Home » Education

Category: Education

Advanced Research and Insights webinar: SEGMENTATION

The ESOMAR Foundation, in partnership with Toluna, is pleased to announce the launch of a new series of webinars.  The webinar series is designed to offer insights and showcase advanced research techniques used to improve not-for-profit organisations work.

Market research in the private sector grows increasingly sophisticated as researchers and insight professionals develop more advanced analysis techniques and use new data sources and technologies to understand customer behaviour and target communications to individuals. In this 2019 series of Webinars, ESOMAR Foundation aims to inform Not-for-Profit organisations about these advanced research techniques in order to help them use research more effectively in their programmes.

The first in the 2019 series considers Segmentation – probably one of the most powerful techniques used to target customers – and how we can use it for social good. Marketers nowadays invest a significant amount of time and money to deepen their understanding of their customers, including their behaviors, beliefs, emotions, unconscious biases, and social norms.  Commercial companies have made psycho-behavioral segmentation core to their approach because it works – it improves their bottom line! However, psycho-behavioral segmentation remains woefully underused in the global development sector. Most global development programmes still segment people by demographics when trying to change their behavior. There are tremendous opportunities to learn from the private sector and segment people based on the reasons behind their actions so that they can talk to them in ways that they will listen.

In this webinar, Sema Sgaier of Surgo Foundation will cover the value of segmentation in the global development sector, demonstrate its effective use through case studies, and discuss the challenges, lessons, and opportunities for Not-for-profits to make better use of segmentation in their research budget.

Co-founder and Executive Director of Surgo Foundation, a privately funded action tank whose mission is combining a customer-obsessed agenda with thinking in systems to solve complex global development problems. She works at the intersection of behavior, data, and technology. Previously at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she led large-scale health programs in India and Africa. She is faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She was selected as a Rising Talent by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society and has a PhD in neuroscience.

 

A lifelong market researcher currently working on the GfK Verein’s University Cooperation Programme to improve the quality of education in Market Research in Africa and China.

We look forward to hearing from you next week, 26 March 2019, 17:00 CET for an enlightening discussion!

 

 

College Junior

Blog-post from Esther Tot, who received the ESOMAR Foundation Scholarship to study at the English based Bachelor Degree program in International Business at the National University of Management (NUM) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

What is like to be a college junior? School was great, although, the third year was tough and quite stressful with a lot of assignments, projects, presentations, panda-eyes and sleepless nights.

However, no matter how hard it is, knowledge and education is a must, and just like a quote I keep telling myself, “I may not be the smartest person in the class, but I will surely do the best to succeed and graduate just like others”.  Each year is exciting and interesting because I’ve got to study with many different teachers who are from diverse cultures and countries. It is so interesting that I can learn more about other countries and cultures through them even though I can’t go there directly. But in NUM they bring the countries and cultures to students and most of the time NUM also brings students there directly as well, which is so cool!

A week in my life of being a college junior

This is my third year and semester 1. I have an important 2 weeks’ straight session with Professor Anselm Vermeulen. He is from Holland, but currently lives in China and teaches in one of China’s most famous universities. I studied with him Operation Management. We have a research essay about Industry 4.0, 5.0, RFID and Barcode, and lastly, I have done a presentation about the Xiaomi company (Chinese technologies manufacturing company). On Tuesday I have Human Resource Management class with Mrs. Ros Chan Sophea. She is our Cambodian teacher. I have learned a lot about how to choose the right person for a job in the future. By learning about HRM I can prepare myself well for a job in the future as well. On Wednesday I have Mr. Nikhil Mani. He is Indian, but he graduated in Europe. I study with him about Public Relations and learn quite a lot about PR tools, and how PR teams handle company scandals, and how PR operates in companies. PR is one of the important teams in a company as well as the marketing team. On Thursday I have Ms. Mitsy Chanel-Blot. She is African-American. I study with her about Globalization II, which include histories, cultures, foods, religions, and people. She is also one of the funniest teachers we have this semester, and we really have fun studying with her because she makes learning fun. She is open-minded and a supportive teacher. And lastly Friday, I have Ms. Kerry Slattery. She teaches Marketing Management. We have been assigned a great project of making a proposal for Total Gas Station based on steering more men and adults to choose and trust in their gas stations and be their loyal customers.  Only 3 teams were selected by Total and sadly my team was not among them. My team had a proposal about Jet-Ski Racing which has not yet been introduced in Cambodia. We wanted to bring that here, but we haven’t been selected, I hope maybe next time they will take our idea into consideration someday because Cambodian people and men here love sports so much.

