China has made social security reform one of its main priorities. It attempted to establish (a) a standardised social security system independent of enterprises and institutions for all urban areas; (b) improved social security systems and funds; and (b) guaranteed a basic livelihood for laid-off personnel from State Owned Enterprises and basic pensions for all retirees. The overall objective of the EU China Social Security Reform Cooperation (EUCSS) Project was to support the transition to a sustainable social security system in China which guaranteed accessible, adequate and affordable social security benefitted to all Chinese citizens. The EUCSS Project consisted of two components, of which the consortium led by EPOS implemented the second one called Social Security Systems / Administration Development.
Component 2 of the EUCSS Project provided TA to strengthen institutional capacity for social security policy implementation and administration (pensions, health and unemployment insurances, work injury insurance, etc.) at sub-national level in six selected provinces and provincial cities (Gansu, Sichuan, Shandong, Hunan, Jilin and Beijing) with a view to achieving improvements that were replicable in other provinces.
Technical assistance was provided in the following areas:
- Promoting cost containment in the use of medical insurance funds.
- Improving the capacity and efficiency of local administration to deliver social security and care services.
- Developing social security for old age.
- Developing a cost effective management system for work injury insurance.
- Developing new models of social care for the elderly.
- Improving service quality and learning. Monitoring visits to the six pilot provinces in Nov 2009 and Jan 2010 revealed satisfaction with the services rendered and the TA could demonstrate a positive impact on the administration of social insurance schemes. A few examples were: In Shandong, TA supported the introduction of a DRG system for hospital management. In Hunan province, TA supported the development of a new manual with 52 unified business processes, used province-wide by all SA staff; Jilin province developed a database with relevant information on competencies and training needs of all SA staff, based on a survey carried out with TA support. Changchun conducted a study on employment and social security needs of rural workers in Changchun. The report reflected - for the very first time - the views of the ‘beneficiaries’, those affected by social insurance schemes. A standardised service package for elderly was developed in Hunan and was also be introduced in Sichuan.
The project was extended for 8,5 months. During the extension, the team was focused on dissemination and replication of previous project approaches and outputs.