Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, El Salvador was still not meeting the demands of its population to the fullest extent. Though progress had been made in socioeconomic terms, there were still areas of apparent stagnation or challenges related to the quality of services and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This situation creates an opportunity to evaluate the National Development Agenda, as well as the relevance of public policies, and to implement improvements to meet the permanent needs of the population and respond to future emergencies. The assessment of social science in El Salvador has adapted the GDN’s standard methodology for assessing the social science research environment in developing and transition countries, namely the Doing Research Assessment (DRA). The “Doing Research: Assessing Social Science Research Systems” was implemented in El Salvador by the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), under the research leadership of Helga Cuellar Marchelli and with the external scientific support of Thomas Bossert (Harvard University).
The El Salvador DRA offers several levers of change including strengthening and increasing relationships with the international scientific community and development aid agencies. This has the potential for building local capacity through access to resources, exchange of experiences, adapting best practices, acquiring new knowledge and tools. Also, the relationship between academia and policy makers should be strengthened, and incentives created to make their interaction functional, in order to influence public policies. Furthermore, capacity-building should be carried out to produce good quality scientific research and disseminate findings to a variety of audiences.