Nonetheless, half of the students at my University now are on their joyful vacation, but my class hasn’t finished yet, we still got so much to go and maybe we will have a short break next month on March, which is also my birthday. On March 1st I will be 21 years old, I’m getting older! I will always be so much thankful for the precious gift of knowledge and education from the ESOMAR Foundation, WiRE and NUM and for giving me this special opportunity to be able to study at the university and graduate like other kids. This is more than what I could thank for. I am excited for the next journey to come, waiting for what I will be learning next in the second semester, can’t wait for that, especially to meet new teachers, and learn new knowledge about the courses and about diversifications through them as well, which is so interesting to me. I am looking forward to updating more about me during the short break and as well as back to school for the second semester.

Partners & Sponsors

We are always on the lookout for partners and sponsors. If you are an individual or an organisation looking to understand more on how you can support us, please find more information here or contact:  info@esomarfoundation.org

           

Concepts of democracy in rural Kenya

The 4th and last webinar of the “What different Qualitative Approaches can be used to achieve various objectives?” series brought some insights into a very delicate and political topic – corruption in voting behavior in Kenya.  Emanuel, Astrid and Barbara shared their current experience around a qualitative research in progress on voter integrity in rural Kenya.

Everything will be okay in the end. And if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. This is the attitude that has been driving our research case for the past 15 months. And having the opportunity now to present it to the international ESOMAR Foundation community was, without doubt, a very bright moment for us. The presented research project „Concepts of democracy in rural Kenya“ – conducted by QMR – Qualitative Mind Research, Munich – is one module of a whole story.

This story started with the Kenyan general elections in August 2017, in which Emmanuel Karisa Baya ran for the seat of a local representative (MCA) to make a change in his hometown in the hinterland of Malindi (North Coast, Kenya) struck by extreme poverty, long droughts and the effects of HIV. Against all expectations and broad support in advance, Emmanuel lost the election. A first review made clear that massive buying and selling of votes and bribery was one central reason for this defeat – a common practice in all counties of Kenya. Quantitative research indicates that 56 % of Kenyan voters have ever received a bribe from a political aspirant/candidate.

Team meeting of “Peace from the Soil” with QMR in preparation of the research fieldwork

The community-based initiative “Peace from the Soil” was founded due to the impulse of taking action against corruption and bribery by developing a civic education program for rural voters. Emmanuel and the whole team felt that a better understanding and insights of voters´ attitudes, worries, and hopes in rural Kenya is needed as a basis for the training program.

QMR – Qualitative Mind Research was requested by Peace from the Soil and its´ founder Emmanuel to conduct a qualitative survey.

The research flanks the whole ongoing process of the democratic development project to deliver insights where needed. During the campaign, election, the setup and foundation of “Peace from the Soil”, our research methods were mainly participating observation and facilitating Focus Groups, which led to first results on bribery during the election and first hypotheses on underlying belief systems of voters in rural Kenyan areas.

Phase 2 of the research shall deliver input for the planned civic education program. From January we will be conducting 20 paired in-depth interviews (IDI‘s) at five different locations in Marafa Ward. Of course, this will be a kind of experiment and the next step in our learning process, because a setting like this is not common in rural Kenya until now. In each IDI setting we will have two respondents that know each other already (=40 respondents) and in addition the interviewer and the interpreter. Recruitment of respondents strives for a broad diversity (Age, educational level, gender, profession groups, residence, political preference). A potential third research module might evaluate the training program later.

Huge interest in our research project and technical equipment in rural Kenya

Stay tuned for first results and insights from the qualitative fieldwork in this challenging setting in one of the ESOMAR Foundation 2019 communication.. because as John Lennon once said….!

