Thematic areas

Flagship Thematic Area: Digital Transformation

Digital transformation of social protections systems


  • Global trends such as digitalization, automation and globalization, as well as socio-demographic changes, are shaping the way the world is evolving and social protection systems need to adapt to changing contexts and demands. In order to accompany these changes, the digitalization of operations and services has become crucial.
  • Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the ongoing digitalization process by overcoming or intentionally ignoring some of the traditional barriers (digital literacy, connectivity, infrastructure and so on); however, most of the work on digitizing social protection in an integrated manner remains to be completed.
  • While there has been a gradual shift from fragmented social protection schemes towards universal social protection systems and institutional consolidation, both delivery systems and information remain fragmented in many countries, with a clear need for integration, redesigning and reforming schemes and improved operational capacity. 

Approach and Technical Support

Good governance of social protection systems requires technical capacity, including for appropriate planning, administrative and management processes. Wherever possible, these functions should be carried out in an integrated way and in a digital age, social protection systems increasingly rely on a robust information management systems (MIS) to support coordination and interoperability. ICT-based integration permeates every facet of social protection governance – including policymaking, oversight, scheme management and delivery of benefits and services. An absence of functioning back-office information system or of any of its components is a major impediment to the establishment of social protection floors. However, this does not mean that only countries that have already applied technology to their process can succeed in transforming their delivery systems. Starting a digital transformation process can help institutions to leapfrog technologies and increase their capacity to foster social inclusion for vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities.

Activities on improving operations though administrative governance within the Flagship Programme are centred on the following strategic areas:


Strengthening governance and management capacities
  • Working at national, regional and local levels through hands-on training and support planning and delivery process restructuring, including corporate governance, planning processes, ICT governance and ICT management


Supporting the implementation of social protection delivery mechanisms
  • Supporting institutional digital transformation gap analysis and planning, as well as supporting implementing delivery systems, including identification, registration, standard operating procedures, claims management, payments, accountability, appeals, redress and other procedures usually bundled in an MIS


Supporting digital transformation processes
  • Supporting the implementation of integrated systems horizontally across organizations and vertically across levels of government
  • Including the implementation of humanitarian/early recovery cash transfers and their linkages with sustainable social protection systems

Latest ILO Projects and Programmes

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Key Results

News and Events

administration , capacity building , monitoring/evaluation , regulation / supervision Inclusive and effective social dialogue , Digital transformation