traditional core architecture does not exist; and (3) the use of supporting technologies that may be helpful in their own right but neither contribute to, nor rely on, to digitalization of core SPL architecture

13 October 2023
Novissi Togo - Harnessing Artificial Intelligence to Deliver Shock-Responsive Social Protection (01.09.2023) This case study, jointly authored by the Government of Togo and the World Bank, documents the innovative features of the NOVISSI program and posits some directions for the way forward. The study examines how Togo leveraged artificial intelligence and machine learning methods to prioritize the rural poor in the absence of a shock-responsive social protection delivery system and a dynamic social registry. It also discusses the main challenges of the model and the risks and implications of implementing such a program.

12 October 2023
Europe: Social protection for the self-employed: Council calls for action to address remaining gaps (09.10.2023) Self-employed workers are key players in European economy and innovation. Therefore, we need to ensure and improve their social protection coverage across Europe in order to ensure decent working and living conditions for them. Now, more than ever, we need a socially robust and a socially oriented Europe. José Luis Escrivá, Spain’s acting Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration In over half the Member States the self-employed were not covered by all branches of social protection in 2022. For example, more than 15 million self-employed people in the EU do not have access to unemployment benefits. With the emergence of new ways of working, such as remote work, telework and platform work, ensuring social protection for the self-employed is becoming increasingly relevant. Also, many people combine employment and self-employment or even switch between them. Against this background, the Council invites member states to close any remaining gaps in their national schemes in order to improve access of the self-employed to social protection, with a focus on unemployment and sickness benefits. Member states should also ensure an adequate level of protection to the self-employed, in order to guarantee a decent standard of living and prevent poverty at work.

10 October 2023
Extending social protection to migrant workers in the Arab region

ILO (June 2023) An analysis of existing barriers and good practices in light of international social security standards. This research paper aims to examine barriers to the social security of migrant workers in the Arab region, identify current practices and chart possible avenue for progressive reform.

9 October 2023
Boosting Social Inclusion in Spain : Improving Pathways and Co-ordination of Services

OECD (29.09.2023) Spain has a high share of the working age population at risk of poverty or social exclusion and a high incidence of child poverty. While Spain has introduced a minimum income at the national level, social inclusion policies are the responsibility of the regions. At present, the coverage of the minimum income remains low and there are many differences in the design and implementation of social inclusion policies across regions, especially as a number of regions do not develop social inclusion strategies. There is also a lack of a multidimensional approach to social inclusion. This report develops options for new inclusion models that address current challenges and help formulate a coherent inclusion strategy. It also sets out a blueprint for developing a monitoring and evaluation framework. The recommendations aim to increase the effectiveness of minimum income policies and strengthen the co-ordination between social services, employment, health and housing.

3 October 2023
Lessons From Japan And Italy On Managing The Aging Population (28.09.2023) More than one in 10 people in Japan are aged 80 or older. About 29 per cent of its 125 million people are 65 or older, the highest in the world ahead of Italy (24.5 per cent) and Finland (23.6 per cent).

29 September 2023
Investments in Childcare for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific (01.08.2023) The provision of childcare remains patchy across Asia and the Pacific, largely due to the general lack of the statutory right to childcare. Limited access, affordability and quality mean that women’s participation in the workforce is diminished and the developmental needs of children remain underfulfilled. Children aged 0–2 are the most underserved, with mothers generally obligated to exit the workforce to care for this age group due to a lack of other options. Low-income, rural households are the worst affected, while children with disabilities have particularly compromised access to childcare services adapted to their needs. Based on examination of the provision of childcare across 48 countries in the region, this report highlights why and how investing in childcare could have positive impacts on gender equality, decent work and sustainable development in the region. It calls for greater investments in quality, accessible, affordable childcare, paired with ensuring decent work for care workers. The report furthermore provides policymakers, development partners, researchers, civil society and other care stakeholders with helpful analysis and recommendations for childcare policy and institutional frameworks for children aged 0–6 years old.

28 September 2023
Fertility, employment and family policy : A cross-country panel analysis

oecd (21.09,2023) This paper analyses the association of labour market outcomes and family policies with fertility trends between 2002 and 2019 in 26 OECD countries. While the average age of mothers at birth of their children continued to increase over the entire period, these years have been marked by an initial catching-up of total fertility rates after marked declines in previous decades. Furthermore, after peaking in 2008, total fertility rates declined substantially, fueling concerns about demographic, economic and fiscal implications. Using panel data models and building on prior work, this paper links these changes in fertility outcomes to changes in the labour market position of men and women as well as with changes in family policies, such as parental leaves and early childhood education and care. This paper provides insights into the complex dynamics between family policies, employment and fertility, shedding light on the factors influencing overall population dynamics in OECD countries.

