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Feasibility Study - Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance (DRFI) Solutions for Family Farmers in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (January 2024)

2024-01-25, World Bank

The objective of this feasibility study is to identify disaster risk finance and insurance (DRFI) solutions for up to 1.9 million family farmers in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This study is motivated by an emerging consensus on the need to design and implement large-scale DRFI solutions to improve the financial resilience of family farmers in North Central America (NCA) and reduce their vulnerability to extreme weather events and climate risks. The feasibility study provides an initial assessment of the technical, operational, financial, and policy considerations for developing and implementing DRFI solutions for family farmers in NCA. The feasibility study considers lessons learned from existing large-scale DRFI solutions in peer countries as well as ongoing programs and pilots in NCA.

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El Salvador Job Diagnostic: Understanding Challenges for More and Better Jobs in El Salvador - An Integrated Approach

2020-10-28, Banegas, Nancy, Winkler, Hernan

El Salvador faces significant challenges in the labor market, many of which may not be obvious when looking at aggregate job figures. This report provides a detailed analysis of the Salvadoran labor market between 2000 and 2017 and identifies the main bottlenecks preventing the creation of more and better jobs. It does so in three blocks. First, it describes the main trends in economic growth, its drivers, and implications for job creation. Second, it provides an in-depth analysis of factors constraining the demand for labor. Third, it analyzes which are the skills that the private sector is demanding, and what are the factors contributing to the wide and persistent gender and youth gaps in the labor market. The report concludes with policy recommendations to create more and better jobs in El Salvador.

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Central America Social Expenditures and Institutional Review: El Salvador

2015-06-29, World Bank

El Salvador’s development over the past decade has been dichotomous. On the one hand, economic growth has remained persistently low, employment and labor force participation have barely increased, and progress on poverty reduction has slowed. On the other hand, inequality has fallen, and shared prosperity improved together with advances in many social indicators, such as pre-primary enrollment rates, access to prenatal care, immunizations, and water and sanitation. The increase in the use of social spending, which now accounts for 12.4 percent of GDP, together with an improvement in the quality of social spending, explain at least part of this dichotomy of redistributive and social gains despite low growth, a tight fiscal situation and generally low government revenues and spending. Looking forward, the key challenges El Salvador faces are related to continuing improving the quality and efficiency in the social sectors, while maintaining the overall level of social spending within an increasingly constrained fiscal environment, where fiscal constraints, low revenues, and the need to cut the deficit by 3 percent of GDP are significant elements, as well. Priority will have to be given to reallocations and improvements within the spending envelope for the social sectors to maximize impact. This document analyzes social spending for El Salvador for the education, health and social protection and labor sectors in depth and explores a series of policy options for El Salvador to reallocate social spending for more effective impacts, to enhance and reform social policies and social service delivery, and to improve the management of public spending and budget execution in the social sectors.

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Digital Economy for Latin America and the Caribbean: Country Diagnostic - El Salvador

2022-04, World Bank

The widespread adoption of digital technologies is transforming how individuals, businesses, and governments interact, as well as creating new opportunities for boosting shared prosperity and reducing poverty. Digital technologies are playing an increasingly important role in El Salvador’s economic development and will play an even larger role as the global economy continues to digitize. Digital transformation can help El Salvador address its persistent growth challenges and explore new avenues toward green, resilient, and inclusive development. This report builds on the strategic priorities of the digital agenda (DA) 2020-2030, assesses the state of digital economy development in El Salvador, and provides detailed analysis and policy recommendations to inform the reform agenda in the country. The report provides a comprehensive overview El Salvador’s digital economy development across six foundational elements of a digital economy: digital infrastructure, digital platforms, digital financial services, digital businesses, digital skills, and trust environment. The diagnostic and recommendations are based on analysis of secondary data, structured interviews, surveys, and focus group discussions with key government and private sector stakeholders. The findings of the report are organized in six chapters - each dealing with a pillar of the digital economy. Policy recommendations are presented in the form of sequenced action plans that can inform relevant efforts by national authorities, the private sector, and development partners. The report summarizes the main findings on each digital economy pillar.

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Toward More Efficient and Effective Public Social Spending in Central America

2017-05-18, Acosta, Pablo A., Almeida, Rita, Gindling, Thomas, Lao Pena, Christine

Central America has come a long way both in terms of economic and political stability. Increasingly the region is focusing on implementing productivity-enhancing reforms as well as supporting reductions in poverty and inequality. This report analyzes recent trends in public social spending in Central America from 2007 to 2014, conducts international benchmarking, examines measures of the effectiveness and efficiency of social spending, and discusses the quality of selected institutions influencing this spending. We examine total social spending, as well as detailing its four components: public spending on the education, health, and social protection and labor (SPL) sectors. In analyzing public social spending, the report addresses three crucial policy issues: (a) how to improve the coverage and redistributional incidence of public social spending; (b) how to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of public social spending; and (c) how to strengthen the institutions governing public spending in the social sector. While based heavily on a series of recent analytical social spending studies in six countries in the subregion—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama—this report also takes a broader regional perspective and includes some comparisons to countries in other regions.

