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Studying during the pandemia

It’s a fact, COVID-19 is slowing down the studies of many students throughout the world! Here is news from our two students from Sri Lanka who are lucky enough to be able to study thanks to the generous support of SAPIO and WIRE/Unilever. The scholarship gives them an opportunity to face the challenges ahead and, surely, with universities closing down and distant lessons, life is not easy for them!

News from Ayesh:

Ayesh Maduranga Jayawardana

After my last blog, again university closed down due to Covid-19. At the moment I’m completing my final year first semester which is conducted online.

I learned the basics about research in the previous semester, but I have to do my research in the final year second semester (research subject complete in the last semester of the final year). So sadly, I’m still studying for my research.

As a consequence of Covid-19 (closing of my university and distance studying), I’m still a final year first-semester student and I haven’t graduated yet, but I hope to enter the job market soon and complete my internship.

Again I’m not forgetting the opportunity given to me by the ESOMAR Foundation! Thank you very much.

Ayesh is following a B.Sc. Marketing Management (special) degree program at the Department of Marketing Management Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. His scholarship was granted through a partnership with the global research consultancy Sapio Research.

News from Chamari:

Chamari Jeewanthi Hapuarachchi

When we consider my academic activities, I have already completed my exams. As a partial requirement for the complete B.Sc. Marketing Management (special )degree, we had to complete a “Research study” and “Internship”.

I have completed my Internship as a Management trainee in a well-reputed Digital Marketing Agency ebirds.lk. As a management trainee, I was able to develop my Digital Marketing practical knowledge, Interpersonal communication skills, Leadership and Time management skills, Research study skills, Analytics and Decision-making skills, and many more related to the administration.

Due to the growth of obesity and overweight in Sri Lanka, I conducted my research study based on the impact of fitness -health-related social media group engagement on healthy food choice and physical fitness, with special reference to fitness inspiration contents. Finally, the Marketing Department announced that they have selected my research study for the Top 25 Research studies. Therefore I have to present my research study at the Undergraduate research symposium of the Department of Marketing Management that will be held on 6th April. I have to arrange a presentation and get ready for that event.

On 16th March I joined Moonstar Groom Designer as e-commerce manager and here my job role is the management of e-commerce website and online marketing including social media marketing.

I love to win. Therefore I always learn something special and do all I can to achieve success. I also help and encourage others to be successful. Nowadays I’m studying more concepts related to digital marketing because I want to be a marketer. I completed few digital marketing-related online courses and I’m constantly learning, because I want to excel in the industry.

Finally, I want to thank very much the ESOMAR Foundation for the kind support I received to complete my higher education. Your scholarship helped me to undertake my academic activities as I so much wanted!

Chamari is following a B.Sc. Marketing Management (special) degree program at the Department of Marketing Management Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Chamari is the recipient of a scholarship funded through a partnership with global non-profit Women in Research (WIRe) and Unilever.

A note from the ESOMAR Foundation:

We really enjoy following your progress and your personal lives during these years of your study. We are also happy that you can get through your studies in spite of the difficult times, and that the ESOMAR Foundation can contribute to fulfilling your dream!

We wish to thank our sponsors for so generously allowing us to provide these two scholarships:


EF webinar: Study on the relationship between well-being and socio-environmental practices in municipalities of Chile

The seminar will present the results of a study developed by Fundación Basura and GFK company regarding the main socio-environmental practices carried out by people and the relationship these kind of actions have with common well-being, placing special emphasis on the role that municipalities play as promoters of these practices at the community level.

Attendees will understand the following:

  • What kind of practices are people implementing in their daily lives?
  • What is the role that people assign to their municipalities?
  • What kinds of individual actions are related to the collective welfare?