With warm regards, Emmanuel, Barbara and Astrid

 

ESOMAR Foundation, Women In Research, and Unilever Fund Scholarship in Guatemala

Scholarship awarded to Maria Paola Loy Villagran in Guatemala to pursue MS in market research at Universidad Rafael Landivar

 11 December 2018 – Amsterdam, NLThe ESOMAR Foundation—a charitable organization representing the market research industry—in cooperation with global non-profit Women in Research (WIRe) and Unilever, recently funded a scholarship benefiting a female student entering into an market research related field of study in Guatemala. The scholarship has been awarded to recipient Maria Paola Loy Villagran, who will be pursuing a Master of Science in Marketing with a focus on Market Research, at Universidad Rafael Landivar.

“We are ever so grateful to WIRe and Unilever for providing the opportunity to Paola to pursue her studies in the market research field,” says John Kearon, ESOMAR Foundation President. “It is through their generousity and support that we can ensure that talented students in need can fulfill their dream of a better life”

This year’s scholarship recipient, Maria Paola Loy Villagran, is a Guatemalan native from a disadvantaged socio-economic background. Through the scholarship, Paola will have the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree and, in the future, a career in market research. Through funding the education of women like Paola, the organizations involved help to advance the voice of women in the market research industry as well as the voice of Guatemalan women in the practice. Upon receiving word that the scholarship had been funded, Paola remarked that “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard WORK!”

Women in Research (WIRe) raised the funding for the scholarship through outreach to their global community, receiving a generous outpouring of gifts and support on Giving Tuesday: an international day of giving. These gifts were further supported by a matching donation from Unilever. WIRe is the only non-profit organization solely dedicated to the advancement of women and underrepresented communities in the market research industry, providing career development and educational opportunities for women while supporting a variety of diversity initiatives. Unilever, a global consumer goods company, with a strong focus on charitable initiatives, especially in emerging markets, matched the WIRe community’s contribution dollar for dollar for the scholarship fund. ESOMAR Foundation, WIRe and Unilever have previously collaborated to award scholarships in Kenya and Cambodia.

“We are thrilled that, for the third year in a row, the WIRe community and market research industry have come together to amplify underrepresented voices in this industry through the continued support of WIRe’s Global Scholarship Fund,” says Kristin Luck, founder of Women in Research, “The aims of the ESOMAR Foundation and this scholarship initiative align perfectly with WIRe’s mission to advance the contributions of women in market research while fostering a more vibrant and just industry for all. We’re pleased to offer this support to Paola as she advances in her studies with the goal of a career in Market Research and I’m humbled by the WIRe community’s continued enthusiasm regarding this initiative.”The ESOMAR Foundation and WIRe plan to continue to collaborate in 2019 to fund additional scholarship initiatives in emerging or disadvantaged markets.

######

About ESOMAR Foundation

ESOMAR Foundation is a charitable Foundation representing the Market, Social and Opinion Research industry. Our industry has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be applied to every aspect of society to ensure a more transparent, reliable and sustainable world. The ESOMAR Foundation is the charity arm of ESOMAR, the global industry association of market, social and opinion research. http://www.esomarfoundation.org

About Women in Research

Women in Research (WIRe) champions diversity in the marketing research industry by arming women with the tools to develop professionally, build connections and stay inspired. We believe in the positive impact of women in business. Our mission is to advance the contributions and voice of women in research, both for themselves and for the greater good of the industry. www.womeninresearch.org

###

 Media Contact:Jessica Sage, jessica@womeninresearch.org, +1 (760) 933-7274

Esomar Foundation logo

ESOMAR Foundation webinar: Focus on Design and Taking Action

 

The 4th and last webinar of the What different Qualitative Approaches can be used to achieve various objectives?” series will focus on research design and action. The webinar will give listeners an overall understanding of how to design and deliver a qualitative project that will really make a difference to their Not-for-Profit organisation’s impact.

