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Awareness of human trafficking risks among vulnerable children and youth in Ukraine

Ukraine is a country of origin, transit and destination for trafficking of men, women and children.

According to the research commissioned by the International Organization for Migration mission in Ukraine and conducted by GfK Ukraine, over 230,000 Ukrainians have become victims of human trafficking since 1991. It makes Ukraine one of the main countries of origin of trafficking of human beings in Europe. Internal trafficking is also a growing problem. The number of human trafficking victims increased as a result of the war in the East of Ukraine.

The survey aimed to define the vulnerability and the level of awareness of human trafficking among nine groups of children and youth in Ukraine. The survey covered children in difficult life circumstances and orphans; children from foster families and family-type homes; children displaced from the conflict zone in the East of Ukraine; children with special needs; homeless children; young people detained in penitentiaries; and youth of vocational schools. The most numerous group was the youth at vocational schools (315,600 persons), while the youth in penitentiaries was the least numerous (217 persons).

Forty (40%) per cent of vulnerable minors from 13 to 17 are ready to accept at least one offer that may lead to their involvement in human trafficking.

The survey was conducted via a face-to-face interview method. 2,079 children and young people were surveyed. GfK Ukraine gathered statistics on the number and distribution of each group of children and built the sample accordingly.

Six indicators of awareness of human trafficking and vulnerability were designed and calculated: awareness of the human trafficking forms; estimation of the risk to get involved in human trafficking; propensity to risky behaviour; the level of dangers of the social environment; awareness of safeguards against human trafficking; awareness of where to address if got involved in human trafficking.

The most disturbing results showed the indicator of propensity to risky behaviour. Children were asked whether they would accept different risky proposals from relatives, friends, neighbours, teachers, strangers, etc. 40% of vulnerable minors from 13 to 17 are ready to accept at least one offer that may lead to their involvement in human trafficking. The youth in penitentiaries are the most inclined to accept risky proposals (72%). Children would be most inclined to accept the proposal to work without official employment in Ukraine, to try drugs, to get in a stranger’s car, to go to strangers’ homes, or to undertake suspicious or illegal work that is well paid.

Support and involvement of public figures and the civil society

The survey has a great impact on the counter-trafficking activities in Ukraine either on national level, or on local one. According to the results of the survey, IOM Mission in Ukraine developed the strategy for counter-trafficking (CT) awareness-raising campaigns, including a public service announcement (PSA) on trafficking in persons filmed in 2017 with a famous Ukrainian singer, winner of Eurovision 2016 – Jamala, which is an integral part of the National Counter-Trafficking Information Campaign “Danger Might Be Invisible at First in Ukraine”.

IOM partner NGOs used the data on the level of children’s vulnerability to human trafficking for local advocacy and prevention initiatives, including the campaign aimed to strengthen the National Referral Mechanism for Assisting Victims of Trafficking in every oblast of Ukraine.

Impact data

IOM implements a variety of human trafficking prevention activities. To improve the existing counter-trafficking practice, it conducted specific surveys on a regular basis to identify the most vulnerable and at-risk populations. Taking into consideration the results of the commissioned survey, IOM supported NGO small-grant projects in every oblasts of Ukraine focused on targeted awareness increase and prevention work among the identified key vulnerable groups of children and youth with the highest risks of human trafficking. As a result of these projects, more than 63,000 vulnerable children and youth increased their knowledge of various types of human trafficking and basic rules of safe migration and employment.

In 2018, the second wave of the survey will be conducted by GfK Ukraine.

* The survey was conducted in December 2015 by GfK Ukraine for IOM and covered all oblasts of Ukraine except for territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts that are not under the control of the Ukrainian government and AR Crimea.

About the Author:

Tamila Konoplytska, Senior Researcher at GFK Ukraine

Inna Volosevych, Head of Social and Political Research Department at GFK Ukraine

John Kearon

‘Making a Difference’ to Not-for-Profits


A message from John Kearon, President of the ESOMAR Foundation

Researchers are a wonderful lot.

We’re not particularly loud, extrovert or nakedly ambitious.

But we are generally curious, knowledgeable and keen to make a difference.

And a world in turmoil needs inventive solutions from researchers at their best, more than ever.

Which is exactly why the ESOMAR Foundation was set up, to build a better world using the know-how and resources of the Market Research community.