Architect from the PUC with an MSc in energy, technology and sustainable structures from TU Berlin, Germany and International Master in Sustainable Projects from IFA in Madrid, Spain. Since 2011 he has created, directed and coordinated projects around the reuse of materials and citizen participation in architecture in L’Aquila, Italy, Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Chile. Selected as one of the 10 socio-environmental entrepreneurs of Chile of YouthActionNet generation 2016. She worked as communications coordinator of the Latin American network of anerobic biodigestion (RedBioLAC), as a teacher of the course Laboratory of Circular Economy applied in Architecture of the P. Universidad Católica de Chile. She currently works as Executive Director of Fundación Basura

Passionate about the role of data and market research in shaping the lives of people, Dilek has over 20 years of experience as an active market research practitioner on both agency and client-side. She has worked in Personal Care, Foods, Home Care, Tobacco, Office Products and Consumer Health categories across Turkey, UK and US throughout her career.

After some soul searching in 2015, Dilek has decided that part of her heart and passion also lies in Sustainable Development and helping UN, governments, NGOs, and Academia with services and data that they need for the measurement and implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goals. She has been involved in speeches in several UN Side Events to this end, to promote the importance of market research to understand citizen perceptions to the governments. And, therefore, she currently divides her time between her job at Johnson &Johnson and her role in Paragon Partnerships, a global network of Market Research professionals coming together to help Sustainable Development, where she acts as the Executive Coordinator. Dilek is also an avid photographer and Red Cross volunteer.


Live webinar 25 November 2020, 17:00 Amsterdam | 13:00 Santiago de Chile



EF webinar: Impact of The Pandemic in Latin America – Understanding doctors’ perspectives

In September 2019, Fine Research began an unprecedented study in the region of challenges in the medical profession. Two months before the pandemic outbreak in Wuhan, their team asked doctors in North and Latin America about the health situation in their countries and their level of preparedness in case of a calamity. With the start of the pandemic, Fine Research decided to start a series of projects on #COVID19. The latest piece, completed in late May 2020, involved a large-scale fieldwork in 16 countries, interviewing over 5000 physicians in Latin America with the aim of understanding the main challenges they face in the midst of the pandemic.

The project, which was shared in the media in several countries in Latin America, details the impact of COVID-19 in the region grouping insights into four main axes: assessment of policies, evidence on the pandemic, impact in doctors and future scenarios.

For this webinar, Diego Casaravilla, Fine Research Director will be joined by Ana Maria Mendéz, National Fundraising Director, Save The Children (Colombia).

You will discover answers to:

– What were the main health priorities before the pandemic?

– How do doctors rate hospital infrastructures and country policies?

– What are the new professional challenges for doctors?

– How has the current context impacted doctors emotionally?

– How has the pandemic affected treatment adherence for Cancer, HIV or Diabetes patients?

– What future scenarios do HCPs imagine will be likely to happen?

Attendees will have a better understanding of the near term, and longer-lasting consumer impacts and changes as a result of COVID-19.


Diego has founded and fully manages Fine Research, an independent MR data collection network in Latin America with offices in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay. His agency focuses on healthcare., consumer and b2b fielding. Created in 2008, Fine Panel, is the first and largest panel of Healthcare professionals in LatAm with over 100,000 active members in this region.


Ana Maria is Marketing and Fundraising Director of Save The Children Colombia. She holds and MA in Marketing and over 6 years of experience in the sector and has coordinated the launch of several marketing campaigns that yielded over 250% annual growth in funds raised over the past three years.


Live webinar 23 July 2020, 17:00 C.E.S.T | 12:00 GMT-3 



EF webinar: Understanding and Planning for Consumer Changes as We Adapt to The New Normal

ITWP companies Toluna, Harris Interactive and KuRunData have developed Global Barometer that’s run in 19 markets every two weeks.  The study provides insights into the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic has had on daily life, the way people shop, the products they purchase, and ultimately what behaviors we anticipate consumers continuing when the pandemic is over.

