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Social security innovation in Arab countries

News

Social security innovation in Arab countries

Members of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in Arab countries gathered recently in Kuwait to discuss innovation and creativity to develop the performance of social security institutions in the region.

The ISSA Technical seminar was organized in collaboration with the Liaison Office for Arab Countries and hosted by the Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait, in Kuwait City, 29–30 January 2024. The aim was to review a selection of institutional experiences of innovation in the administration of social security systems in the region. ISSA members from Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, the State of Palestine, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) contributed with presentations and shared their experiences during the seminar.

The experiences covered a wide range of areas, among them the launch of a national innovation strategy and innovation governance in the UAE, and an intelligent system for contribution collection in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) of Saudi Arabia presented its Artificial Intelligence driven chatbot, which has improved its assistance to users. The Social Insurance Organization of Bahrain demonstrated its integrated programme to promote human resources performance, and the Social Protection Fund of Oman presented its participative approach for developing its strategy and how it used a hackathon to develop digital solutions to tackle key challenges.

ISSA Secretary General Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano congratulated the participants on the quality of the discussions and expressed his great satisfaction that innovation is now an integral part of social security management systems in the region. He invited the participating institutions to join the ISSA Collaborative Innovation Hub, which promotes institutional collaboration to develop innovative projects and building innovation capacity. He also encouraged members to participate in the Good Practice Award competition for Asia and the Pacific, which will for the first time include a Special Distinction for Innovation in the region. The awards will be presented at the Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific, taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 3–5 December 2024.