26 September 2023
Gig workers, from cleaners to cabbies, tackle "sexist" algorithms (25.09.2023) A report by rights group ActionAid released earlier this year showed that gig work algorithms discriminated against women who were “unable to respond as quickly or work as many hours as men because of unpaid care responsibilities”. The report, citing a survey of more than 5,000 gig workers in 15 countries, also showed that women tend to work fewer hours than men - contributing to a wage gap - as safety concerns lead many to shun work that falls after dark or in risky locations

19 September 2023
How to deliver customer-centred Public Employment Services in the digital age (21.08.2023) A new toolkit from the European Network of Public Employment Services (PES Network) provides a practical guide, with concrete examples, for how PES can use more customer-centred approaches in the delivery of their services.

12 September 2023
European care strategy - One year after the adoption (07.09.2023) One year ago the European Commission presented the European Care Strategy. One year after, several actions were launched to ensure high-quality affordable and accessible care services and to improve the situation of care providers. This was done in close cooperation with Member States, social partners, and stakeholders.

12 September 2023
Commission proposes European Disability and Parking Card valid in all Member States (06/09/2023) The Commission has proposed the introduction of a European Disability Card as well as the enhancement of the current European Parking Card for persons with disabilities. Both cards will be recognised all across the EU and make it easier for persons with disabilities to travel across the European Union.

12 September 2023
The Promise and Peril of Online Gig Work in Developing Countries (07.09.2023) Good, inclusive jobs provide the surest path out of extreme poverty, while boosting shared prosperity for all. But as new technologies transform our global economies, we must expand our way of thinking about job opportunities in the developing world.  The online gig economy, in which digital platforms match workers to tasks posted by clients already accounts for up to 12 percent of the global labor market. In developing countries gig platforms are opening unique avenues of employment, with significant potential for young people, women, and people in remote areas that may have been left out of more traditional job markets.  

12 September 2023
Towards a more digital social security coordination: Commission proposes steps to make it easier for Europeans to live, work and travel abroad

European Commission (06.09.2023) the Commission has proposed concrete steps to further digitalise the coordination of social security systems in Europe, in a dedicated Communication. The communication lays out actions to make access to social security services quicker and simpler across borders by making full use of digital tools, reducing administrative burden for citizens and business. This will improve the exchanges of information between national social security institutions and speed up the recognition and granting of eligible benefits across borders. It will thus make it easier for Europeans to live, work and travel abroad, for companies to do business in other EU countries, and for national administrations to coordinate social security across borders.

12 September 2023
We need to make gig work better. Here’s what it would take. (12.09.2023) The platform gives local leaders the ability to match gig workers with tailored work opportunities, and gives gig workers the ability to control who they gig for, when, and for how much—all while ensuring they have critical rights, benefits, and protections. Our initial pilot demonstrated higher hourly wages and worker satisfaction. It’s an example of how worker-centered innovation and experimentation can help us figure out how to make gig work good—and thereby make the economy more fair and inclusive for everyone. 

11 September 2023
Working Without Borders: The Promise and Peril of Online Gig Work (2023-07-24) Jobs are crucial for individual well-being. They provide a livelihood and, equally important, a sense of dignity. They are also crucial for collective well-being and economic growth. Over the past decade, technology has fundamentally shifted traditional work patterns, creating new ways in which work is contracted, performed, managed, scheduled, and remunerated. New business models, digital platform firms, are allowing the effects of technology to reach more people more quickly, bringing economic opportunity to millions of people who do not live in industrialized countries or even industrial areas, simply with access to broadband and a digital device (World Bank 2019). Digital labor platforms play a role in the process of structural transformation especially by triggering organizational and occupational transformations, for example, by enhancing labor productivity and formalization in service sectors (Nayyar, Hallward-Driemeier, and Davies 2021). New forms of work, known as gig jobs, enabled by digital platforms, have now gained momentum (Eurofound 2020).

5 September 2023
Brazil’s return: Food security and social protection

Institute of Development Studies (30.08.2023) To the international community, Brazil’s record on food security and social protection until relatively recently was exemplary, even enviable. The level of child stunting in Brazil fell from 25% in the mid-1980s to 15% in the mid-1990s and just 5% by the mid-2010s. This is a remarkable success story. Throughout the same 30-year period, the rate of child stunting in South Africa, a country that shares many characteristics with Brazil, remained constant at about 25%. 

When President Lula da Silva came into office in 2003, he almost immediately launched Fome Zero or Zero Hunger, a coordinated set of government interventions that aimed to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty in Brazil.