IPC-IG and UNICEF reopen webinar series “Reforms of social protection systems: South-South and triangular cooperation initiative in the context of the Maghreb”

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The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) developed another session for the webinar series “Reforms of social protection systems: South-South and Triangular Cooperation Initiative within the Maghreb”. It was dedicated to knowledge-sharing initiatives between Tunisian and Argentinian authorities, aimed at strengthening the cooperation between both countries.  It took place on 10 and 23 November 2022. 

The first part of the session presented the Argentinian experience with its National Social Security Administration (Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social— ANSES). Florencia Hiquis, Head of the Programme for Orientation and Articulation of Children, Youth, Gender and Diversity at ANSES, provided a historical overview of the agency and recent legislation reforms that led to the growth and restructuring of ANSES. These changes contributed to increased coverage of the social protection system, especially regarding marginalised populations, as well as greater coordination between the agency and other organisations working with social protection in the country.  

One of the main aspects of ANSES' intervention is that its benefits are not allocated according to the employment status, instead considering the beneficiary’s life cycle, covering a wide range of living conditions. Mrs. Hiquis highlighted, for example, the paradigm shift resulting from the 1,000 Days Plan, an allowance triggered during pregnancy and terminating when the child reaches 3 years old—or 1000 days—which recognises gender disparities in the provision of care through higher transfer amounts to female care providers.  

The work of ANSES also stands out for its effective coordination, especially regarding contributory and non-contributory systems, which allows it to reach informal workers who did not contribute to the social security system, a reality that affects in particular Argentinian women. In addition, the speaker reported the creation of the Federal Social Security Network, a network formed by governments, ministries and provincial bodies to support and coordinate social protection initiatives across all the country’s jurisdictions.  

The second part of the session, held on 23 November 2022, focused on the importance of management information systems for social protection, presenting Argentine’s National Identification, Tax and Social Information System (Sistema de Identificación Nacional, Tributario y Social—SINTyS).  

SINTyS is a management tool, whose purpose is to coordinate the exchange of information between databases of distinct public bodies. As highlighted by Mr. Eduardo Brau, Undersecretary of Technical Coordination and Information Analysis of the National Council for the Coordination of Social Policies (Consejo Nacional de Coordinación de Políticas Sociales—CNCPS), SINTyS is placed under the CNCPS, which responds directly to the Presidency of the Republic. This high position in the political hierarchy enables it to sign agreements with public bodies, such as ANSES, and to request data on individuals. 

Good practices that can be gleaned from the Argentinian experience include: the coexistence of contributory and non-contributory schemes covering the entire life cycle of citizens; the wide dissemination of ANSES throughout the country, with mobile units that conduct an active search for individuals; the institutional coordination of social policies in a broader sense and the promotion of integrated responses; and the interoperability between ANSES and other state databases, thanks to SINTyS.  

The two events, restricted to Argentinian and Tunisian stakeholders, included a Q&A session to foster interaction and discussion between participants regarding the challenges faced by the two countries.  

The webinar series “Reforms of social protection systems: South-South and Triangular Cooperation Initiative within the Maghreb” is part of the project “Facilitation of South-South learning sessions on social protection systems between Maghreb and Latin American countries”, which aims to support research and knowledge exchange projects on child-sensitive social protection.

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