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Community Contribution

USAID El Salvador IP’s Mainstream Gender through Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting

Randal Joy Thompson, Beatriz Flores, Margarita Sanchez

Motivated by the need to address gender considerations in their strategies to help create a stable, safe, and prosperous El Salvador, 15 USAID implementing partners (IPs), ten of bilateral and five of regional activities, have joined together in a Gender Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) Group. Facilitated by the USAID/El Salvador Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Initiative (“M&E&L”), the Gender CLA Group has already made significant strides in addressing the underlying gender issues that contribute to gang and gender-based violence, gender inequality, and lack of economic empowerment.

Established in October 2017, the Group has been meeting monthly to share knowledge and experiences, and to develop action plans and institutional strategies. The Group has divided into three working groups to maximize the relevance of their co-learning: 1) institutional strengthening; 2) youth and violence prevention; and 3) value chains for agriculture, biodiversity and competitiveness. Due to the reality that gang violence disproportionately impacts young men, the CLA Group has organized a Forum on Masculinities to be held in June 2018. USAID/El Salvador, IPs, and Salvadoran universities and organizations will participate in the forum.  Another seven activities are addressing the development of gender performance indicators and gender methodologies. Yet another activity of the Government Integrity Project is working to implement a Model for Institutional Integrity, including a Gender Equality Institutional Policy, with two national government entities: the Access to Public Information Institute and the Government Ethics Tribunal.

The Salvadoran Institute for the Development of Women has partnered with M&E&L to lead this endeavor, which has resulted in major changes in institutional policies and implementation of gender norms in the two participating institutions. Based on the approaches and lessons learned in these activities, the Gender CLA Group will publish a Manual of Gender Best Practices to disseminate to all USAID IPs in El Salvador and other Central American countries.      

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