The Social Security Policy and Development Branch

The main objective of the Social Security Policy and Development Branch (SOC/POL), is to assist Member States and constituents in the design, reform and implementation of social security policies based on the principles embodied in international labour standards and to contribute to the effective governance and management of the corresponding schemes. A special emphasis is placed on developing strategies to extend social security coverage.

The Branch provides six main types of activities to ILO constituents:

1. General research and analysis of social security issues and problems resulting in publications, in seminars and technical meetings.

2. Technical advisory and technical cooperation activities relating to the specific needs and problems of ILO constituents. Guidance can be provided on the design and reform of all types of social security schemes, on how to extend coverage for new benefits or to persons presently excluded, on the preparation or revision of social security legislation and on institutional and administrative problems.

3. The STEP global programme (Strategies and Tools Against Social Exclusion and Poverty) provides services to enable community based groups and other grass-roots solidarity movements to develop their own social protection systems. STEP activities are integrated with the regular activities of the branch under (1) and (2) in response to the strategic objective of enhancing the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all.

4. Promotion and supervision of ILO standards relating to social security. The technical analysis of periodic and other reports on the application of ILO instruments dealing with social security. The promotion of the principles enshrined in international labour standards is a key feature in the design and delivery of technical inputs.

5. Development of training programmes and materials for ILO constituents. Technical cooperation programmes invariably contain a major capacity building component. A range of training texts has been prepared with an associated trainers guide to facilitate the design and implementation of social security training courses on principles, administration, financing, pensions and health insurance.

6. Information dissemination. The documentation unit shared with SOC/FAS and in coordination with the rest of the documentation services of ED/PROTECT provides users in Member States (government agencies, employers and workers organizations, social security administrations and researchers) with reliable and up to date information, which is not accessible in an integrated manner from any other source. The unit works in close cooperation with the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and with the ILO Central Library and Documentation Bureau .

The Report for general discussion taking place in June 2001, at the International Labour Conference, meeting in Geneva at its 89th Session: "Social security: Issues, challenges and prospects " was prepared by SOC/POL with contributions from different units from the ILO.


Updated by JD. Approved by ER. Last update 7 december 2001