ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
As the World Bank’s Report “The Changing Nature of Work” (2019) stands: “The Bismarckian model has served many countries well. However, in a range of developing countries, the model has remained mostly aspirational because of the large size of their informal economies. As a result, many workers lack social protection.” Contributions to reduce the informal part of a country’s economy are, therefore, a priority.
Software supporting Social Assistance and Pension Management can employ several processes to reduce informality. In many countries, government supplies are not allowed for those companies who do not have a regular Social Security situation. Passports may not be issued for non-contributors. The same for access to social housing or for access to mobile payments. Efficacy of these processes must be tested and countries with largely informal economies must be prepared to spend some years until seeing better results. From the technological point of view, these improvements mean interconnection, in real-time via web-services, with many other services and processes.
One of the core attributes of Social Policies is that they are always changing. Economic, political, social and technological issues related to Social Insurance are dynamic. The quest for better and better plans, for more efficient processes, or for long-term sustainability is an endless work. Different combinations of active and passive policies, different portfolios of benefits, different rules require flexibility, from country to country and from one moment to another one. At the same time, these are financial flows that go on for several decades. Historic data and rules changes must be kept for eighty or one hundred years. Traceability, consistency, self-explanation, comprehensiveness must be core qualities to support dynamic policies.
Independence and counter-cyclical action
Social security and pensions management need independent and long-term budgets. Following a drop in revenues or an economic crisis, the resilience of the system is crucial to their continuity. Social security funds must be as stable as the most stable sovereign wealth funds. Risk analysis must be a core competence of Social Security managers and management software systems. Social Assistance, by nature, has a counter-cyclical effect on the economy and has a strong impact on long term countries’ development.
Transparency Demanding Contributors
Today, Citizenship means transparency and access to data from everywhere. Contributors demand to access the data records about themselves, to follow the application of collected funds, to forecast and simulate their future benefits, to quickly have access to payments, to easily regularize their duties. Employers require guarantees of Social Security effectiveness, covering all the companies. Thus not distorting competition.
HOW DIGITAL CAN TRANSFORM SOCIAL CASE WORK AND PENSION MANAGEMENT
QUIDGEST SOFTWARE SOLUTION
Quidgest solution addresses, by design, all the main challenges of Social Work Case and Pension Management:
- Able to talk, namely via web-services, with other procedures, in order to reduce informal economics
- Supporting big amounts of data, as required by contributory social assistant systems
- By design, flexible and always ready to be improved, in order to cope with dynamic social assistance policies
- Transparent and accessible by any contributor from any web browser or mobile device
- Including Assets Portfolio Management
- Based on edge technologies, including analytics and artificial intelligence.
Configurating Quidgest Solutions
Quidgest Social Insurance and Pension Management System is a complex integrated solution, that requires a first phase to exactly define its scope. During this phase, Quidgest and the Institution need to understand and agree about 10 main points.
|1. Covering: which insurances/benefits are in place?||– Maternity leaves|
– Long term illness/disability
– Unemployment insurance
– Active Labour Market incentives
– Healthcare co-payments
– Student loans
– Marriage holidays
|2. How is each social security insurance/benefit funded?||– Government|
|3. Which rules apply to contributions?||– General rules|
– Exceptions; First job; Regions; Economic sectors (e.g. Agriculture, Housework); Self-employed; Retired; Private/public companies; Army, War-veterans.
|4. Contributions flow||– Financial flow|
– Information flow
– Penalties for delayed payments
|5. Which rules apply to payments?||– Access conditions|
– Supporting documents
– Time Limits
– Benefit Limits
– Value Calculation
– Processing dates
|6. Payments flow||– Pensions payment|
– Unemployment insurance payment
– Active Labour Market Incentives
– Co-payments for health-care services
– Other payments
– Loan reimbursements
– Non-compliance repayments
|7. Transparency||– Contributor Citizen/Company Relationship Management (CRM)|
– Single Access Point
– Simulation for pensions
– Simulation for unemployment insurance
– Simulation for other subsidies
– Waiting lists
– Self-Service certifications
– Data privacy
|8. Organization||Business Process Responsibility|
– Centralized/by province/by sector
– Direct/via other entities
– Performance KPIs
– Interfaces with other systems
– Data Quality
– Data Analytics
– Patterns Recognition and Machine Learning
– Support for Decision-Making and Policies
|9. Sustainability||– Portfolio of Investments|
– Financial Assets Management
– Provisioning Rules
– Sustainability KPIs
– Support for Decision-Making and Policies
|10. Quality and Improvement||– Learning Management|
– Compliance with…
– Risk Management
– Strategy Map
– Balanced Scorecard
– Technological Architecture
CASE STUDIES IN SOCIAL MANAGEMENT
Several different processes were at the origin of each one of the well-succeeded implementations of the Social Management System developed by Quidgest.
Pensions Management and Social Inclusion
A Pensions Management System has been implemented by the Government of East Timor, to manage Veteran Pensions. The application of this system originated from the need for the social inclusion and reintegration into society of War Veterans, which was seen as crucial to the Peace processes of these two countries. “Combatentes” (Warriors / Veterans) Pensions, including survivors (widows and orphans), assumes roughly 7% of the government annual budget.
The project begun in 2006 and is believed to have had a structural impact in the resolution of the East Timor 2006 crisis, firstly recognizing “combatentes” participation in the liberation war through a database and later giving them or their heirs a pension. In this way, Quidgest solution was an important contribution to peace in East Timor. A similar solution was implemented and is in place since 2015, by the Government of El Salvador. It has a similar role in promoting the peace and social inclusion of veterans, after one of the most violent civil wars of the 20th century.
Curiously, one of the first experiences in the history of Social Assistance was, in the United States after civil-war, the Disability and Dependent Pension Act. By 1894, 37% of the US government budget was set aside for pension payments. The act paved the way for future government pension spending. It would take another step in 1904 when an Executive Order was issued by Theodore Roosevelt declaring all veterans over the age of 62 to be eligible for a pension, effectively making old age a disability.
SOCIAL ASSISTANCE AND SDG 2030
By its relevance, Social Work Case and Pension Management cross different 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2030).
These goals are directly impacted by Social Assistance: 1. No Poverty; 2. Zero Hunger; 3. Good Health and Well-Being; 4. Quality Education; 5. Gender Equality; 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth; 10. Reduced Inequalities; 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities; 16. Peace Justice and Strong Institutions.
So many goals also prove how important the choice of the best supporting software solution is.