10 Global challenges for social security

22/11/2019 09:53 AM

A new International Social Security Association (ISSA) flagship report demonstrates how social security institutions worldwide are innovating to adapt to the digital economy and new forms of work, tackle demographic changes, extending coverage and meeting growing public expectations. The report is published on the occasion of the World Social Security Forum.

In a world marked by ever more rapid technological, economic and demographic changes, social security institutions are finding new and innovative ways to tackle these challenges, as well as improve and extend social protection. By the middle of this century, the world population is expected to grow to almost 10 billion, with people living longer and needing new forms of care. In the same time period, 30% of tasks may be automated in a majority of today’s jobs.

“Social security institutions in all regions of the world are drivers of innovation and solutions. These changes will help provide better services for more people in the coming years”, said Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association on the occasion of the launch of the World Social Security Forum and the new flagship report on 10 Global Challenges for Social Security – Developments and Innovation 2019.

Global challenges, regional variations

The report ends a three year long project, which started with the first global report in 2016, followed by regional reports for Africa (2017), the Americas (2017), Asia and the Pacific (2018) and Europe (2019). The ISSA has built on the knowledge of more than 320 member institutions in over 150 countries, who on a daily basis provide social protection to more than three billion people. While social security institutions face similar challenges, their priorities vary between regions.

Closing the coverage gap remains a top global challenge, ranked highest in Africa and Asia and the Pacific regions, and among the top three challenges in the Americas. Still today, around half of the world population is without any form of social protection. The ISSA has joined the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection by 2030, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In Europe, labour markets and the digital economy is the most important priority for social security institutions. Tackling the growth in platform workers and the self-employed to ensure that they are fully protected has been a key focus both in the European Union and in many European countries. Health and long-term care is another important challenge, which ranks high in all regions.

Regional rankings of social security challenges

Sharing experiences to address the challenges

The ISSA’s flagship report on 10 Global Challenges for Social Security – Developments and Innovation 2019 is published on the occasion of the World Social Security Forum, organized by the International Social Security Association in Brussels, Belgium, 14-18 October 2019. Close to 1300 leaders and experts in social security will share experiences and innovative solutions to tackle challenges they have in common, with the aim to improve the protection of people in a changing world.

The World Social Security Forum is hosted by the public social security institutions of Belgium, also marking 75 years of social security in Belgium.