Num 15 | April - June | 2016

The Information Newsletter is used by the Inter-American Center for Social Security Studies (CIESS) as a digital tool to share information regarding the most relevant issues in the field of social protection by presenting articles, programs or institutional news, along with other activities of the Center itself. This Newsletter is shared with CISS member institutions and people interested in this thematic.

Perspectives of CIESS

CIESS strengthens its relation with international organizations to work in favor of social security

The relation between the Inter-American Center for Social Security Studies (CIESS) and international organizations goes back to the period of negotiations and creation of the Center itself.

For instance, a meeting was held back in 1959 (Geneva), summoned by the International Labour Organization (ILO), with the presence of representatives of the following international organizations: the International Social Security Association (ISSA), the Inter-American Conference on Social Security (CISS), the Organization of American States and the Iberic American Social Security Organization (OISS).

This meeting provided an opportunity to basically express the need to maintain periodic communication to group information regarding programs, changes and progress in activities related to social security, asides from being a space to program upcoming CISS activities.

In September 1960, the VI Inter-American Conference on Social Security was held in Mexico, with the participation of delegates from nineteen countries in the Americas, as well as, from ILO, ISSA, OAS and the Pan-American Health Organization; Resolution No. 58 was approved, creating the Inter-American Center for Social Security Studies.

Throughout over 50 years of labor of CIESS, its ties with OAS have been productive, by celebrating joint debate tables at the regional level, receiving permanent collaboration of teachers and by editing joint publications and propitiating scholarship programs that have resulted in diversification and a larger number of people trained at CIESS headquarters.

In relation to ISSA, it is possible to mention that existing ties have been strengthened since the establishment the ISSA International Training Consortium where the Center was appointed as Training Center for the Americas, with the mission to disseminate guidelines implemented by the Association to achieve excellence in social security administration.

Projects and actions conducted between the Center and these international organizations have allowed the expansion of knowledge and values in social security, by training professionals responsible of its implementation and people interested in related issues.

CIESS places special importance on the establishment of partnerships with international organizations related to its labor. Hence, one of the actions to be reinforced by the Center is precisely the strengthening of said relations, envisioning a better academic treatment of social security.

Social Security Matters

Characterization of Ageing in Chile. Challenges in the Road to Development

Ruth Gabriela Lanata Fuenzalida

We present a paper on the Characterization of Ageing in Chile. Challenges in the Road to Development, that analyzes the population ageing problem, a situation that brings about large challenges in face of changes to the social structure and that clearly presents the need to adopt policies to respond to this scenario. Its author, Ruth Gabriela Lanata Fuenzalida, Director of the Master’s in Labor Law Program, of the Universidad de Concepcion, participated in the Master’s course "Advances studies in social security", jointly delivered by the Pablo de Olavide University from Seville, Spain, and CIESS.

News from CIESS

Signature of agreements and strengthening of partnerships

April 5, CIESS headquarters. A collaboration agreement was signed with the Institute of Training and Research in Bioethics and Bio-law (INFOIBB); Dr. Juan Rivero, Director of INFOIBB and Dr. Leonel Flores, Director of CIESS, noted the need to address the issue of the legal science in benefit of society; both authorities highlighted that through signing this tool, the efforts from both institutions will allow expanding cooperation ties, through the implementation of several activities and the exchange of professionals, for instance, in the field of social security justice.

In April 12, as a result of the exchange of ideas aimed at expanding training activities in the continent, the OAS and the CIESS decided to join efforts to re-activate partnerships to disseminate the educational offer of Center within the scope of OAS, by promoting the diversification of attendance to academic activities of the CIESS.

April 15, Costa Rica. Joint collaboration actions between the Union of Male and Female Workers of Education in Costa Rica (SEC) and CIESS were formalized, within the framework of the implementation in that country of the Educational Program, regional Strategy towards a citizenship with a culture in social security. Social Security for All. SEC was represented by Gilberth Diaz Vasquez, President, and MSc. Edgardo Morales Romero, Legal Representative, and on behalf of CIESS, its Director, Dr. Leonel Flores Sosa.

CIESS participates in the Regional Forum organized by ISSA and ISSSTE

April 11-13. Regional Forum in Social Security for the Americas, summoned by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and the Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE) of Mexico.

Issues addressed are related to good practices in social security administration, expansion mechanisms, needed actions and policies to build complete and sustainable social security systems.

The event was inaugurated by the Secretary of Labor and Social Security (STPS) of Mexico, Alfonso Navarrete Prida, with the participation of Errol Frank Stoove, President of ISSA, Mikel Arriola Peñalosa, General Director of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and Jose Reyes Baeza Terrazas, General Director of ISSSTE.

