Use of Theory of Change (ToC) as a methodological apprach to evaluate the papaya Maradol Regional Development Program in the Mixteca Poblana region


José Manuel De León Reyes
Óscar Luis Figueroa Rodríguez
Martín Hernández Juárez
Ignacio Caamal Cahuich


Theory of Change, program assessment, Maradol papaya


Objective: To determine the extent to which the use of the Theory of Change (ToC) as a methodological approach is appropriate to assess the medium and long term effects generated by the Maradol Papaya Program in the Mixteca Poblana region (Puebla, Mexico).

Design/methodology/approximation: A case study was conducted with qualitative approach with a phenomenological approximation directed at the validation of the ToC as methodological tool for the assessment of programs, through Documental Research methods, observation and interviews with producers and key informants for the study.

Results: The design of the route or pathway of change allowed a punctual definition of the key variables for its operation and measurement as part of the assessment exercise. The use of qualitative methods (in-depth interviews) allowed an appropriate valuation of qualitative variables, such as learning, identificaiton of quantitative variables (production volumes, production costs, etc.) that can be made with conventional methods (questionnaires) without this representing any methodological conflict.

Limitations on the study/implications: Since it is a case study, its generalization is not appropriate. However, there are elements that can be suggested as a general premise, such as the recommendation of the use of mixed methods in the assessment of programs and projects.

Findings/conclusions: The Theory of Change (ToC) is a valuable tool in identifying change variables through the design of the route or pathway change; however, this exercise has great validity and wealth if it is constructed in a participative way. The use of mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) is suggested for this type of assessment.

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