In connection with the Regional Social Security Forum for the Americas, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) has published a report on how social security is developing in the region. Digitalization, resilience and a life-course approach to social security are some key elements.
The new ISSA report Social security developments and trends – Americas 2023 gives readers an insight into the complexities of societal and social security developments in the region. It presents initiatives and innovations of governments and institutions to overcome challenges and strengthen social security systems, schemes and services.
The report starts by taking a look at notable reforms across the region. While some reforms – such as developments in unemployment insurance and social pensions – are a direct response to the COVID-19 experience, others aim to help ensure the sustainability of social security systems in the face of increasing longevity and higher dependency ratios.
When it comes to the pandemic, the social security institutions in the Americas pushed quickly forward with innovations and digitalization measures. From being mainly paper based in many countries, social security service delivery became almost entirely digitized in many countries. Digitalization was accompanied by a strengthened focus on human resource management, human-centred services and multi-channel communication strategies.
“Social security institutions in the Americas are showing leadership in the adoption of innovative digital solutions, digitized services and more efficient administration structures”, says Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, Secretary General of ISSA.
Such approaches contribute to building resilience, a key priority for social security institutions across the region. One the one hand it’s about building institutional resilience, but on the other, the objective is to support individual, economic and societal resilience. In a world with social, economic, demographic, environmental, geo-political and other volatilities, promoting resilience and sustainability has become more important than ever. The report outlines how social security institutions across the Americas are investing in this area.
The life course approach to social security ties into several of the above-mentioned issues. It’s about taking a human-centred approach, adapting to ageing societies, changing family structures, new forms of work, and supporting resilience across all levels of society. Countries across the region are investing in maternity, health and long–term care, supporting income security, skills development and work rehabilitation, as well as leveraging the role of mutual benefit societies, to name some of the key trends and developments. Furthermore, as a condition to improve protection, countries have been developing initiatives to improve the social security coverage of workers in new forms of employment.
The findings of the report will inform the discussions during the Regional Social Security Forum for the Americas, which takes place in San José, Costa Rica from 4 to 6 September. This event will gather over 400 social security leaders and experts from across the region, and the discussions will contribute to shaping the future of social security across the Americas.
The regional report on social security developments and trends in the Americas is presented as an e-publication, in an interactive web-based format that enables readers to navigate the content with ease and facilitates knowledge sharing. It provides easy access to a wealth of information and resources on the specific topics covered in the report. In addition, a print-friendly pdf-version is also available.