Dr. Leonel Flores Sosa, Director of CIESS spoke of the collaboration between CIESS and ISSA since the appointment of the Center as the training institution in the Americas for the ISSA International Training Consortium in the issue of social security guidelines, resulting from the agreement signed with the General Secretariat of CISS in 2014.

The closing ceremony was headed by the General Director of ISSSTE, who invited governments and directive staff from social security institutions to act responsibly, with honesty, humanism, social meaning and self-criticism so as to generate policies to expand coverage and quality of services; during the same ceremony, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General of ISSA, referred to social security as an investment for social and economic development, and invited countries to implement good practices and to disseminate the movement launched by ISSA as it considers social security a public good.

CIESS presents a breviary co-edited with ODEMA, consultation material and guide

April 15, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The VII International Forum on Mutualism Social and Solidary Economy was conducted, a framework to reach a better level of wellbeing for people, summoned by the Organization of Mutual Associations of the Americas (ODEMA).

The Breviary Mutuality: a road towards integrated social security was presented in this event. It is intended for the use of mutual entities and social security institutions, as a valuable document for consultation and as a guide that will contribute with knowledge and experiences for its better functioning, and that will also serve as training material for CIESS academic activities and for the Mutual training and Formation Institute "Carlos Castillo", of ODEMA.

Martin Gomez Silva, Research Coordinator of CIESS, noted that the Forum represents a priceless opportunity for mutualism to show more of its validity for the creation of a new economic order. Regarding the Breviary, he mentioned that it shows the experiences of mutual societies in several countries, asides from the importance of mutualism as an integral social policy.

CIESS presents a breviary co-edited with ODEMA

By publishing this breviary, CIESS follows-up on its commitment to contribute with materials that are adequate for the study, research and knowledge of social security and related matters.

CIESS participates in the Seminar-Workshop "Risk and Resilience"

April 25-27. Nassau, Bahamas. The Seminar-Workshop Risk and Resilience was held and organized by the American Commission of Administrative Organization and Systems (CAOSA), the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the United States of America, the National Insurance Board of the Bahamas (NIB), the Inter-American Conference on Social Security (CISS) and the Inter-American Center for Social Security Studies (CIESS).

The event was attended by representatives from social security institutions from Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, El Salvador, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Turks and Caicos, Montserrat, the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

The opening ceremony was presided by Perry Gladstone Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas. During the first day, Melissa Spencer and Robert Pfaff of the SSA spoke of special programs, such as Ticket to Work, and of programs for disability, emphasizing the corresponding challenges to be faced.

CIESS coordinated the second day works. In this framework, Leonel Flores, Director of the Center, presented a program of activities that included a presentation on the public health systems and management of pensions in social security systems; he also made a presentation regarding the Impact of NCD’s on NHI financing. Later on, the invited speakers, Stanley Lalta, Karl Theodore and Clarence Faulkner addressed the following issues: financing of health systems and investment and management of pensions. The debate panels had the participation of Timothy Hodge from Anguilla, Ruben Lopez, from Panama, Zaneta Burton, from Turks and Caicos, Eduard Del Villar and Hernando Perez Montas from the Dominican Republic, and of the Director of CIESS.

During the last day of activities, Ricardo Irra, member of the working team of the Social Security for All Program presented the characteristics, achievements and new action lines of the mentioned Program.

Finally, Rowena Bethel and Damara L. Dillet of the NIB, explained the operation of the new health insurance in their country and spoke about the Social Protection Floors and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The event was marked by rich debate and exchange of experiences between participants, which allowed an in-depth analysis of issues presented, as well as, to reach the objectives proposed during the seminar.

The 27th Meeting of Social Security Heads of CARICOM was inaugurated after three days of intense work.

Celebration of the Social Security Week 2016

The Social Security Week was celebrated for a sixth consecutive year in several countries in the Americas; this initiative is contemplated in the Declaration of Guatemala, as means to promote social security principles among the population, through national and regional educational programs, for instance, Social Security for All, launched by CIESS, aiming at creating a cultural change in this issue through actions that incorporate the educational sectors and social security institutions, ministries of education, international organizations in the field and other institutions.

The International Social Security Week was celebrated for the first time in 2011, in Mexico City, with the participation of the main international organizations and social security institutions from several countries, as well as, of educational institutions and other partner organizations adhering to the mentioned Declaration. Other countries have since adopted this celebration. Nine countries have already institutionalized this celebration through Law decrees.

An abstract of information regarding events conducted to celebrate said Week in Colombia (see video), Costa Rica, El Salvador, México, the Dominican Republic and Uruguayhas been shared with this Center (available only in Spanish).

