Improving China’s institutional capacity towards universal social protection

The project will support and enhance the capacity for the digital transformation of China's social insurance administration

Date Published
1 Jun 2021
Expected Start Date
01 Jun 2021
Expected End Date
30 Sep 2022
Project Type
Research and Capacity Development
Project Status



The rapid development of modern information technology characterized by digitisation and encompassing cloud computing and networking, automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and Big Data, have promoted the vigorous rise of the digital economy and the rise of networked public services. It has brought profound changes to the economic, social and political development of various countries, and significant changes to production and people’s lifestyle. At the same time, fast paced demographic, social and technological changes, combined with economic and financial constraints put social security administrations in strong pressure to deliver reliable and cost-effective services. At the same time, needs for social security have never been so high.

In recent years, social security agencies at all levels, national, provincial, municipal and district and county levels in China have promoted the "Internet + government services". The informatization and service quality of social security agencies have been continuously improved. As the main provider of social security, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) has set the objective to promote China's social insurance services and accelerate its digital transformation. This will be realized through advancing the application of digital technology in social security administration and services, to improve work methods and efficiency, streamlined management, services, communication and risk prevention. MOHRSS aims to effectively improve the convenience and timeliness of social insurance public services, effectively increase public satisfaction levels and promote healthy and sustainable development of social insurance.



The objective Study on the digital transformation of social insurance administration and services to ensure universal social security coverage in People’s Republic of China is three-fold:
Identify and synthesize the international and European experiences in the successful digital transformation of social security systems;
Support the digital transformation of China's social insurance administration and services on par with global best practices, and;
Enhance the capacity of social insurance administration to deliver more efficient and robust social security services for universal coverage in China.

The project will build on past initiatives and success through a new Strategy and Action plan. Upon completion, the strategy developed will set the strategic direction for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security's work with its provincial and local government partmerns and their digital transformation in the coming years.

The project part of the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security work programme and is partially funded by the EU-China Programma and the International Labour Organization office in Beijing. 


The project activities include:

Carry out a situation analysis of the state of digital transformation of social security in fivelocalities in China and nationally.

Identification and documentation of four experiences of digital transformation carried out by social insurance administrations internationally, including three in the European Union and draw possible recommendations for China.
Develop a digital transformation strategy for social insurance in China including vision, mission, key objectives, outcomes and success criteria
Develop a digital transformation and data governance action plan including key performance indicators, monitoring and measurement approach.
Conduct a series of five mutual learning events on trends in the digital transformation of the public sector in China, the European Union and the world.


The project outcomes include: 

A situation analysis of social security in China.

Four global good practice cases, with a mapping of trends and lessons for China.

Digital transformation strategy for social insurance in China.

A digital transformation and data governance action plan for social insurance in China.

Five learning events on digital transformation.