The Foundation is still small and run almost exclusively on a volunteer basis. So to maximise its impact with limited resources, we’ve decided to focus the Foundation on ‘Making a Difference’ to Not-for-Profits.  To this end, we’ve created an annual ‘Making a Difference’ programme, culminating each year at the ESOMAR Congress, with a celebration of the ways in which our community of the research willing has helped make the world a better place.

‘Making a Difference’ Competition [Entries by 13 April 2018]


The competition is the centre-piece of the Foundation’s ‘Making a Difference’ programme. It highlights and promotes how the best of research has made a significant difference to Not-For-Profits (NFP). If you think you have a case study that shows how research has really helped a Not-for-Profit, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE enter it to the competition before 13 April. You find all details on how to enter the competition on the ‘Making a Difference’ Annual Competition page on the ESOMAR Foundation website. All submissions will be added to the Foundation’s ‘Making a Difference’ online library and made freely available, to inspire and promote the use of market research in helping to build a better world.

There will be three ‘Making a Difference’ prizes; one for the best international NFP case study, one for the best local/domestic NFP case study and one for the most innovative case study. The winners will be announced at ESOMAR’s Asia Pacific Conference on 15 May. Each of the three winners win a donation for their featured Not-for-Profit and invited to present their work at a special ‘Making a Difference’ session at the 2018 ESOMAR Congress in Berlin on 25 September.

To help promote the impact of great research on NFPs, the Foundation is looking for speaking opportunities for the three winners, at Not-For-Profit conferences. In addition, ESOMAR have generously offered a ‘Making a Difference’ slot at every one of their conferences. The Foundation will invite presentations from those who submitted a ‘Commended’ case study and are located in the country where the ESOMAR conference is being held.

Raise awareness of the impact of great research on Not-For-Profits

Currently, many Not-For-Profits see research only in terms of population level facts and figures on poverty, sanitation, medicine, education etc. They are mostly unaware of the immense value that great qualitative, ethnographic and new research methodologies can have on improving the effectiveness of their work. Our hope is through the ever-increasing database and promotion of ‘Making a Difference’ case studies, we can encourage usage of more insightful and inventive research and massively increase the overall impact of market research in building a better world.

My hope for the coming years, is by securing the Foundation’s funding, focussing on helping Not-for-Profits and creating a large ‘community of the research willing’, that together we can build and extend the impact of the Foundation’s tremendous work to date, in building a better world.

So, join the ‘Making a Difference’ Annual Competition, help us celebrate the ways in which our community of the research willing has helped make the world a better place.


Research can help us understand the human condition

Can it go further, and help us to better it? We look at an advertising campaign run by the ESOMAR Foundation using research insight to improve people’s lives. Armed with a generous gift of online banner advertising space from AOL’s own Foundation Oath for Good, here is what happened.

Three years ago ESOMAR created the Foundation to use the knowledge, skills, creativity, interest and resources of researchers to help charities improve people’s lives.

To raise awareness, funds and engagement from the research industry, the Foundation decided to run its first advertising campaign, armed with a generous gift of online banner advertising space from AOL’s own Foundation Oath for Good. The challenge was the same as researchers and their commercial clients are always facing – how do you articulate your purpose into marketing that drives profitable growth? The goals of a non-profit may be broader than for a commercial brand but the skills are the same. This is the story of one such challenge – how to turn the purpose of the Foundation into a campaign that can use research insight to improve people’s lives.

We decided early on to focus the campaign on last year’s ‘Best Paper’ from Congress: an inspiring case study from My Choices Foundation, on how a better understanding of the causes of sex-trafficking in India could help tackle the issue.

Research at its best

The My Choices Foundation (an anti-trafficking charity) and their research agency Final Mile, explored the causes of sex trafficking. The research spanned interviews with NGOs, campaigners, but also individuals directly involved, such as villagers whose daughters had been trafficked.

It was powerful, complex, and hard work – inevitably given the difficulty and raw emotion surrounding the issue.

Their work represented research at its best – and we decided to translate its nuanced and complex findings into a campaign that would grab people emotionally and raise both awareness and money. We were delighted to donate our time and skills to help.

We knew that emotional impact would be absolutely critical to the campaign’s success. As the work of Les Binet and Peter Field has demonstrated, the best route to short-term response and long-term effectiveness for a campaign is emotion. That applies to non-profits too.

