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Fraym Partners with CRS in El Salvador: Identifying Employment Opportunities for Women and Youths

December 13, 2021

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Youth in Central America face high unemployment rates, levels of violence, and limited vocational training opportunities that could equip those who are most at-risk to find rewarding livelihoods in their home communities. In El Salvador, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is working to reverse this by designing and implementing effective and accessible employment-training models that provide youth with the skills to enter the workforce and respond to market-driven job demands. In early 2021, Fraym and CRS partnered to bring spatial data to the country’s youth programming across El Salvador.

Within this engagement, Fraym analyzed youth demographics and economic opportunities both nationally and sub-nationally, with deep dives into four clusters of municipalities to understand contextual differences presented by the challenges and resources of specific areas. The findings quickly identified at-risk areas for potential investment.

“Fraym’s geographic and multidimensional data allowed us to effectively identify the areas and sectors that we can target our strategies to create the highest impact. Utilizing Fraym’s analysis, CRS El Salvador is equipped to efficiently deploy resources to refine and execute our high-impact youth employment programming.”

Juan Carlos Duran – Monitoring and Evaluation Supervisor, Catholic Relief Services El Salvador

Finding #1: There is a large gender gap in youth unemployment

Fraym noted domestic responsibilities as a strong driver behind over one-third of women neither studying, working, or looking for work. Investments in women’s economic empowerment that ensure young women are able to participate in employment training by providing childcare and offering training options typically only offered to men could help address the contextual factors widening the gender gap

Targeted analysis into four municipality clusters highlighted opportunities to tailor employment programming to regional contexts as well as sub-populations. Outside of the San Salvador metropolitan area in which one out of four youth live, Fraym examined common sectors such as agriculture and aquaculture, and less common ones that could better address gender gaps and provide formal employment.

Youth Agriculture Opportunities in El Salvador

Finding #2: Clusters of youth in both the west and coastal areas of the country overlap with tourist destinations such as Ruta de las Flores and Playa Punta Roca.

In the capital city of San Salvador, women represent a higher proportion of services and sales employment positions; whereas in the other more rural regions, female labor participation is much lower. Finding paths to connect women to employment in the tourism sector in the west and coast areas may represent a great opportunity to increase their livelihoods and prosperity.

With this information, CRS El Salvador engaged with partners working with youth via a virtual session in July 2021. Since then, Fraym data helped target program resources to specific locations and themes, and provided key insights to direct and request additional investment. With localized and gender-disaggregated findings, CRS stakeholders can quantify investment decisions for external stakeholders, and partner with non-governmental organizations, institutions, and municipal governments. Fraym analysts supplied the report, visuals, and heatmaps in a little over a month. Fraym is proud to partner with CRS in El Salvador and elsewhere, working to equip youth with the skills and resources they need to find rewarding livelihoods.

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