Posts provide many services that improve people’s quality of life. In additional to their core letter and parcel delivery services, Posts are active in areas such as health and social care, education, and community development. This social role is gaining greater recognition as Posts form partnerships with governments, industry and communities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and, more broadly, to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The UPU supports the diversification of postal operations as a strategic response to the pace of technological and social change (Istanbul World Postal Strategy 2017–2020), and to generate additional revenue, increase competitiveness and remain relevant. The need for governments to leverage the postal network for socio-economic development is one of the four key areas of action outlined in the Abidjan Postal Strategy 2021–2024 (document CA C 3 2019.2–Doc 3).
A project to review, synthesize and promote postal social services was initiated in November 2019 with sponsorship from the Ministry of Internal Communications of Japan. The aims of this project are to raise awareness of the social services that Posts already deliver, and to support further innovation and utilization of postal networks for advancing social goals.
A total of 113 UPU members responded to a survey on social services, issued in December 2019. Of these, 79% confirmed that they offer some type of social service, and 59% have plans to offer new social services in the future. Our members reported a wide variety of postal social services, which are summarized in the documents below.
The full UPU Guide to Postal Social Services can be downloaded here - Full Guide in English
The Executive Summary of the guide can be downloaded here - Executive Summary in multiple languages
If you have any questions about postal social services, please send an e-mail to: pss(at)upu.int
Research preview - Postal Social Services11.11.2020This booklet is a preview of some of the most important findings from recent IB research on postal social services. The full UPU Guide to Postal Social Services was subsequently published in April 2021.
Postal Hub Podcast interview: The Social Role of the Post
Union Postale cover story (p16): Postal Social Services during COVID-19
The second week of the 27th Universal Postal Congress in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire opened with a discussion on the opportunities for posts to diversify into the health sector. Triggered by the ongoing global health crisis, the discussion, however, went beyond the pandemic.
The UPU’s Directorate of Development and Cooperation (DCDEV) has played a key role during the global pandemic in supporting posts in developing countries tackle the virus.
Addresses are essential for the management of cities, for service delivery, and to give people status in society. Many areas of the world, however, remain unaddressed.