CIESS highlights the need to address investment-related risks

The 2nd Central American and the Caribbean Congress on Investments of Social Security Institutions was held from May 31 to June 2, in the capital city of Honduras. This event, summoned by the Iberic American Social Security Organization (OISS), is part of the work plan of the Central American School for Training in Social Security (ECASS). The following institutions from Honduras participated in the event: the Honduran Social Security institute (IHSS), the National Institute for Retirement and Pensions of Public Employees (INJUPEMP), the Military Insurance Institute (IPM), and the National Security Institute of the Magisterium (INPREMA).

The Congress addressed several issues related to investment-related risks and how to face them, asides from the use of actuarial appraisal as mechanism to improve the profitability of institutions.

This dialogue and debate space also served as an opportunity for experts to participate: Dr. Francis Zuñiga, Regional Director for Central America and the Caribbean of OISS, with a presentation on Social Security: Risks and Perspectives in the 21st Century; Dr. Roberto Arias, private trainer and consultant of OISS addressed Inequity in Health; Dr. Oscar Gonzalo Martinez Amaya adviser of the Regulations Projection and Studies of Financial Rulings from the Ministry of Finance of Colombia, spoke about Management and Risk Assessment in Social Security Institutions: the Importance of Risk Analysis in Investment Processes at Social Security Institutions; to mention a few.

The Center was represented by Dr. Leonel Antonio Flores Sosa, Director, who was part of the presidium and delivered a message at the opening ceremony, while also presenting an analysis of the Effect of Expenditure in Care related to non-transmittable Chronic Diseases. Mr. Carlos Contreras Cruz, Head of the Actuarial and Financing Division of CIESS, made a presentation on Actuarial Assessment as Guideline for Financial Management in Social Security Institutions, and participated in a panel addressing the Importance of Investment in Reformed Systems.

The third stage of Healthy School ends with positive results

Dr. Leonel Flores, Director of CIESS, participated in the event Program for the Promotion of a Healthy Culture within the School Scope Healthy School, conducted in Las Palmas School, in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia; the purpose of this meeting was to present results obtained through this program at the end of its third stage, and was conducted in several cities of the country.

It is important to note that the commitment of the Colombian government in terms of strengthening a culture in social security has been captured by Decree 4108 and by the National Health and Safety in the Workplace Plan 2013-2012, that makes reference to the execution of health preventive actions through didactic activities implemented by teachers; one of the most important tools to comply with the Decree is precisely Healthy Schools where teachers have been trained through the coordination between the Ministry of Labor to Colombia and CIESS in partnership with the Corporation for the Development of Social Security (CODESS).

During his participation, Dr. Leonel Flores noted that the Ministry, along with CIESS and CODESS are launching preventive actions to reach wellbeing; hence, the Program is focused on forming habits, attitudes and preventive behavior to avoid accidents in primary and secondary schools, through formation actions for the educational community.

As part of the end of this third stage, it is possible to mention the participation of 237 schools, training of two thousand teachers, and the course approval by 37 thousand students. Around five thousand teachers and 88 thousand students have participated in the three implementation stages.

Based on results obtained, CIESS is aware of the need to continue working with other institutions interested in favoring the advance and knowledge of this type of habits and values in favor of health prevention.

Dr. Flores participated in the celebration of the Social Security and Employment Week in Mexico City

The First Social Security and Employment Week was held in June 28, organized by the Ministry of Labor and Promotion for Employment of Mexico City (CDMX).

The presidium was embodied by Mikel Arriola Peñalosa, Director of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), Jose Reyes Baeza Terrazas, Director of the Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE), Omar de la Torre de la Mora, Secretary General of CISS, Helmut Schwarzer, on behalf of ILO in Mexico, among other representatives from health institutions, entrepreneurs and unions.

During the first day of the event, it was possible to address pensions, labor policy, challenges in social security, universal health coverage and housing.

The Director of CIESS presented the Challenges of social security in Latin America, noting that social security systems in the region pose common challenges and it is therefore necessary to design reforms that combine solidarity with the economic and social viability of systems.

CIESS Activities

Diploma-course “Good governance"

The Diploma-course in "Guideline Good Governance" was held this year as part of the Center’s activities, structured as part of its strategic partnerships, within the framework of the ISSA Training Consortium; the Consortium mission is to generate a global network for training in the multiple guidelines that ISSA has established to reach excellence in social security administration.

This Course posed an opportunity to share specific knowledge such as strategic planning, actuarial solidity, prevention and control of corruption and fraud in contributions and benefits, as well as, investment in infrastructure related to information and communication technologies (ICTs), among others.

