SRH among youth in El Salvador: Adding a human rights perspective to the World Bank’s operational work - Study on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Central America

This assignment was part of a broader study designed by the Latin American and Caribbean Region Health, Nutrition and Population Unit of the World Bank (WB) with the title “Sexual and reproductive health among youth in Latin America: Adding a human rights perspective to the World Bank’s operational work”. The results of the study will support the introduction of human rights instruments to the WB programs, guide future activities related to early child-bearing in all participant countries, and inform policy on the development of social and youth programs.

The regional study, covering besides El Salvador, Nicaragua and Argentina, aimed to achieve the following specific objectives:

(1) To evaluate linkages between Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) and human rights and economic development among adolescents;

(2) To assess operational implications of integrating human rights instruments to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery, including its implications in the context of limited fiscal resources; and,

(3) To systematize and disseminate the results of the afore-mentioned activities to support a regional and multi-sectoral policy dialogue on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

The research in El Salvador explored the SRH situation of Salvadorian adolescents, especially where adolescent (teenage) pregnancies, violence against women, and the respect of human rights are concerned. It looked into adolescents’ sexual and reproductive freedom and their access to health care and to social determinants of health.

The project included a desk review on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and human rights (ASRH&R) in El Salvador as well as quantitative survey among adolescents between (10 – 19 years), and qualitative analyses among adolescents, their families and key informants. A multidisciplinary team was investigating the situation of adolescents in El Salvador and the services in the area of ASRH available to youth.

The results were presented and discussed with the WB team, key policymakers, experts and civil society actor. An executive policy note will be developed based on the study’s results.

  • Selection, mobilisation and supervision of international and national experts;
  • Administration, monitoring, supervision and technical backstopping of the project;
  • Development of study design and data collection instruments for qualitative and quantitative data collection (questionnaires, Focus Group Discussions, key informant interviews, in depth interviews with adolescents);
  • Data processing and analysis (triangulation);
  • A policy brief summarizing the key results of the desk review, survey and qualitative analysis;
  • A local dissemination workshop in coordination with relevant government ministries and agencies and the World Bank;
  • An online database with all the information and secondary sources collected for the project.


  • A desk review report on ASRH&R in El Salvador with a human rights framework;
  • A technical report based on quantitative and qualitative analyses conducted in El Salvador.