Why do some Community Economic Development (CED) projects succeed while others fail? This study examines the performance and experiences of 5 CED rural projects in Morelos, Mexico. Our results show that Receptivity, Institutions and Evaluation (RIE) were largely important in determining success. 1) Receptive attitudes are reflected in the lack of interest toward entrepreneurial activities. 2) Institutions are important variables because institutions influence stability and trust. Without stability and trust, it is difficult to achieve economic efficiency and growth. 3) Evaluation affects success by optimizing the decision-making process. In contrast to the RIE schools of thought, we argue that RIE frameworks largely ignore the importance of participation as a key element for achieving success. From our perspective, RIE becomes RIPE (Receptivity, Institutions, Participation, and Evaluation), to acknowledge that participation is also an influential element. Our study provides sustained evidence that as CED projects become more participatory the likelihood of success increases.
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