We’ll speak about the following;

  • Government involvement – In the eyes of consumers, brands haven’t been perceived as supportive during this crisis. However, retail establishments have been well-perceived.  Many consumers feel that governments and brands need to work together during the pandemic, however they don’t see this happening any time soon.
  • Consumer stress and consumption impacts – Consumers are stressed and behaving differently as a result.  They report that they want to take care of themselves, but have also reported that they’re eating poorly, and taking less exercise.
  • Restrictions have been eased, what will consumers feel comfortable doing – Many are looking forward to business as usual, and venturing out, but they will be more conservative financially (and take fewer health risks).
  • Where will people spend, where won’t they – Again, we’ve seen consumers react to the pandemic in many ways.  People have reported that they will be more financially conservative, but do place value on giving back to their community and charity in new ways.

Attendees will have a better understanding of the near term, and longer-lasting consumer impacts and changes as a result of COVID-19.


Frédéric is an industry visionary and speaks often among industry leaders about the transformation of market research, impacts of automation and more. As CEO of ITWP, Frederic leads a staff of more than 1,400 spanning 24 offices and 5 continents as Toluna and Harris Interactive Europe.


Janice is a marketing professional with close to 20 years experience and a proven track record for developing results-oriented marketing programs. She couples senior-level experience with tactical know-how that spans enterprise-wide strategic branding programs through to digital and social marketing strategies.


Live webinar 24 June 2020, 17:00 C.E.S.T | 11:00 US E.S.T. 



EF webinar: Thriving During Crises

Thriving During Crises Webinar Rescheduled – New Date & Time To Be Announced!

Right now your organisation is probably facing some variants of these three questions.

How should you deliver your offer? How can your communication messages cut through? And, of course, how do you ensure income keeps flowing?

‘Thriving During Crises’ will explore the intersection of research, crisis communications and leadership.

This webinar presented by Patrick Olszowski from Outrageous Impact will offer practical tips and steps you can take today to start to prepare your organisation to weather the storm and be ready, for whatever comes.

Building on 20 years’ experience of crisis comms and research, there will also be the chance to have your pressing questions answered.

Patrick is a qualitative researcher who works with people positively changing the world. Patrick’s firm, Outrageous Impact, is on a mission to put powerful research into the hands of charities and mission-driven organisations, in order to answer their most critical questions.

Outrageous Impact brings together an experienced network of senior researchers and communicators, from a range of disciplines, to help organisations to change the world faster.

During his career, Patrick has raised millions of pounds, changed laws and been involved in responding to global events including Grenfell Tower, Covid-19, and the migrant crisis.

Patrick recently founded CrisisConnections.info, connecting 80+ experienced professionals with charities around the world for free 1hr advice sessions.

Outrageous Impact has worked alongside organisations including Which?, Stroke Association, a Fortune 500 healthcare company, The Brooke animal charity, Time to Change and more.



EF webinar: Charity Advertising in a Time of Crisis

The global pandemic and its far-reaching effects have caused uncertainty and anxiety throughout the world. The Covid19 crisis has had a devastating effect on every corner of the economy. The charity sector is no exception.

Charities and not-for-profits are looking at what they can and need to do in order to capitalize on the new reality. New environments, relationships, and opportunities develop. Smart, focused marketing that strikes the right tone can help nonprofits overcome this time of crisis, stretch their budgets, find new audiences, and even grow.

In this discussion, we’ll evaluate the most pressing needs for Not-for-profit Organisations looking to survive and adapt to the current crisis. John Kearon, System1 C.E.O. and ESOMAR Foundation President will answer the following questions for you.

  • How Covid19 has impacted people’s feelings & behaviour around the world?
  • What impact Covid19 has had on people’s attitudes to Charities & their advertising?
  • How well are Charities doing in their communication in this time for crisis?
  • Will the impact of Coronavirus lead to an advertising reset for Charities?
  • How can Charities best succeed in this time of crisis?

This is a unique opportunity to learn about the value and potential for advertising for your not-for-profit organisation.

CEO of System1 Group PLC; voted most Innovative Research Agency in the world for the last 5 years running. John’s recipe for entrepreneurial success is; creativity, resilience, determination, perseverance, stamina, drive, imagination, resourcefulness, courage, self-belief, commitment, ability to go without sleep and a touch of madness.

