Talking interoperability: The Belgian experience achieving social sector interoperability


This event had simultaneous interpretation in French and Spanish. 

Talking interoperability is a dialogue series being convened by the Digital Convergence Initiative (DCI) to facilitate in-depth technical conversations around designing for interoperability in the social protection sector. By bringing together digital social protection and technology experts from government agencies, software vendors, system integrators and international organizations, it aims promote peer-based learning and problem solving through:

  • sharing the technical nitty-gritty of how agencies have designed their social protection information systems for interoperability
  • understanding how agencies have tackled the major challenges to interoperability
  • brainstorming potential solutions to remaining bottlenecks

The second session of the dialogue series discussed the experience of the Crossroads Bank for Social Security (CBSS) achieving interoperability across 3,000 social sector actors in Belgium. The electronic data exchange amongst the actors in the social sectors and between these actors, companies and citizens takes place by way of an integrated functional and technical interoperability platform which complies with strict security standards and is based on modern technologies such as service and object orientation, component-based development, multichannel service provision, open standards, reutilization, cloud computing, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) synergies within social security institutions. This interoperability effort has been central to facilitating the automatic approval of most social benefits and subsidy rights in Belgium, in turn resulting in significant public savings and reduction in administrative burden.


Presenter: Frank Robben, General Manager – CBSS & the eHealth-platform

Ernesto Brodersohn, Senior Officer in Social Security, Coordinator of the Technical Commission on Information and Communication Technology, ISSA

Anita Mittal, Senior Advisor, Digital Convergence Initiative, GIZ

Moderator: Valentina Barca, Independent Consultant