The first speaker, Astrid Novianti, will talk about a particularly challenging project that was conducted in Indonesia – a very important, high profile and ‘political’ subject, with a sensitive and difficult audience – how did she make sure that the research design was right? That all aspects were covered? That the findings really drove the action strategy?

The subject of the study was Stunting – which is the impaired growth and development of children caused by poor nutrition and repeated infection resulting in their height being two standard deviations below the WHO Standards. Stunting in the first 1000 days from conception, has adverse consequences on cognition, educational performance, adult wages. It’s not a “visible” illness and goes undetected in the early days. Behavior change in health and nutrition leading to prevention of stunting is a key task in emerging markets.

Indonesia has a higher incidence of stunting among ASEAN Countries …1 in 3 children. The government of Indonesia has committed to an integrated National Nutrition Communication Campaign (NNCC) for behavior change targeted at individuals, communities, and stakeholders to minimize stunting. To this end, IMA World Health was commissioned by MCA Indonesia to design and implement an effective NNCC resulting in behavior change and lower stunting incidence.

Kantar TNS Indonesia conducted the in-depth study for understanding of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior related to mother and child nutrition and stunting – to identify the motivators and deterrents to desired behavior, including the role of different influencers and influences to aid integrated communication strategy development covering message and media/touchpoint strategies.

Astrid will share the difficulties, the thought process she went through, and what has been done as a result of the insights generated.

In the second part, we will have three speakers, Emmanuel, Barbara and Astrid, who want to share their very current experience around another difficult, sensitive and political topic – corruption in voting behavior in Kenya. They will offer insights into a qualitative research in progress on voter integrity in rural Kenya. After losing a successful grassroots campaign in the August 2017 general election they started collecting voices among the local campaigners, to document the process and gather first information on what might have happened.

“Corruption” turned out to be a complex multivariate concept, that needs further exploration to reframe it, learn from it and make it fruitful for future democratic development. But how? They will share how they will prepare for the second round of research in January 2019 to deepen our understanding of voter decision making and concepts of democracy that will provide the database for further action, as an information-based support network for upcoming local politicians and civic education training for this rural community.

They look for ideas and contribution from you, the audience. It is a very challenging assignment – how do you get people to talk to you honestly about such a topic, in a way that helps you know what to change? Do you have relevant experience that you can share?

 

A lifelong market researcher currently working on the GfK Verein’s University Cooperation Programme to improve the quality of education in Market Research in Africa and China.
Astrid is a team leader in TNS qualitative unit in Indonesia. She is a psychologist graduated from the University of Indonesia and have her Master of Science degree from Rijks Universiteit Groningen, the Netherlands, and with more than 10 years of research experience, she has the passion of understanding human behavior. With the rich experience of working both in the research agency side as well as consumer and market insights role with two different multinational clients (Heinz & Samsung). Astrid is an expert in providing deep and sharp analysis with an excellent understanding of business issues. She also provides added value of cultural context and psychological aspect beyond the findings.
Emmanuel Karisa Baya is an organic farmer from the coastal province of Kenya. He is the founder and executive director of Magarini-Centre, a CBO that teaches organic farming and supports 252 orphan children. In the 2017 general election he ran I for a seat in the local council (MCA) and is since then leading the local voter empowerment project Soil Peace in his community.

Barbara Kalusche is a senior qualitative research consultant based in Dresden, Germany. For the past five years, she has been using her psychology, journalism and deep democracy facilitation background to create forums for deeper understanding in highly polarized environments e.g. by developing facilitating-deutschland and oneworlddresden a platform for German and rural Kenyan students to connect.

Astrid Kunert is the co-founder and strategist of QMR, the Munich based Institute for high-end qualitative research. With more than two decades of market and social research experience, Astrid and her team have served national and international clients in a wide variety of industries including automotive, financial services, media as well as government institutions and NGOs.

 

We look forward to hearing from you next Wednesday, 28 November 2018, 17:00 CET for an enlightening discussion!

 

Learning a lot

This is the seventh blog-post from Paola Loy Villagran, the recipient of the ESOMAR Foundation scholarship in Guatemala. 

The last months I have been so busy that I have not even felt them, I am really learning a lot, working hard for the final exams this year.

