Raising awareness, ensuring good governance and building trust

Chapter 3

Module content

Knowledge and information about social protection is key. Workers and employers need to know which social protection schemes are available to them, what are their rights and obligations, and how they can access these schemes so as to ensure their protection.

However, both workers and employers in the informal economy are often not aware about their rights and obligations, and have difficulties in accessing the relevant information. This module discusses the importance of raising awareness of workers and employers (where they exist) for the extension of coverage and highlights strategies for increasing awareness based on international experiences.


Key questions

  •  Why and how should employers and workers be better informed about social security rules and regulations?
  •  Why are awareness and trust so important for extending social protection coverage and facilitating transitions to the formal economy?
  •  How does good governance encourage trust in a social security system?
  •  What are the benefits of formalizing informal workers?


Main barriers

  •  Limited access to information (e.g. unavailability of information in all the languages spoken, complex and numerous forms to fill, distance from physical access points) can be a key constraint for covering workers in social security schemes.
  •  Complex administrative procedures: Administrative procedures that are complex, inaccessible, ineffective or inefficient can constitute an effective hindrance for people to access social protection benefits and to contribute to social insurance (see also Chapter 5).
  •  Lack of trust: In many cases, a lack of trust in the system is stated by both employers and workers as one of the main driving factors of contribution evasion.


Possible solutions

Raising awareness about the need for social protection coverage
  •  Informing workers and employers about their rights and obligations, for example through media campaigns and partnerships with workers’ and employers’ organizations, including those representing those in the informal economy.
  •  Making key information available and accessible for all in simple format and language and disseminating information through multiple channels, such as print media, internet, radio, television, toll-free telephone numbers, text messages and billboards.
  •  Promoting “social security literacy” in entrepreneurship and business development programmes by integrating knowledge on social security programs and benefits into other forms of educational training programmes.
Building a culture of social security
  •  Educating society on social security rights and obligations and the need for social protection.
  •  Integrating social security education programmes in general education curriculum and vocational training.


Facilitating information-sharing about benefits and eligibility conditions
  •  Providing easy access to individualized information on social security entitlements to allow workers to monitor their social security entitlements.
  •  Ensuring clear and transparent information about social protection rights and obligations, including available benefits and eligibility conditions.
  •  Facilitating access through decentralized offices, electronic or mobile services (see also Chapter 5).

Building trust through better governance, accountability, transparency and service delivery

  •  Earning the trust of the population through an effective and efficient social protection system that meet peoples’ needs and expectations.
  •  Strengthening transparency and accountability in social protection systems to improve governance and service delivery, and prevent fraud and corruption.
  •  Ensuring effective access to complaint and appeal procedures.
  •  Effective and efficient procedures to make sure that all of what is being spent on social security programs pays off in terms of output (what is given to beneficiaries) and impact (the initial aim of the project is reached).



Key messages

  •  Information on rules and regulations should be made easily accessible to both workers and employers, so that they are aware of the importance of social protection, of their rights and entitlements, as well as obligations.
  •  Good governance, accountability and transparency in social security systems are key to ensure that people can have trust in the system, can realize their rights and honour their obligations.
  •  Social insurance schemes rely on the continued commitment of workers and employers (if applicable) to comply with their obligation to register in the scheme, pay contributions if required, and to ensure the financial sustainability of the scheme.