Finland for all_ages


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Deputy Director General, Professor, Marja Vaarama, THL
16.8.2013, Nordic Health and Social Directors’ meeting, 14 – 16 August 2013

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Finland for all_ages

  1. 1. Finland for All Ages Generational policy as a way to socially and economically sustainable welfare society Marja Vaarama Deputy Director General 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 1
  2. 2. Contents • Background – why social sustainability is important concept in the Finnish Welfare Policy? • Briefly about the concept of social sustainability • Think-tank ”Finland for all ages” • Summary of the recommendations of the Think- Tank • Summary of the main features of the suggested policy • Suggestions for future actions 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 2
  3. 3. Background • Among European countries, population ageing is most rapid in Finland • According to the prognoses, in the year 2026 (13 years from today!), the share of working population may be only 40% of the whole population, which would seriously hamper the economic base of the Finnish Welfare State • Finland has prepared for demographic change already in many ways, but latest this prognosis makes it clear that we need to do more, find ways of turning the demographic change from burden to an opportunity, and build a society which is fair for all ages • Social, economic and ecological sustainability are tied together, therefore we need integrative policies • The government (Katainen), the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and THL, all have socially sustainable development as a major goal in their programs and strategies 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 3
  4. 4. Program of the Katainen’s government, 3 major goals 1. Reducing poverty, exclusion and health inequalities 2. Balancing the public economy 3. Increasing inclusion, labor market participation and prolonging the working careers  Health and wellbeing perspective must be included in all public decision making across the entire public administration  Ecological, economical and social sustainability of the Finnish Welfare Model is the goal, and calls for integrated, comprehensive policies  Success of the Finnish welfare policy must be evaluates regularly in both terms of economic and social sustainability 12/09/2013 Presentation name / Author 4
  5. 5. But what is social sustainability? 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 5
  6. 6. 6 Sustainable development (SD) (Kautto, 2008) Economic Ecologic Social •demands a horizontal approach •highlights inter-generational fairness •shows the need for policy coherence •no one coherent frame •no one way to measure SD •no easy way to show the role of politics in achieving SD
  7. 7. 7 What is social sustainability? • Often wanted, seldom defined • Social policy panel and literature survey (Kautto & Metso 2008) – Resources that enable conscious steering of one’s life – Fair distribution of welfare – Social ties, relations and interaction between people – Trust in the future, in other people and in institutions
  8. 8. Think-tank ”Finland for all ages” 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 8
  9. 9. Think-tank: Summary • High-level, non-political expert group of 20 people (business, public sector, formal and voluntary actors, practice, research, young and older people), working in collaboration with Finnish citizens (forums, website) • Set by the Minister of Health and Welfare, Dr. Paula Risikko, for the period 1.10.12-31.6.13, chaired by prof. Vaarama • Suggests renovation program based on generational policy with the social investments strategy for development Finland for all ages • 9 development goals with over 40 recommended actions to realize the goals • The recommendations emphasize generational fairness, mixed economy of care and older people as a resource • Final report was published 18.6.2013 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 9
  10. 10. The conceptual framework used by the group 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 10 Distribution of welfare Wellbeing, health, knowledge Social participation, inclusion, social cohesion Capabilities, information, power Human rights, norms, trust, being in the same boat Resources, money, services Fair social contract Empowering all people to use their full capacities No social exclusion and discrimination, building of trust
  11. 11. Esityksen nimi / Tekijä value standards equity freedom social justice solidarity polity economy culture civic society empowerment security inclusion cohesion capabilities/ health social/physical environment life valuation/ satisfaction affective well-being societal assets or „capitals“ social quality processes individ. QoL Human ecology environ. resources people technology Org. in time/space The social sustainability processes (Vaarama & Pieper 2011)
  12. 12. The 9 policy goals & recommended actions for their realization 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 12
  13. 13. 1. The pension reform 2017 (under preparation) shall ensure economically sustainable, comprehensive and generationally fair pension scheme • Secure financing, high enough level of premiums • Generational fairness • Retirement age (now flexible 63-68, actual 63) – no consensus of higher age (e.g. 65) • Better information on complex system, targeted especially for young people 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 13
  14. 14. 2. Improve the target efficiency of public services by clear eligibility criteria • Clarify what service on which conditions people are entitled, provide a clear “service menu” • Invest especially in children and young people, empower families, prevent social exclusion (create especially easy-to access low-threshold service and support) • Strengthen the rights of vulnerable older people and disabled persons • Harmonize the assessment of pension eligibility in long-term unemployed persons 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 14