I am recently receiving an Anthropology of Consumption and Neuromarketing course which introduces us to study different areas of consumption from a multidisciplinary perspective, combining approaches of the social sciences to understand the decision-making process of the consumer in a globalized environment. The main research method we are using is qualitative, particularly ethnographic. The course combines theoretical, analytical and methodological elements, all based on academic books and journals of recognized prestige.

Also, we are working in the design of effective and innovative distribution channels for real companies during classes, so it gives all students the opportunity to learn about current trends of distribution, communication and digital management to achieve business efficiency. The courses challenge us to solve cases of real companies, defend points of view as a team, like people in real companies do every day.


My friends and I during a presentation about cardamon companies

In personal terms, my birthday is coming soon, so I am really looking forward to celebrating it with all my family and enjoy one of the many traditions of the country and that I like so much to mention in this blog.

I am talking about the enormous and colorful kites soaring over the skies of Guatemala on the first and second of November of each year, a tradition that is part of the All Saints’ Day celebrations.

Kites with diameters between 24 and 30 meters are made of cloth and paper with bamboo frames, they usually contain religious or folkloric themes so they can be flown in the nearby Sacatepéquez cemetery to honor the dead during special dates.

People from all around the world visit Santiago Sacatepéquez during this event in order to learn about the legends of the country and that special day. According to the elders, the impact of the wind against the paper takes away the bad spirits, so the locals spent hours to make kites so the good spirits remain calm and stop receiving unwanted visits.

Giant kites during the celebration in Guatemala.

 

EF webinar 28 November: How can Qualitative Research support and inform a Non-Profit organisation’s aims and objectives?

The 4th Webinar in this series focusses on research design and action. Even when we fully appreciate the value that qualitative research can bring, the possibilities of different types of qualitative research, and have seen examples of some particularly challenging projects – it is not always easy or obvious to see what to do in your own particular situation. So in Webinar 4 we will pull all these different strands together and look at how to identify the issue that needs to be addressed and think about the best, and most cost-effective, research design to address it.  How to define the key insights, and then – most importantly – how do you define the most appropriate and most effective actions to take, based on the insights and findings of the research?

This webinar will give listeners an overall understanding of how to design and deliver a qualitative project that will really make a difference to their Not-for-Profit organisation’s impact.

MODERATOR Phyllis Macfarlane
Treasurer
ESOMAR Foundation

A lifelong market researcher currently working on the GfK Verein’s University Cooperation Programme to improve the quality of education in Market Research in Africa and China.

Astrid Kunert
Co-founder and strategist
QMR – Qualitative Mind Research

Astrid Kunert is the co-founder and strategist of QMR, the Munich based Institute for high-end qualitative research. With more than two decades of market and social research experience, Astrid and her team have served national and international clients in a wide variety of industries including automotive, financial services, media as well as government institutions and NGOs.

Barbara Kalusche
Senior Qualitative Research
Q-research

Barbara Kalusche is a senior qualitative research consultant based in Dresden, Germany. For the past five years, she has been using her psychology, journalism and deep democracy facilitation background to create forums for deeper understanding in highly polarized environments e.g. by developing facilitating-deutschland and oneworlddresden a platform for German and rural Kenyan students to connect.

Emmanuel Karisa Baya

Organic Farmer and founder “Peace from the soil”

Emmanuel Karisa Baya is an organic farmer from the coastal province of Kenya. He is the founder and executive director of Magarini-Centre, a CBO that teaches organic farming and supports 252 orphan children. In the 2017 general election he ran I for a seat in the local council (MCA) and is since then leading the local voter empowerment project Soil Peace in his community.

Astrid Noviant
Client Advisor
Kantar TNS Indonesia

Astrid is a team leader in TNS qualitative unit in Indonesia. She is a psychologist graduated from the University of Indonesia and have her Master of Science degree from Rijks Universiteit Groningen, the Netherlands, and with more than 10 years of research experience, she has the passion of understanding human behavior. With rich experience of working both in the research agency side as well as consumer and market insights role with two different multinational clients (Heinz & Samsung). Astrid is an expert in providing deep and sharp analysis with excellent understanding of business issues. She also provides added value of cultural context and psychological aspect beyond the findings.