Sex trafficking is obviously a highly emotive subject. But because it’s so harrowing, the sad truth is it’s an all too human response to switch off, block out the unpleasant information, and ignore it. That was our first challenge. Our second was the media space generously donated by AOL for the campaign required a banner ad approach. Banner ads have a bad reputation for emotional advertising – too many years of bland or intrusive campaigns mean people tune them out. To do justice to My Choice Foundation’s research we needed an emotional approach that would generate an immediate response, as well as build the ESOMAR Foundation’s long-term fundraising and mission to improve people’s lives.

John Kearon is CEO of System 1 Group PLC and President of the ESOMAR Foundation.

I am one in a million

How Street Invest  and Big Sofa created a remarkable video : ‘I am One in a Million’ from qualitative research findings – with the objective of changing the public perception of Street Children – to humanise them.

Street children’s stories: “I am one in a million”    

Street children are young people who live and / or work on the streets and they can be found in every country of the world. The global population of street children is contested, however UNICEF state that the figure almost certainly runs into tens of millions and have put this figure as high as 150 million.

The need for accurate and disaggregated data is vital in providing support to this ‘missing’ population and qualitative and quantitative data have roles to play. To quote ODI’s The Data Revolution: “even the most willing governments cannot efficiently deliver services if they do not know who those people are.”

Positive change starts with informed perceptions

Quantitative data is needed to demonstrate the scale of the issue – the number of children living on the streets of a given country and the demographic of that population. But it is qualitative data that paints a true picture of street children’s realities and the complexity of the challenges they face day to day. Without such data, stakeholders, from NGOs to governments, cannot be properly equipped to intervene in street children’s lives.

Misinformed perceptions can lead to highly damaging actions. For example, if street children are seen as criminals, it can lead to incarceration and violence. If they are seen as passive victims with no rights, they may be removed from the streets at all costs, even if it is against their will or not in their best interest.

StreetInvest, a global charity that provides support to street children, approached video analytics company Big Sofa, to conduct a qualitative research study into street children, to try and challenge these perceptions as a starting point to drive change. 

Ethnography on the streets

The research methodology was developed based on exploratory and ethnographic qualitative methods and was conducted in four countries: Guatemala, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and India.

Street children are often highly mistrustful of adults, who they may associate with abuse, which made access a barrier. It was agreed that the most effective and ethical* way to conduct the interviews was to utilise existing relationships between the street children and the ‘street workers’ in StreetInvest’s network. Street workers are trained adult social workers, who operate in street environments to build strong, trusting relationships with street children, to help them develop and grow in a positive way.

The discussion guide covered seven key areas: 1. relationship with family; 2. context around leaving home; 3. everyday lives, especially experiences around food and shelter; 4. experiences with “others” including non-street connected adults and children, other street children and institutions such as police, government officials; 5. work and money; 6. their knowledge of their rights; 7. future aspirations.

Fieldwork commenced over a six-week period and during this time, the street workers recorded 21 interviews and additional observational footage, with footage ranging in length between 2 minutes and 56 minutes.

The power of video analytics

The data was uploaded to Big Sofa’s platform after being translated and transcribed. The videos were analysed within the platform, its technology allowing analysts to code and tag specific speech patterns and phrases, based on the transcript, as well as behaviors, based on the visuals. Codes were drawn from the discussion guide, for example “Rights” and additional themes emerged during the analysis process, such as “Playtime” and “Religion”.

After analysing the raw footage and identifying key insights, a three minute long output film was created. The film used direct quotes from the children, organised thematically to share powerful insights into their lives. StreetInvest also have access to the extensive, searchable online video library of street child interviews, stored securely on Big Sofa’s platform.

Impactful, shareable output

Big Sofa’s technology can draw quantitative data from qualitative inputs, but the relatively small scale of the study meant the dataset could not be used for quantification. No matter: the power of this study lies in the shareable and impactful output film.

The film is a versatile asset which StreetInvest will use to support numerous streams of its strategy, including awareness raising and advocacy. One such example is its inclusion in StreetInvest’s ‘Values and Attitudes’ workshop. These workshops have been delivered to high-level stakeholders, including the Department of Social Welfare in Ghana and the film will help build deeper empathy and understanding among participants. Through this research, street children have been able to share their own stories, using in their own voice, in a manner which can be shared with those who have the power to change their lives.

* All the street workers involved were trained in Child Protection and informed consent was gained from the young people who participated in the filming.