Prior to BrainJuicer, John founded innovation agency, Brand Genetics and before that, John was Planning Director at Publicis having joined from Unilever, where he held a number of research and marketing positions. Since September 2017 he holds the President position at ESOMAR Foundation.


Live webinar 8 June 2020, 17:00 C.E.S.T | 16:00 B.S.T



From Panic to Pivot: A Practical Guide to Remote Programming (and Fundraising) for Charitable Organisations Operating during Times of Crisis

How can you be nimble in the face of events that impact the trajectory of your NPO’s mission? Challenges even in the best of times seem to emerge by the day and with them a call to pivot campaigns and adjust operations.

COVID-19 — the most recent and wide-reaching hurdle to date — has asked charitable campaigns to adapt like never before: adaption necessary to ensure operational longevity, economic health, and continued stakeholder support of charities and non-profits. And also undoubtedly leaving a lasting, seismic impact on our campaigns and communities.

In this discussion, we’ll evaluate the most pressing needs for Not-for-profit Organisations looking to survive and thrive while having to quickly pivot, weigh the opportunities (and options) for conscientious fundraising, and share how to leverage the resources your community needs now to ensure sponsorship dollars down the road.

Michelle has held executive and management level marketing and design positions in a variety of industries, from corporate to agency to nonprofit. Michelle is the Managing Director of Women in Research (WIRe), a nonprofit organization that champions diversity in the marketing research industry by arming women with the tools to develop professionally, build connections and stay inspired. She holds an advanced degrees in marketing and design and is a past recipient of the International Stevie Award for Women in Business, the Women in Business and the Professions World Award and the Best in Biz Marketing Executive Award. A devoted proponent of the arts, Michellevolunteers with a variety of community cultural activities and organizations. She lives in the mountains of Oregon in the U.S. with her husband, son, daughter, giant cat and tiny dog.

Jessica serves as the Marketing and Events Director for Women in Research, a non-profit who’s mission is to foster diversity in the Market Research industry. She received her MA in Critical Theory from Pacific Northwest College of Art and her BA from The Evergreen State College. Prior to her work with WIRe she served as a Thesis Advisor and Community Engagement Specialist at PNCA, assisting with the school’s vision of a more inclusive and accessible arts education. A lifelong proponent of slow and local food, she’s the co-founder of a community farmer’s market, has worked with organizations such as the YWCA in the service of eliminating racism and empowering women, and is a freelance content and writing coach.


Live webinar 11 May 2020, 17:00 C.E.S.T | 08:00 P.S.T



ESOMAR Foundation Webinar: Standing Out From The Crowd – NGO Marketing and Semiotics

The third sector is having an especially difficult time right now because of coronavirus. It’s hard to get donors to part with their money when they are worried about their own families and economic futures. But even before Covid-19, NGOs faced challenges of marketing themselves.

·         Challenges of differentiation. Some causes are rather over-crowded with similar charities so that it’s hard for the public to tell them apart.

·         Challenges of understanding donor motivation. In the private sector, brands are obsessed with consumer need. But where is the equivalent need in a potential donor?

·         Challenges of communication. Sometimes the marketing communications of an NGO are intended to say one thing but actually communicate something else to the public.

In recent years, a new form of research has become very popular with marketers. Its name is semiotics. It improves on traditional survey research in a host of different ways. Some of its key features are as follows.

·         It’s very cost-effective. Because it doesn’t usually involve asking consumers direct questions, you can do it for a fraction of the cost of a normal market research project.

·         It’s accessible. Semiotics is a craft skill that can be acquired by anyone who is motivated to learn. You don’t need specialist software or a degree in statistics.

·         The solutions it delivers are based on more than the preferences of individual donors. They arise from a deep understanding of mass culture. Donors aren’t all different from each other, their attitudes and opinions are formed by their membership of various cultural groups. With semiotics, you can address large audiences with culturally appropriate messages.

Dr. Rachel Lawes is the author of “Using Semiotics in Marketing” (Kogan Page, 2020), the very first book which provides a practical, step-by-step course in semiotics for marketers. In this webinar, designed especially for us, she passes on some techniques from semiotics that any NGO can start using right away to get donors on board and keep them there through difficult times.