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Shared Prosperity and Poverty Eradication in Latin America and the Caribbean

2015-04, Cord, Louise, Genoni, Maria Eugenia, Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos, Cord, Louise, Genoni, Maria Eugenia, Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos

Over the last decade Latin America and the Caribbean region has achieved important progress towards the World Bank Group's goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting income growth of the bottom 40 percent, propelled by remarkable economic growth and falling income inequality. Despite this impressive performance, social progress has not been uniform over this period, and certain countries, subregions and even socioeconomic groups participated less in the growth process. As of today, more than 75 million people still live in extreme poverty in the region (using $2.50/day/capita), half of them in Brazil and Mexico, and extreme poverty rates top 40 percent in Guatemala and reach nearly 60 percent in Haiti. This means that extreme poverty is still an important issue in both low- and middle-income countries in the region. As growth wanes and progress in reducing the still high levels of inequality in the region slows, it will be more important than ever for governments to focus policies on inclusive growth. The book includes an overview that highlights progress towards the goals of poverty eradication and shared prosperity between 2003 and 2012, unpacks recent gains at the household level using an income-based asset model, and examines some of the policy levers used to affect social outcomes in the region. It draws on 13 country studies, eight of which are featured in this volume: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The other case studies include: Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Honduras, which will be included in the web version of the book.

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El Salvador Systematic Country Diagnostic: Addressing Vulnerabilities to Sustain Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth

2022-03-31, Robayo-Abril, Monica, Barroso, Rafael

The 2015 Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) concluded that El Salvador was “trapped” in vicious cycles of low poverty reduction and growth and argued for a “big push” in six priority areas. Three mutually reinforcing cycles hampered growth and shared prosperity: (i) low growth and violence, (ii) low growth and migration, and (iii) low growth, savings, and investments. The SCD concluded that a big reform push in six priority areas was needed to break these cycles. Despite progress in some of these areas, previous governments have not built consensus for the “big push” of simultaneous reforms to break the cycles. This SCD Update (the Update) builds on the SCD as follows: (i) updating the country context and assessing progress in poverty and growth, (ii) broadening the analysis to include a vulnerability lens, and (iii) rerunning the prioritization framework to confirm or update priorities.

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Minds and Behaviors at Work: Boosting Socioemotional Skills for Latin America’s Workforce

2016-07-11, Cunningham, Wendy, Acosta, Pablo, Muller, Noël

Although the Latin American region has shown an impressive growth in educational attainment over the past two decades, that education has failed to yield expected benefits. A mounting body of research and policy debates argues that the quantity of education is not an adequate metric of human capital acquisition. Rather, individuals’ skills—what they actually know and can do—should stand as policy targets and be fostered across the life course. Evidence from around the world shows that both cognitive and socio-emotional skills are demanded by employers and favorably affect a range of outcomes, including educational attainment and employment outcomes. Through original empirical research investigating the role of cognitive and socio-emotional skills in shaping adults’ labor market outcomes in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, and Peru, supplemented by similar studies in other Latin American countries, this review confirms that cognitive skills matter for reaping labor market gains in terms of higher wages and formal jobs in Latin America; but so do socio-emotional skills. Moreover, socio-emotional skills seem to particularly influence labor force participation and tertiary education attendance as a platform to build knowledge. The study also presents a policy framework for skills development by: (i) providing insights by developmental psychologists about when people are neuro-biologically, socio-emotionally, and situationally ready to develop socio-emotional skills, and (ii) suggesting new directions in cognitive development.

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Remarks for the Plenary Session of the Summit of Heads of State of the Central American Integration System

2010-07-20, Zoellick, Robert B.

Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group, noted that the region could be more competitive if, working together, you removed bottlenecks to growth; modernized customs systems; facilitated trade; improved infrastructure, integrated your energy grid, and enhanced transport; strengthened the education and skills of your people; and created a better environment for private investment, small business and entrepreneurs. He spoke on the following topics: past and recent integration achievements; an agenda for integration; and the package of World Bank Group initiatives. He announced a two-year trade facilitation window, support for an INCAE training program for public administration, a technical assistance facility to support trade promotion, and a program to support judicial transparency.