About the Authors:

Georgina Day, Charity Impact and Communications at StreetInvest, UK

Flora Somogyi, Consultant at Big Sofa, UK

Transforming LGBT Opponents into Allies

How Research Guided Program Strategy and the Behavior and Attitudinal Shift that Resulted from It


In 2015 the only LGBT non-profit organization in Cambodia, Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK), commissioned Kantar TNS Cambodia to conduct a large-scope baseline study to objectively verify and understand the situation of the LGBT population in Cambodia especially from the straight community’s perspective. The Opinions, Attitudes and Behavior toward the LGBT Population in Cambodia study employed both qualitative and quantitative methods. The 1,085 sample was among straight people and 478 among LGBT respondents in 10 provinces and Phnom Penh capital. The study was representative of the Cambodian target population with respect to gender, income, and urban/rural populations. Focus group discussions were also used to unearth personal narratives and experiences to better understand the trends we learned through survey research.

Key findings from the research have been used by RoCK for the organization’s strategic planning and program implementations. One of the programs is a training on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and LGBT human rights providing to the straight community with a particular focus on local authorities in order to make LGBT issues and people more visible, ordinary, normal and natural as part of everyday life in Cambodia.

To understand how our 2015 study has been used to create impact, we further explored RoCK’s program implementation, specifically among straight people. The effect of the program, which is a result of the research, is demonstrated through case studies and through the 2017 survey results (was comprised of 1,683 straight people across 11 provinces and the capital city in both urban and rural areas).

LGBT rejection and acceptance levels among straight people

Evidence from a follow-up study in 2017 with straight people, who had not participated in RoCK’s workshop, indicates that the living environment for LGBT in Cambodia has not improved. Hence, Cambodia needs an intervention to improve the living conditions for LGBT people by transforming LGBT opponents, especially extreme opponents, into allies.

We classified LGBT opponents and supporters into four categories (graph below). The LGBT rejection and support spectrum shows that while no less than three in ten Cambodians completely reject LGBT in the last two years, the number drops to only one in ten for those who completely support LGBT in the same periods. Although about half of Cambodians support LGBT, they tend to moderately support them (nearly four in ten) rather than completely support them (one in ten).

Figure 1: LGBT rejection and support spectrum


RoCK intervention program results

Post-test of the workshops conducted by RoCK among 149 participants shows that after the training all of them agree same-sex love is human rights; the majority (97%) come to an understanding that there should be laws or policies supporting LGBT couples and recognizing their relationship; and almost all of them (97%) believe people are LGBT because of “their nature” not “their choice”.

Our case studies with four straight participants in two provinces, Kompong Speu and Battambang, reaffirm the knowledge gained mentioned above. The knowledge shift that ultimately leads to attitudinal and behavioral change among straight people across LGBT rejection and support spectrum is illustrated in our paper http://www.tnsglobal.com/press-release/transforming-lgbt-opponents-allies.

An added value for RoCK and other NGOs

It is evident that the LGBT problems will not improve without a program intervention given that SOGI and LGBT rights are a relatively new – or still nonexistent – topic in public discourse. Being in an infant stage can also offer advantages in mainstreaming straight people in Cambodia since it is easier to raise awareness among those who have no knowledge than to teach them to “unlearn” in order to “relearn”.

RoCK workshops that have been conducted since 2016 positively impact participants we interviewed, especially the opposed ones. Since RoCK has not had concrete way to measure long-term impact of the program, it would be good for RoCK to conduct rigorous evaluation in order to closely monitor the perceptions, attitudes and behavior change of their participants. We are very pleased that RoCK contacted us after we finished our paper for input on workshop evaluation to track the impact of the program.

In addition, we have been invited to be guest speakers to share our findings. For instance, WaterAid Cambodia recently contacted us to present our findings to their staff in order to raise their awareness, and to integrate LGBT topic into their Equity and Inclusion Program. Moreover, we are probably invited to give our speech to LGBTIQ activists, experts and scholars working on SOGIESC issues and all other allies who will attend ILGA Asia Regional Conference happening in Cambodia from December 04-08, 2017. We hope that the learning will be informative and relevant to other countries facing with these same struggles.

