In June 2022, El Salvador became the first country to access the Girls’ Education Accelerator (GEA). The $15 million grant combines $5 million from the Girls’ Education Accelerator and a $10 million Multiplier grant.
The grant furthers the girls’ education component of the Crecer Juntos (Growing Together) early childhood education policy, endorsed by the local education group through their Partnership Compact and selected as a policy priority to transform the education system.
The priority is supported by the homonymous World Bank program “Growing Up and Learning Together: Comprehensive Early Childhood Development”, the Inter-American Development Bank program Nacer, Crecer, Aprender (Be Born, Grow Up and Learn) and other interventions by partners.
As part of the joint sector review in November 2022, members of the local education group and the Ministry of Education discussed progress in the implementation of the 2022-2030 Sector Plan and the Compact. The discussion included potential monitoring indicators, as well as alternatives to strengthen planning and monitoring with an equity approach.
Understanding how the GEA will be used in El Salvador and how it made a difference in the country policy dialogue is particularly important as we learn from the early implementation of the GPE 2025 operating model.
Girls’ education at the center of El Salvador’s priorities
Commitment to gender equality and girls’ education is not new to El Salvador. However, it was often conceptualized as just one of multiple priorities. Engaging in a discussion centered on system transformation meant selecting policy priorities and re-assessing the role of gender equality in sector discussion.
The first noticeable difference was a growing interest in seeing gender equality fully integrated within the wider set of sector priorities, not simply tackled in parallel.
This led to the second change. When gender equality is seen as a separate priority, it is only natural to understand dialogue on gender equality to be more less independent of other priorities.