 

28 November 2018, 17:00 CET

Great to see Nicolin’s progress!

Nicolin Mamuya, who was granted the first ESOMAR Foundation scholarship in South Africa, is broadening her experience as a graduate trainee and is thinking about a permanent job! 

 

The year is ending and I still feel as though I have a great deal of work to complete before visiting my family this December. I spend my days and weekends doing school projects and work. Massmart has really taught us, graduate trainees, about merchandising, strategic management as well as other different aspects within an organisation. I tend to converse with employees, from the different divisions under Massmart, to build insight on the different methods of marketing and operations in order to broaden my perspective and possibly draw branches on innovative ideas.

I was recently transferred to the marketing operations area under Builders, one of Massmart’s divisions. This means I assist with the store openings and events as well as the in-store radio management in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. I am truly happy with the position as it provides the opportunity for me to travel around Africa, something an extrovert like myself would fully enjoy.

On the 25th of October, I experienced my first Builders store opening. I had to prepare the materials on the day before, set up on the day of the opening and then ensure to manage the marketing activities in order to make certain that everything works out as planned. Pictures of the store opening are as below:

As tiring as it was, it was a great experience. We presented the first customer with a free braai stand (barbeque stand) leaving her very cheerful. The customers were amazed with the amended design of the new store. We offered free popcorn and slush puppies as well as advertised the new services that the organisation offered.  All of this was occurring while a local radio host played music and further advertised the offerings of the new store to the community. It was truly amazing! I cannot wait to open the next store to gain greater experience in order to lead the marketing of the future store openings.

I am also looking forward to visiting my family back in Tanzania. It has been over a year since I last spent time with them, which means seeing them would just boost my happiness and at least bring me into the year 2019 with greater confidence and bliss. Trusting to get a permanent position, I am looking to save money to try and invest in some form of woman empowerment group with the plans to empower females and fight against rape and other forms of abuse in Africa. I further plan to move into my own apartment and create a home for myself, instil better confidence in me and lastly, take greater care of my mother. I can only pray to succeed with my plans.

 

A Catch Twenty Two…

Blog post from Innocent Rwamba Nyaga who is following the MS in market research at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Innocent is the recipient of the ESOMAR Foundation / MSRA Scholarship sponsored by WIRe and Unilever.

So, after a whole year, my course work is over! Thank God! Just putting things in place in order to begin my thesis. Well, I haven’t really decided on what I shall be researching on therefore I need divine guidance on this one but hopefully I get that part done soon. Any ideas kindly share them with me on innocentimon@gmail.com if any.

A lot has been happening in my country (Kenya) and I’m pretty sure many might have caught this on international news and as perplexing as it is to outsiders, trust me it’s even more so to Kenyans (maybe worse). Just got me thinking on the many ways our public offices (the occupants of course) fail us as a people. The University of Nairobi, where I am currently studying, is a high calibre public institution. My just concluded semester saw me running around many of the finance offices just to get something so simple fixed and I got so frustrated, raised a great hue and cry but still my issue went unsolved. I had to involve two of my lecturers to have anyone listen to me at all. Eventually I had my issue resolved but not in the timely manner I would have wished.

I should probably mention that I started, at a very tender age, working in a well-known hotel (Sarova Hotels) and if there was something that was drilled into me was excellent service! So I have a serious problem accepting shoddy services. The same way attorneys make for bad witnesses, I cannot stand bad service. I should also mention that I work for a public institution (The National Museums of Kenya) well isn’t that interesting! I see the small and big ways we could improve. In short I have an inside and outside view of our public institutions.

As I write this I want to record, for my personal use, an account of the experiences I face now and compare them to those I shall go through in my future and I pray for a great shift. I don’t know about you but how effective are your public offices? Are they run successfully? If so, then we need a serious crash course!! Don’t get me wrong, I love my country dearly and the potential here (and in Africa) is insurmountable. I think till you live here one would never know the treasures that lie in our continent and this is what I want to see for myself and the future generations.