Lastly, one of the recommendations, tracking the program impact, has already been implemented by RoCK. We do hope that other recommendations in the paper will be taken into consideration by other NGOs, especially by RoCK in order to improve the lives of LGBT people in Cambodia 


Vinh Dany, Menh Vuthisokunna and Rebecca Norris (2015). Opinion, Attitude and Behavior toward LGBT population in Cambodia

CCHR. (2015) ‘LGBT Bullying in Cambodia’s Schools’

About the authors

Dany Vinh is a Senior Research Manager at KANTAR TNS Cambodia.

Layhour Sao is a Senior Research Executive at KANTAR TNS Cambodia.

Turning a corner on negative perceptions of refugees in Europe

The world is currently facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II. There are 22.5 million refugees in the world. And the largest group, 5 million, are refugees from Syria. At the same time, refugees have negative connotations, with the European public’s propensity to help being on shaky ground.

We investigated whether increasing public education of the refugee crisis by tackling the most prevalent barriers to support with targeted communication, can positively influence a change in public attitudes and behaviours. To achieve our goal our study consisted of four main objectives:

  • Add to current literature on public understanding and sentiment towards refugees
  • Identify the most prevalent barriers to the European (UK and Germany) public supporting refugees taking refuge in Europe
  • Identify the most prevalent barriers to the European (UK and Germany) public taking action in support of refugees
  • Identify the most effective communication strategies to address these challenges (UK).

We hypothesised that by increasing public awareness and education, revealing the personal stories behind the “refugee” label, and using a targeted communication strategy, it is possible to positively influence public perceptions. However, we also aimed to drive behavioural support and were not convinced this was a realistic goal among those who currently oppose refugees in Europe. Thus, to achieve our objective we targeted two different segments:

  • Attitudinal target: those who oppose refugees coming to their country but are open to learning more about the crisis
  • Behavioural target: those who do not oppose refugees coming to their country but do not currently take action in offering their support (e.g. donating, volunteering).

Our research was designed based on five underlying principles:

  1. Qual-Quant Integration: Using traditional open-ends and video responses valuably enriched our understanding of public sentiment and the ways in which key barriers need to be tackled. Our integrated approach provided a holistic, nuanced and accurate understanding of public perceptions, whilst achieving the speed, scale and validity delivered by a quantitative survey.
  2. Timed responses: to capture immediate, non-rationalised associations with the term ‘refugee’ respondents were given 20 seconds to provide a one-word answer.
  3. Behavioural measurement: At the end of the survey participants were given the opportunity to take action in support of refugees by clicking on a website link to sign a petition, donate money, volunteer, or any other action. This behavioural measurement provides an added layer of insight into the effectiveness of communication tested and the validity of respondents’ attitudinal conversion.
  4. Actionable Insights: We used annotated heat maps, in combination with our qualitative analysis to gain a precise understanding of what information resonates most strongly and why.
  5. Iterative Process: to successfully target the right communication to the right people we deployed an iterative, two-phase process, in which the learnings from Phase 1 informed the design and focus of Phase 2.

Phase 1

The purpose of our first phase was to be exploratory, our objective being three-fold:

  • To gain a holistic picture of public sentiment towards refugees
  • To identify the three most prevalent barriers to attitudinally and actively supporting refugees in Europe
  • To understand the underlying drivers of these barriers to create targeted communication to test in Phase 2.

We evaluated 14 barriers for our attitudinal target group and 12 for our behavioural target group, using a Maximum Differential scaling trade-off methodology based on Bayes Theorem to rank their importance. To select the three most important barriers to tackle in Phase 2 we used TURF analysis. With this methodology we were able to identify the combination of barriers that would have the biggest penetration rate within the population.

Phase 2

Phase 2 aimed to identify the type of communication that is most effective at tackling our selected barriers, by triggering a change in perception or willingness to actively help refugees.For each barrier we tested three types of communication. For our attitudinal target group we tested a personal story and factual information, both related to a specific concern, and a general personal story that incorporated multiple non-specific elements relating to the refugee crisis.

