Reader’s guide

This report presents the main findings of the multi-dimensional review of El Salvador. The review process was implemented in three phases over a period spanning several years. It was interrupted by the initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic during which country consultation and the participatory components of the review process could not be implemented:

  • Phase I (Initial assessment) was implemented in July-December 2019. It consists of an assessment of El Salvador’s development performance across five dimensions spanning Agenda 2030: People, Prosperity, Partnerships, Peace and Institutions, and Planet. Phase I concluded with the identification of priority areas covered in subsequent phases of the review.

  • Phase II (In-depth analysis and recommendations) was implemented from October 2020 to June 2021. It covers four policy areas identified jointly by the OECD review team and the Government of El Salvador: productive transformation, water management and the supply of water and sanitation, education and skills, and public governance. The areas identified in December 2019 were reassessed and deemed relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Phase III (From analysis to action) was implemented from June 2021 to July 2022. It consisted of a series of policy workshops with stakeholders from across the public sector, the private sector, academia, and civil society covering each of the four policy areas.

This report was discussed by the OECD’s Mutual Learning Group for Multi-dimensional Country Reviews on 13 October 2022, prior to its preparation for publication.

The analysis conducted in Phases I and II relied on the most recent national and internationally comparable data available at the time. In some cases, pre-pandemic data were preferred as they were likely to be of higher quality and to better reflect structural features than data collected in 2020. Factual information and statistical data included in the report have been updated with data available as of the end of 2022 where practicable. The conclusions of the analysis conducted in the initial assessment are presented as prepared in phase I of the review process.

The report consists of an overview chapter and two main parts.

  • The Overview chapter (Chapter 1) contextualises the review and summarises the main results of the report. A table including all the policy recommendations presented in the report is included at the end of Chapter 1.

  • Part I presents the results of the Initial assessment phase of the review. It assesses the performance of El Salvador and identifies the main constraints to development across five areas: People, Prosperity, Partnerships, Peace and Institutions, and Planet.

  • Part II combines the results of Phases II and III of the review and presents analysis and policy recommendations in four key policy areas:

    • Chapters 3, 4 and 5 present analysis of performance in terms of productive transformation (Chapter 3), and policy recommendations to tackle cross-cutting challenges to productivity and competitiveness (Chapter 4) and to accelerate productive transformation (Chapter 5).

    • Chapter 6 provides an assessment and policy recommendations in the areas of integrated water resource management and the supply of water and sanitation.

    • Chapter 7 assesses and provides recommendations to build better skills for the youth in El Salvador.

    • Chapter 8 assesses key topics for public governance in El Salvador and provides policy recommendations for more robust public governance.

The chapters in Part II are divided into thematic sections, and recommendations are presented in tabular form at the end of each section. The policy recommendations presented include contributions made by participants in the various policy workshops carried out as part of Phase III of the review. A number of more specific action plans were developed as part of the policy workshops. They are presented in tabular form in the recommendation sections and clearly indicated in the text.

  • A set of benchmark countries was selected jointly by the team undertaking the review and the Government of El Salvador in the initial phase of the review. It includes countries in Latin America (Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama) and beyond (Estonia, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Serbia, Viet Nam). The choice of these countries is based on factors such as income per capita, size, structural characteristics, and the degree to which experiences from these countries could be useful models for policy development in El Salvador. Whenever relevant and subject to data availability, El Salvador is compared to this group of countries. References to benchmark countries in the report refer to this group of countries.

  • Data points indicated as benchmark countries refer to the simple average for countries in the group for which data is available.

  • References to OECD in figures and graphs refer to the average for OECD countries if provided by the source and to the simple average for all OECD countries for which data is available if the source does not provide an average for the OECD.

  • References to LAC in figures and graphs refer for the average for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean if provided by the source and to the simple average for all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean for which data is available if the source does not provide an average for Latin America and the Caribbean.

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