Our Strategy

Theory of Change:

At the Youth Development Institute, we have developed a theory of change about what we believe will be needed to reach our ultimate goal of reducing child poverty in Puerto Rico by half over the next 10 years.

When we define a long-term outcome, it does not mean this outcome cannot be seen soon, it just means that it will require a series of other short-term and interim outcomes to see them truly realized. Our theory is that three main systemic changes will need to occur in Puerto Rico in the long term, as mention in the Tipping Point of our Theory of Change Diagram:

  • 1)
    Policies and programs impacting children and youth, especially when it comes to providing pathways out of poverty, will need to be effective, which we define as being informed by both evidence, and the voices of those affected.
  • 2)
    The adequate investments need to be there – at both the private and the public level.
  • 3)
    Policy structures and incentives need to make work pay for families with children.

Strategy 2020-2022:

While the Theory of Change outlines a logic model about what we consider needs to happen to see a significant reduction of child poverty in the island, our three-year strategy zooms into what the Institute will need to focus on over the next three years, internally and externally, to advance towards the outcomes outlined in the theory of change.

Our vision is that by 2022, child poverty is a top priority for key policy makers and influencers in Puerto Rico. We believe that this is a key step in the progression towards the long-term outcomes we want to see beyond the next three years. We also believe that in achieving this vision, we can simultaneously begin to see new resources available to families with children and youth living in poverty and some progress in the economic security of families with children by policy changes that are proposed and adopted by the Youth Development Institute.



To achieve this, our main external focus will be on increase agreement among policy makers and the public about the solutions required to reduce child poverty. This will require work around increasing the capacity of those affected to engage in the process and inform policy, increase in the use of data for policy decision making, and increaseing the number of champions for child poverty in Puerto Rico- all short-term outcomes of our theory of change.