Figure 1. Statistics stimuli for barrier “Refugees increase the risk of terrorism”

In contrast, our behavioural target group were presented with information on different opportunities to actively support refugees. Our study reveals there is opportunity to turn a corner on negative perceptions through a targeted communication strategy. We find the biggest barrier to attitudinal support is the easiest to tackle and almost 90% of our behavioural target positively impacted by the communication tested chose to take action at the end of the survey. However, interestingly, we uncover that some barriers are easier to overcome than others, the most effective form of communication depends on the barrier being tackled and outcomes differ in terms of the type of support triggered. Our key finding were the following:

  • The first and most important finding is that it is possible to positively change peoples’ perception of refugees and drive supportive action.
  • One message doesn’t fit all. Personalized messages have the biggest impact on peoples’ perceptions, compared to more generic stories.- Whether statistics or an individual refugees’ personal story is most effective at countering public concerns depends on the barrier being tackled- There is a need for communication to more clearly differentiate between refugees and economic migrants as they are often grouped together, being perceived to have an equally negative impact on society
  • There is an opportunity to increase positive action by educating people on the different ways they can contribute to helping refugees (e.g. donating clothes, volunteering etc.)

Our project therefore consults on the biggest opportunities available for stakeholders, in terms of which segment to target depending on their objective and provides actionable guidelines on how best to communicate to trigger positive change.

Going forwards, we feel there is opportunity for further research to uncover the extent to which UK findings are similar in other European markets and countries where refugees are a concern, in order to continue consulting on how to turn a corner on negative perceptions and increase public support for refugees.

Nijat Mammadbayli, Research Analyst, SKIM, Netherlands

Patricia Dominguez, Senior Research Analyst, SKIM, UK

Samantha Bond, Research Manager, SKIM, Netherlands


Look beyond numbers: we need to know why change happens

Sonia Whitehead, Head of Research Programmes at BBC Media Action gave an insightful presentation at an ESOMAR Foundation session recently held in Amsterdam during the ESOMAR Congress. The session aimed at debating some ways forward to help tackle societal issues.

Working in the development sector I am aware that, particularly over the last few years, donors and others expect project results to be quantifiable. Numbers talk.

This was apparent at the UN World Data Forum in Cape Town in January when we looked at how the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) will be measured, and it was discussed again at the Esomar World Research Congress in Amsterdam this week. Donors want statistics to demonstrate impact and show a project is value for money, but aren’t as confident using insights from qualitative research.

In my team we crunch a lot of numbers. In 2016, for example, we surveyed more than 20,000 people, which yielded strong results. For example, a statistical analysis of governance data across seven countries (which controlled for confounders such as people’s age, education levels and existing interests) shows that people who listened to or watched our programmes know more about politics and get more involved in civic life. In our health work, we used quantitative data to understand how change happens.

But we have increasingly come to appreciate the need for qualitative research to contextualise our data and explain why we are having an impact. We’re not alone.

At the Esomar conference I took part in a panel with colleagues from My Choices Foundation, StreetInvest, and Save the Children to showcase how qualitative research can provide greater value to the development sector. I summarised what we had learned from our recent projects.

Story behind the numbers

Qualitative research helps us to explain the story behind quantitative data.

Our radio health shows in Ethiopia, Jember (Maternal Light) and Biiftuu Jireenya (Dawn of Life) aim to help women have safer pregnancies and deliveries, and improve the health of newborn babies. Our surveys showed they were reaching a huge audience – around 21 million people across three states – more than a third of the adult population.

However, analysis of our data showed it was difficult to isolate the impact of our programmes. The health sector in Ethiopia was changing fast the government and donor investment leading to local health workers being trained across the country. This investment was reaping benefits; data from the Demographic and Health Survey showed the percentage of women going for antenatal care had jumped from 27 % to 62 % between 2011 and 2016. But what impact were we having?

To understand, we designed qualitative research, whereby we spoke to women and those they felt influenced their decisions (such as their local health extension worker, their husbands and close family members).

Women told us how health services and social norms had changed since they had given birth to their older children. Things that had been unthinkable, such as giving birth at a health facility, were now possible. They were also able to identify storylines and items in the shows that made them think differently about what was “normal” during pregnancy and birth. The shows were reinforcing the advice that health workers were giving – and health workers also felt women trusted them more because they were saying the same information that they had heard on the radio.

Reaching vulnerable people

A limitation of quantitative research is that it’s hard to reach vulnerable groups such as refugees or survivors of gender-based violence. They are less likely to agree to a face-to-face survey or might not have a fixed address. In this situation, it helps to use qualitative research techniques that put respondents at ease.

Last year, we spoke to Syrian refugees travelling from Greece to Germany to understand how humanitarian agencies could best communicate with them. We employed Arabic-speaking researchers and trained them to use a narrative approach, where they sat with a refugee for at least an hour, hearing about their journey and the part communication had played in it. Being listened to, rather than asked a series of fixed questions, helped the respondents feel comfortable and more likely to share information.