Thirteen professionals (directive staff) from Mexico, Panama and Uruguay participated in the course, as they are in charge of decision-making in their respective institutions. The structure designed by ISSA and CIESS was divided into three stages, given the characteristics of the Diploma-cours and the specific objectives posed.

The first at-distance stage was conducted from April 4 to 15, where participants and their mentor exchanged information to assess the needs of each professional, while also defining the bases and governance concepts, as well as, the main guidelines by guideline of Good Governance: responsibility, predictability, transparency, participation and dynamism.

The second stage was held at CIESS headquarters, from April 18 to 22; Salua Quintero Soda, representative of the liaison office for North America and the Caribbean of ISSA, was present during the opening ceremony, and delivered a message to participants on behalf of the Association’s Secretary General, Mr. Hans-Horst Konkolewsky noting the importance of the ISSA-CIESS collaboration, inviting them to work in this unique forum so as to reproduce the principles of good governance in their institutions.

Dr. Leonel Flores, Director of CIESS highlighted the partnership with ISSA and invited participants to continue working for an improved strategy and better governance in social security, mentioning that daily work as a key factor to address the issue and to comply with the mission and objective of this type of institutions.

Each participant posed the problems faced by their institutions, setting the bases to further address problems and possible solution alternatives, based on the tutor’s knowledge and on the exchange of information and experiences shared by each of them.

Dr. Hugo Guillermo Spinelli, tutor of the activity, was interviewed by CIESS, and expressed his opinion regarding problems currently faced by social security in Latin America, as well as, key aspects to adopt the various Guidelines of ISSA in the region (see video, available only in Spanish).

Interview - Hugo Spinelli - Diploma-course “Good governance"

The final at-distance stage aimed at integrating knowledge acquired in the classroom with the purpose of designing an adequate strategy for each institution that will allow undertaking actions to counteract the main problems that hinder good governance.

Consolidating this effort is part of the training and formation plan of CIESS, (between 2014 and 2016), and marks the beginning of a new tone that will allow expanding training and developing contents as well as precise tools for the better management of governments and institutions, in favor of excellence in social security administration.

"Higher Management in Healthcare Institutions (1st edition)"

The on-line stage of the Diploma course in "Higher Management in healthcare Institutions" began in April 18 with the participation of 32 professionals from Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic who worked with highly qualified tutors in issues delivered through the Campus-Educational Platform of CIESS. To complement their training, these professionals traveled to CIESS headquarters in order to cover the in-presence stage, held from June 20 to 24.

The purpose of the Diploma course was to provide theoretical and technical knowledge, as well as, skills to develop work schemes based on the administrative discipline, while also, allowing an adequate performance of the directive functions in health care institutions.

Teachers from the AVAC Professional Group, the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 from France, the National Autonomous University of Mexico and CIESS were present.

Course “Humanization of healthcare services”

This activity was held from May 9 to 13, with the participation of 19 professionals from Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and Peru, who along with healthcare professionals were able to approach human problems faced by patients and healthcare providers.

In this dialogue space, Dr. Leonel Flores, Director of CIESS, noted the importance of humanizing health provision systems, avoiding exclusion and discrimination.

During this week, it was possible to study the concepts of quality and service culture, asides from identifying the needs and expectations of users, the rights of patients and doctors, burnout, positive attitude and body image, management of information, among others. Practical cases from Costa Rica, El Salvador and Peru were presented so as to sensitize participants on the importance of providing humane care and positive attitudes.

Participants congratulated Dr Jose Carlos Bermejo from the Humanization in Health Center, from Spain, who mentioned that care must be centered on people and not the problem, which can be achieved through examples of cases so as to value answers related to morals, interpretation, support or comfort, research, immediate solution for problems and, most of all, empathic answers.

Dr. Rosa Galvan, representing EsSalud from Peru ┴institution implementing the Crusade for Humanization with satisfactory results─ mentioned that "these five days have really been of total learning and we are thus committed to take an inward look to start changing ourselves, and to place our heart in all of our undertakings and become the agents of change that our insured people or right holders, or however we want to name them, expect from us; thanks to this exchange we are able to say: Yes, it can be done!".

At the end of the activity, participants expressed that acquired tools and knowledge will be useful in their work environment, as through their use it will be possible to provide care for people in a warm and affectionate manner.

Before closing the course, Dr. Leonel Flores, Director of CIESS, congratulated participants by expressing his satisfaction for the results obtained in the first activity held on the issue, and invited all of them to multiply efforts in favor of society.