  15. 15. 3. Reform (finally!) the organization and funding of social and health services for better accessibility and cost-efficiency, ensure good service quality • Get fewer and bigger providers (service regions instead of single and often small municipalities) • Organize financing from one channel rather than from many as now • Improve the service culture among social and health care by emphasizing in training the capacity building for seamless care chains and collaboration between professionals and for client and family empowerment • Implement for all providers obligatory national quality standards and certification system for social and health care • Improve the public imago of public social and health care 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 15
  16. 16. 4. Develop new forms and incentives for mixed economy of care • Investigate alternative forms of service production and their taxation, as well as ways to combine private and public production • Harmonize the service voucher system for better equality, equity and freedom of choice • Create national rules for provider-purchasing –system and harmonize the reimbursement criteria • Improve the cost-consciousness and skills in public authorities for purchasing of services from private providers • Increase incentives in state subsidies system for realization of the priority policy goals 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 16
  17. 17. 5. Reconcile work and family life to prolong the working careers • Strengthen flexible organization of work in work places • Support the possibilities to combine work and informal care of close ones • Improve the current system of family leave to ease the combination on work and family life in children families • Implement national employment assistance program (EAP), and integrate it into the social and health care system 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 17
  18. 18. 6. Reconcile social security for better flexicurity • Assign to the municipalities and employment offices the responsibility for social inclusion of unemployed persons (especially young people!) and reform social security legislation to support this • Reform the unemployment benefit system to create incentives for part-time working • Reform the housing allowance system to better support the working but low-income households • Reconcile the reimbursement criteria of housing costs in housing allowance and social assistance • Implement a job mediating body for retired people willing to engage in part-time-, short-time or occasional paid work or voluntary work 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 18
  19. 19. 7. Ensure everyone’s rights to housing, healthy living environment, necessary telecommunication and proof of own identity • Prefer the Housing first-policy to ensure adequate housing for those in need • Investigate the adequacy of current regulations for barrier free –housing (too strict now?) • Implement active space policy, i.e. better use of public space • Create a voluntary certificate for good quality building of special housing for diverse need-groups • Support mobility by barrier-free environments • Ensure affordable telecommunication access to all • Ensure everyone opportunity for digital identification 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 19
  20. 20. 8. Support and foster social capital for trust and social cohesion • Develop forms of citizen involvement in the planning and decision making processes in their communities • Strengthen and support schools as forums fostering social participation and preparing pupils for it • Abolish bureaucracy that hinders citizens engagement in social activities and functioning of voluntary organizations • Start national action program to foster and develop social capital 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 20
  21. 21. 9. Use research evidence to make knowledge based decisions and policy, look for best practices (1) • Evaluate the effectiveness of the current pro-term project- based support for the development of social and health care services (national ”KASTE-program” of STM), and investigate alternatives for long-term, continuous support (e.g. in state subsidies system) • Investigate current legislation to abolish age discrimination • Start a research program on pension security in combination with public services and complementary private forms of social security, and their taxation • Study cost-effectiveness of social and health care services and preventive measures, and provide reliable indicators 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 21
  22. 22. 9. Use research evidence to make knowledge based decisions and policy, look for best practices (2) • Spread and exploit good practices to diminish socio- economic inequity in health • Exploit participative service design for development of new services • Set a national working group for definition of national quality standards and develop a certification system for social and health care • Set up a national research program to – identify and concretize the challenges and opportunities of demographic change – Develop indicators for evaluation of social sustainability and generational equity in all policies 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 22
  23. 23. Summary 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 23
  24. 24. 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 24 Towards socially sustainable Finland Ensure equal opportunities for people in all ages Welfare society is for preparing rather than repairing Distribution of benefits and obligations shall be fair Every person has resources – empower and abolish hinders for using them Get rid of ageism – look also at the existing legislation Clarify the public service commitment Improve service quality and accessibility Support and foster social capital
  25. 25. Suggested further actions • Setting up a parlamentary comittee to further discuss and prepare the recommendations of the Think-tank. Selected recommendations shall be thoroughly researched: estimated costs and effects in light of social and economic sustainability. • A national Generational Forum shall be established to discuss and evaluate the suggestions, and for preparing of new recommendations • The work of the ”Finland for All Ages” group can serve also as material for the formulation of the next Governmental Program. 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 25
  26. 26. Thank you! 12.9.2013 Esityksen nimi / Tekijä 26