Qualitative research can also help us understand sensitive issues. In Syria, we assessed our radio drama Hay el Matar. To understand issues around the conflict we asked a trusted, local NGO to use projective techniques. This involved asking respondents to discuss the feelings of others – either people in their community or an “extremist” character in the drama. People felt more comfortable talking about how others view violence, or explaining the motives of a fictional character, than talking about themselves.

We discovered that Syrians interpreted people’s accents as a strong signal for which side of the conflict they were on. We relayed this to our radio producers who took greater care with the accents of the actors. We could not have grasped these nuances with quantitative data alone.

Insights on a budget

There’s another cold, hard fact to take into account. Conducting quantitative research, on the scale needed to measure media interventions, is expensive. Project budgets often don’t stretch to this so we need to gain qualitative insights in the absence of large-scale, representative surveys.

At the end of the panel discussion in Amsterdam this week, the Esomar Foundation’s Phyllis MacFarlane asked a crucial question: “What does the development sector need to do for qualitative research to be taken more seriously? Steve Kretschmer from Surgo Foundation summed it up nicely. Quantitative data needs to be used to explain the “what” he said, but when it comes to the “why”, well-designed qualitative research is invaluable. He added that the development sector could work with the commercial sector to adopt practices such as using video to capture emotions (rather than relying on what people say) to make the most of audience insight and – most importantly – to make a difference.

More on that another time …

Sonia Whitehead is Head of Research at BBC Media Action.

(Originally posted in BBC Media Action Insight Blog)


Measuring the nature and scale of violence against women in the EU

What is violence against women and why does it matter?

Violence against women (VAW) is one of the most systematic and widespread human rights violations across the world. The United Nations defines violence against women as;

any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life[1].”

 Examples of violence against women include; physical violence, sexual violence including rape, psychological violence including stalking, control or denigration as well as female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and honour crimes.

Most violence against women is perpetrated by men. These can be intimate partners – the people with whom women are either in or have been in a relationship with or other people such as family members, colleagues, acquaintances or strangers. Therefore, violence against women is embedded in gendered social structures and closely interrelated with gender inequality, poverty and economic dependence.

VAW is systematically underreported to the police or other agencies so the scale of the issue is not reflected in official data. Furthermore, intimate partner violence is often seen as a “private” matter of the home, which makes women less likely to speak out. This matters because it means that decision-makers, practitioners, non-governmental organisations and other actors don’t have the data needed to make informed decisions and to develop targeted policies to address and prevent it.

 In response to a lack of comparable data on violence against women, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights[2] (FRA) commissioned a consortium led by Ipsos MORI[3] to conduct the first EU-wide robust and comparable survey on the extent, nature and consequences of violence against women, as reported by women. Ipsos MORI oversaw the data collection, contracting affiliated agencies in each country to carry out the fieldwork.

What methods do you use to collect reliable data on sensitive subjects?

Due to low levels of reporting to the police or other agencies and the difficulties associated with holding perpetrators to account through the judicial system, population based surveys provide the most accurate estimates of the prevalence of violence against women.

In 2012, Ipsos MORI on behalf of FRA conducted a face-to-face survey with 42,000 women across the 28 Member States of the European Union[4]. The survey included questions about physical, sexual and psychological violence, childhood victimisation, sexual harassment and stalking (including the role of the internet). The survey consisted of 1,500 interviews with women in each country, with the exception of Luxembourg where 900 women were interviewed. The women were selected from the general population to participate using a multistage random (probability) sampling approach. The sampling approach is important because it ensures that the results are representative of the female population aged 18 – 74 years living in each EU Member State and increases comparability of the survey results between countries.

Interviewing women about their experiences of violence is a delicate and sensitive situation. The aim of a survey of this nature is to encourage the respondent to disclose her experiences of violence to the interviewer without causing re-victimisation or re-traumatisation. For example, some women may be traumatised or experience distress when recalling and describing these events. Others may have repressed the memory of the abuse, and yet others may have never spoken about their experiences.

To address the sensitivities, interviewers were trained using a survivor-centred approach. Some techniques used in this approach include;

  • Having an all-female interviewing team
  • Not mentioning or defining violence, only asking about specific actions
  • Only conducting the interview in a private setting so as to avoid retaliation
  • Providing information about local support services when asked

As a result, many respondents, including some of those who had not talked to anyone about the violent incident, were ready to share their experiences with the interviewer and appreciated the fact that they were asked about a topic which they considered very important. Ipsos MORI delivered the final dataset and technical report to FRA, who completed the full analysis of the results.