Course-workshop “Actuarial language in social security”

Actuarial issues are vital when adequately used for institutional decision making as they provide mechanisms and tools for interpreting statistical, financial and legal factors

CIESS headquarters. June 6-10. Twenty-one professionals from Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay met for this training course-workshop.

Other professionals were also present, from the following private institutions and university centers: National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), Farell Consulting Group, SISA, among others, addressing issues such as technical elements, models practice standards, individual capitalization, valuations and others.

The Director of CIESS, Mr. Leonel Flores, invited participants to reinforce inter-institutional communication, in order to work in a solid manner while also exchanging ideas to optimize the labor of institutions in these issues.

Upcoming activities

During the August-October quarter a series of courses and diploma courses will begin, focusing on administrative and higher management aspects, coverage in health, long-term benefits regimes, labor inspection, justice in social security and safety in the workplace, asides from the Master’s course in "Advances studies in social security". Consult the Academic Program and enroll.

CIESS research work

Presentation and summary of Mutuality: a road towards integrated social security ODEMA-CIESS


The ODEMA and the CIESS have held a close relation in terms of consolidating projects and joint work in the field of mutualism and collectivity. As an adhering member of the CISS, professionals from ODEMA have participated in several academic activities of CIESS, while also holding joint inter-American events. In 2014 both institutions signed a collaboration agreement, with the purpose of generating a stronger relation in the development of research and academic exchange and promotion.

As a result of said Agreement, ODEMA and CIESS produced a paper on mutualism, as a key issue for social security: Mutuality, a road towards integrated social security.

We hereby present a summary of contents of said work.


The risks brought about by social relations have generated the need to find several associative and community forms so as to preserve their own security and as effective means of socializing collective security.

Since remote times, reciprocal solidarity has been a pillar for the behavior of people in groups; this basis has been essential within the framework of mutual associations and collectives, and its validity is clearly translated into what we nowadays know as social and solidary economy, that is, the quest for a more humane and equitable economy.

This study retakes the characteristics of said collective associations by highlighting the importance of the values of cooperation, camaraderie and collectivity as ethical components of social relations. This has allowed creating efficient organizations so that people have protection and access to multiple services that are indispensible for their development and wellbeing through a democratic structure. The importance of the State role is also noted as the main axis to guarantee access to health, prevention and other benefits that embody social security, as this actor is mainly responsible of this task. In this sense, the possibilities and benefits of articulating mutuality with social security are highlighted as key for strengthening the protection of people under the shared premise of solidarity.


The latest publications incorporated into the CIESS Library are cited below.

338 40972 / C678 2015

Social cohesion: conceptual balance conceptual and theoretical-methodological proposal

Colab. Paloma Villagomez Ornelas, Marco Antonio Romero Navarro, Adriana Medina Espino, Ricardo Cesar Aparicio Jimenez. -- Mexico: CONEVAL, 2015. 200 p.

Available only in PDF 1078 and at: Link

614 / O768c 2015

How to make fair decisions in the road towards universal health coverage. Final report

WHO Consultative group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage. -- Washington: WHO: PAHO, 2015. xiv, 76 p.

Available only in PDF 797 and at: Link

331.2520972 / E826 2015

Study by OCDE on pensions systems

Mexico. -- [Mexico]: OECD: CONSAR, 2016. 171 p.

Available only in PDF 920 and at: Link

362 1042 / A943 2015

Relief in cities: institutions, actors and social protection models: Argentina and Mexico: 19th and 20th centuries

Coordinated by Juan Manuel Cerda, Gloria Guadarrama, Maria Dolores Lorenzo, Beatriz Moreyra. -- Mexico: The Mexico State College: Center for History Studies "Prof. Carlos A. S. Segreti", 2015. 503 p.

325.2 / O686i 2015

Report on World migrations 2015: migrants and cities: new collaboration to manage mobility

Prol. William Lacy Swing. -- Switzerland: IOM, 2015. xxi, 222 p.

Available only in PDF 918 and at: Link

368 4097284 / A694n 2015

A new approach at the coverage challenges of the Pensions System in El Salvador: individual density of contributions

Nancy Argueta, Francisco Bolaños Cambara and Maria Elena Rivera – El Salvador: Dr. Guillermo Manuel Ungo Foundation (FUNDAUNGO), 2015 78 p

Available only in PDF 107 and at: Link


Director of CIESS

Leonel Antonio Flores Sosa

Technical-Administrative Coordinator

Juan Carlos Ulloa Peña

Academic Coordinator

Samuel Arellano Vázquez

Research Coordination

Martín Gómez Silva

ICTs and Educational Resources

Mauricio Vargas Valdez

Communication Area

Juan José Zermeño Córdova