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Case studies in ICT are typically focused around solutions – products and platforms, project duration, response times, etc. But when we implement solutions for Social Protection organisations, the more interesting story is how those solutions are being used to deliver social and economic outcomes for citizens. What follows is an analysis of how SAP applications and technologies are being applied in support of Social Protection service delivery processes (beyond back office HR/Finance/etc).

Let’s start by defining the sample set… 67% of organisations sampled are national/federal government departments, 22% are state/provincial and 11% are local/city governments. 4% deliver benefits to less than 100,000 citizens; 48% up to 1 million citizens, 35% up to 10 million citizens; and 13% to more than 10 million citizens.

Since social programs have different names in different jurisdictions, we’ll need to group them by type…

  • Family Services includes child welfare services, child support enforcement, public child care and adult protective services.

  • Social Assistance includes cash assistance, nutritional assistance, rent assistance and public housing.

  • Income Protection includes public unemployment insurance, public employment services / job matching and sickness & parental benefits.

  • Health includes public health insurance and non-medical care services / care coordination / step-down healthcare.

  • Injury & Disability includes work injury and disability assistance.

  • Old Age includes public pensions and provident funds.

We can also classify social programs by the mode of delivery, being either Payments or Services.

My analysis indicates that SAP for Social Protection is being most extensively applied in the areas of Income Protection, Health Insurance and Injury & Disability. The overall theme of these programs is self-sufficiency – helping people gain meaningful employment and maintain/improve their health to enable them to achieve their social and economic potential. In recent years we have seen an increase in adoption of our industry solution in support of Old Age programs. This is likely connected with the aging population phenomenon, combined with the need for modernisation of legacy pensions systems that are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and are difficult to adapt in response to legislative change.

My analysis also indicates that SAP for Social Protection is still most extensively applied to deliver payment-based benefits to citizens. This is probably due to the historical focus of both the industry and our solution. But this is clearly shifting as the industry places more emphasis on delivery of citizen outcomes and as our solution capabilities are enriched in response to this trend.

It is interesting to see how SAP’s industry solution is supporting Social Protection organisations in enabling people around the world to achieve their social and economic potential. It is also interesting to see how the solution is keeping pace with industry trends.
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