Quantitative Techniques for Social Protection Policy Design SPP4408


Period 5A
Start Date 15 Apr 2024
End Date 8 May 2024
ECTS credits 4
Instruction language  English
Coordinator F. Gassmann
Teaching methods Project Based Learning; Lectures; Assignment; Skills;  Presentations; Work in sub-groups
Assessment methods Participation; Group assignment; individual assignment
Keywords National Accounts; Social Protection; Pensions 


Full course description

National social protection systems are designed to provide income as well as health security in times of need and to prevent people from falling into poverty. Many countries redistribute – through tax and contribution collections and benefit payments – significant portions of the national economy, usually expressed in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). Efficient governance supported by sound quantitative studies can make a lasting difference in peoples’ lives. Quantitative specialists working for social protection systems must anticipate future uncertainties and complex interrelations between different systems. Effective quantitative analysis of current and projected social protection systems support policy decisions on the design and monitoring of social protection systems. This course will develop students’ understanding of advanced quantitative studies and the actuarial modelling required for the sound financial governance of social protection systems, including social insurance pensions. The course provides knowledge and modelling tools needed for the effective design, management, and monitoring of national social protection systems. 

Course objectives

  • Enhance knowledge of quantitative analysis and projection methodologies
  • Enable students to build simplified, country-specific models, primarily on social insurance pensions
  • Deepen understanding of policy and design of social protection schemes
  • Ability to discuss and analyse major policy reform options based on sound quantitative analysis
  • Equip students to participate in the financial planning of social protection schemes



Prior knowledge of Excel is highly recommended 

Recommended reading

  • Plamondon, P., Drouin, A., Binet, G., Cichon, M., McGillivray, W., Bédard, M., Perez M. & Hernando (2002). Actuarial Practice in Social Security. Geneva: ILO/ISSA, Part IV, chapters. 7.4, 8, 10, 11 
  • ILO (2021). World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Social protection at the crossroads – in pursuit of a better future. Geneva. 
  • ISSA, ILO (2016). ISSA-ILO Guidelines on Actuarial Work for Social Security. Chapter 1. ISS/ILO. 

Course reader