So in my capacity as a public officer, I try as much as I can to infuse a better attitude when dealing with internal and external customers and as always change the little world around me. Can interpersonal skills be taught or is one born with said skills? Opinions here might differ but I believe that a love for people (yes people) is necessary to be exceptional in dealing with customers. And this is true even when carrying out research studies.

In the same vein, great things are happening here. We are currently hosting the largest East African Travel Trade expo that is seeing travel agents from all over the world having a firsthand experience of Kenya and all it can offer. The one thing that has been standard on their (travel agents) reviews has been how awesome the Kenyan people are, we do love people here thus the topic. You’ll have to experience it to believe it, so come all and sundry.

Qualitative Research for Not-for-profit organisations – Webinar Summary (part 2)

On 17th of October, ESOMAR Foundation hosted the third webinar of the series Qualitative Research for Not-for-profit organisations. The webinar showcased real stories of recent qualitative research, and how it worked to help NFPs to achieve their objectives.

The online event was hosted by Phyllis Macfarlane (GFK & Esomar Foundation) and featured Simon Patterson, Founder and CEO at QRI Consulting and Philly Desai of UK-based international development consultancy Turnstone Research.

Philly presented a case study from Voices for Change, a UK AID programme in Nigeria which focuses on challenging discrimination against women and girls. The study aimed to identify the key influencers and opinion leaders of young people using an innovative approach for mapping social networks, offering new ways to impact on young people’s attitudes and behaviours.

Voices for Change focused on shifting the attitude on gender discrimination in Nigeria 

The Voices for Change programme focused on 16-25 year olds in four States of Nigeria – Kano and Kaduna in the north, and Enugu and Lagos in the south. We used a range of approaches to shift attitudes on gender issues, including direct work with young people; mass media approaches; and working via key influencers, such as religious and traditional leaders. It was this last area – using social networks and influencers – that my session focused on.

During the project design phase, our literature review suggested that religious and traditional leaders were influential on both young people and the parental generations. However, we wanted to check whether there were other people who might have a greater influence on young people, so we conducted a series of workshops in Enugu, south-east Nigeria, to explore this issue. We convened eight sessions of around 10 young people aged 16-25 and we asked them who was influential in their lives and opinions. Each young person drew a map of their social network, and then they introduced us to some of their key influencers. We interviewed these individuals, to find out about their attitudes and their openness to partnering with Voices for Change.

Who were the influencers?

The young people identified a wider range of influencers than our literature review had suggested. Religious leaders were important, but these might be youth pastors, local religious teachers or leaders of fellowships at college, rather than senior leaders of the church or mosque. Traditional rulers, surprisingly, were rarely mentioned. Informal influencers such as college lecturers, older brothers and sisters, the peer group, employers and workmates were also important. However, they can be difficult to identify as they are not found within traditional structures, such as the Church, NGOs or youth groups. Those in university had wide social networks, whilst those who were working had a more restricted range of influencers. This showed that one-size fits all approach would not work.

Based on our research, we made several changes to our strategy for influencing young people. We partnered with specific networks focusing on youths, such as the Girl Guides and National Youth Corps; we moved away from commercial networks such as Unions, towards informal groups such as football clubs; and we introduced selection criteria for the young people who took part in face to face work, to ensure that a proportion was well-connected in religious or student societies.

What’s the key takeaway?

No matter how good your literature review and how sound your strategy, you need to talk to your beneficiaries directly to find out what they really think, feel and do – and qualitative methods can help you do this.

About the author

Philly Desai is a senior researcher with over twenty-five years’ experience working on communications and behavioral change projects. For the first twenty years of his career, Philly worked mainly on government research in the UK. Recently he has been involved in projects in Africa (Nigeria, Malawi, and Zimbabwe), helping to design and evaluate international development programmes. The projects he developed and implemented covered health, crime, transport, security, gender equality, and private sector development.

Following the presentations, there was a live Q&A session. The whole thing was recorded, so you can watch it on demand. 

ESOMAR Foundation will be continuing the series with a new webinar on 28th of November – so watch this space for more details!

 

Watch the full webinar