The purpose of UNCTAD’s science, technology and innovation policy reviews is to assist governments in
developing their national capacities in science, technology and innovation, so that national science, technology
and innovation plans and programmes support the various components of the national development agenda
and help the productive sectors to compete in a knowledge-based global economy, generating better paid jobs,
raising living standards, reducing poverty and promoting a strategy of growth and commercial diversification.
This review is intended to be a tool for learning and reflection, not a rating mechanism but an analytical tool
that examines a series of proposals from a neutral external viewpoint. The ultimate objective of the science,
technology and innovation policy review of El Salvador is to provide the Salvadorian Government with an upto-
date diagnostic analysis of the effectiveness of its science, technology and innovation-related policies and
measures, and strengthen these policies and measures by integrating them in the national development process.
It also seeks to improve technological capacity, encourage innovation and incorporate greater added value into
The science, technology and innovation policy review of El Salvador was instigated at the request of the
Salvadorian Government and enjoyed the support of the Vice Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Vice Ministry
of Science and Technology. The review was conducted jointly by UNCTAD and ECLAC and forms part of a
proposal of technical cooperation to the Salvadorian Government.
The review was prepared by a team of experts under the direction of Anne Miroux, Director of the Technology
and Logistics Division of UNCTAD and under the direct supervision of Mongi Hamdi, Chief of the Science,
Technology and ICT Service (UNCTAD). Marta Pérez Cusó (UNCTAD) coordinated the review in collaboration
with René Hernández (ECLAC). Roberto López Martínez (national system of innovation) and Eduardo Huidobro
(agro-industrial sector) prepared reports which served as the basis for the review. The team of experts carried out
two missions in the field, in July 2010 and March 2011, and conducted over 50 interviews and two round tables
with representatives of government bodies, research institutes, universities, industry associations and chambers
of commerce, experts in science, technology and innovation, companies, non-governmental organizations and
international cooperation agencies. The national discussion workshop held on 29 March 2011 in San Salvador
permitted the gathering of comments on the first draft from a group of over 40 experts and national actors.
Kiyoshi Adachi, the Salvadorian Association of Computer Professionals (ASPROC), Néstor Bercovich, the
Salvadorian Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies (CASATIC), Quentin Dupriez, Reina
Durán de Alvarado, Ángel González Sanz and Jorge Patiño contributed invaluable material, comments and
suggestions. In addition, a great many people in El Salvador generously contributed their time and comments
in the preparation of this review. It is impossible to name them all, but the team responsible for this document
wishes to express its appreciation to all of them.
This review would not have been possible without the support of Mr Mario Cerna, Vice Minister of Trade and
Industry and Dr Erlinda Handal, Vice Minister of Science and Technology. The Directorate of Technological
Innovation, headed by Mr Yax Canossa and assisted by Mrs Verónica López and the National Directorate of
Science, Technology and Innovation, headed by Dr Alba María Orellana González were closely involved in the
review and deserve our since gratitude.
The evaluations and conclusions expressed in the review, however, are exclusively those of the UNCTAD
Secretariat and ECLAC.