Live webinar 13 May 2020, 17:00 CEST



Life is a river

That’s me! first from the right

This is the first blog-post from Chamari Jeewanthi Hapuarachchcige, who is following the B.Sc. Marketing Management degree program at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.

Life is a river. Why I’m saying that? Like the river passing through rocks, we also have to face lots of challenges in our lives. In my life, I have faced lots of challenges and probably I will have to face them in the future too. Because our lives are like a river traversing a valley and within this life journey we have to face problems it’s good to say, ESOMAR Foundation helped me face my life challenges well.

With this scholarship and with hard work, I could be able to get high academic results for my last semester with 4 A passes, one B plus pass and one C plus. End of the 3rd year my GPA was 3.25 which was a decline of my academic results compared with the previous year fact which happened due to the first semester results.

Now I am in my final student year at University of Sri Jayawardenepura following my academic studies with the support of my lecture panels and colleagues. I am preparing for the final year first semester examination which will begin in March and aiming to get high grades at all the exams.

Apart from the academic activities, I have actively participated in Vibes of Marketing -2020, event conducted by the Department of Marketing Management. I was a sub coordinator of the finance team where I coordinated 3 fundraising events: Back cover selling at university premise, Raffle draw, and Official vibes T-shirts. During my involvement in these events as coordinator, I had to face lots of challenges but finally we were able to deliver the event successfully. By taking part in these kind of events I am able to gain valuable experience which can eventually help me achieve my life goals.

Finally, I would like to thank again ESOMAR Foundation for offering me a this scholarship and offer great support on my academic activities as well as non-academic activities. Just like the river traversing a valley, I’ll achieve my life goals thanks to this support and my hard work.

Chamari Jeewanthi is following a B.Sc. Marketing Management (special) degree program at the Department of Marketing Management Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Chamari is the recipient of a scholarship funded through a partnership with global non-profit Women in Research (WIRe) and Unilever.

Partners & Sponsors



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

Sri Lankan Vibes

That's me! Ayesh Maduranga Jayawardana
That’s me! Ayesh Maduranga Jayawardana

“Time is flying”, earlier I thought that it’s just another word but now I can realize it’s actually true. I am now in the first semester of my third year of university. Last year I achieved some of the goals I have planned. In the first university year, my GPA value was 2.77 but with some hard works and dedication, I was able to achieve a 3.43 GPA at the end of the second year.

At the end of the second year and beginning of the third, I had the opportunity to participate in several events organized by my department. INCEPTION, VIBES are some of them. VIBES is the biggest outdoor concert organized by a university in Sri Lanka.

These days I am trying to improve my communication skills. Striving to achieve this, because it’s very important for my future career. Together with my colleagues, I am planning our annual department trip, it is going to be a very interesting one. Last year it gave us lots of memories and we hope this one will be even more interesting because we know each other better than the previous year.

The third-year first-semester examination will begin in March so I have to prepare for it as well. These days I am giving more attention for studies because there are six subjects this semester for examination and I have to work hard for passing all of them. I would like to especially thank ESOMAR Foundation for offering me this Scholarship so I can freely focus on my studies.

me with some of my colleagues
me with some of my colleagues
VIBES - the biggest outdoor concert organized by a university in Sri Lanka
VIBES – the biggest outdoor concert organized by a university in Sri Lanka

I am in the middle of my university studies. In these two years left, I hope to develop my academic results and I also hope to participate in and coordinate as many events as I can. They help me become a practical marketer and I can learn so many things from these events. Our panel of lecturers gives immense support for doing all this. I would like to thank the ESOMAR Foundation and Sapio Research for the support offered to my education. It is a great help for my future and I can heavily focus on my main goals thanks to ESOMAR.

Ayesh is following a B.Sc. Marketing Management (special) degree program at the Department of Marketing Management Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. His scholarship was granted through a partnership with the global research consultancy Sapio Research.

Partners & Sponsors


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