What happened as a result?

Headline findings show that 33% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15, while 5% have been raped since the age of 15. Just 33% of victims of partner violence and 26% of victims of non-partner violence either contacted the police or some other organisation (such as victim support) following the most serious incident of violence. The results of non-reporting of incidents of violence highlight the importance of using population based surveys to gather data on this issue[5].

FRA released the results of the study in March 2014 and the information collected has allowed FRA to make a number of recommendations on how to address this issue and better protect the human rights of women in the EU. Examples include amongst others;

  • Member States should take particular note of the needs of victims of gender-based violence when applying the EU Victims’ Rights Directive
  • Member States should ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) and the EU should follow suit

In the days following the launch of the results, FRA recorded more than 1,500 news articles and broadcast items referencing the results of the survey. At EU level – as an example – European Commission has used the results to justify funding for awareness raising campaigns to tackle violence against women, while Members of the European Parliament and civil society organisations have found in the survey results a tool which supports their calls for better victim protection measures, for example through the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention.

To make the empirical data accessible to a wide audience FRA used a variety of dissemination techniques. This includes official publications, press releases and speaking at events to raise awareness as well as data visualisation tools and video presentations. Please visit the project website here for more information.

Ipsos MORI has built upon the methodological skills its team developed during this project by continuing to deliver population based surveys that explore issues related to violence against women with partners in Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

[1] General Assembly Resolution 48/104 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993

[2] http://fra.europa.eu

[3] Ipsos MORI worked with HEUNI and UNICRI in the delivery of this study

[4] For full details of the project please refer to the FRA’s main results report found here; http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2014/violence-against-women-eu-wide-survey-main-results-report

[5] FRA, Violence against Women: an EU-wide survey – Results at a glance, Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union, 2014, http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra-2014-vaw-survey-at-a-glance-oct14_en.pdf

If you wish to know more about this project please contact: Sara Grant-Vest, Research Director, International Social Research, Social Research Institute, Ipsos MORI 

sara.grant-vest@ipsos.com | www.ipsos-mori.com | @ipsosmori



Shedding Light on the Digital Grey Areas of Teen Dating Violence: Co-Creation Research


In 2007  the Family Violence Prevention Fund partnered with the Ad Council and R/GA to create a campaign to prevent teen dating violence both now and as teens mature and enter adulthood.  Our initial research found that teen dating had gone digital and teen dating abuse online had followed. This emerging area became our focus.

Research was conducted at key points of the year-long development process. Because we wanted to understand how teens interact with each other in a digital environment, we created that environment and then brought respondents in to interact with it.  At every point in the research process, respondents created artifacts—words, pictures and ideas—that did not just inform the subsequent campaign, but literally became part of the campaign.

In early 2009, the ThatsNotCool.com site and multimedia campaign was launched to draw teens’ attention to the issue of digital dating violence and to help them “draw their digital line” by deciding for themselves what’s right or wrong rather than be lectured by adults.

The campaign included banners, social media, TV, print, radio, outdoors and a mobile site. At the ThatsNotCool.com website teens could view content, as well as create and share videos, call out cards and more. The campaign helped start a conversation in the media on teen dating abuse and in the first few months led to over 300,000 visitors, 200,000 video views and 28,000 call out cards sent.

Please take a look at this short video to learn more about the challenge, the research, development of the campaign and to see the creative in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY4BhzuOeSQ


Research Phase I (2007 – 2008)

First we reviewed existing academic and secondary research. Next we needed qualitative research to get a deeper, more nuanced and current understanding of the situation – including teens’ social norms, and vernacular. And we needed nationwide input on a tight timeline.

Abby Leafe head of New Leafe Research partnered with Judith Oppenheim, research director at RGA, and the team in developing innovative research methodologies to meet budget, timing and diversity constraints; leverage new digital research opportunities; and create an environment where teens would be comfortable participating and being open. Ben Smithee head of The Smithee Group conducted the male friendship groups.

  • Online Immersion: This phase explored the language, attitudes and behaviors of teens regarding dating. For a week, they recorded their lives and experiences in words and photos on their own ‘blog’ created for this research.  This included structured activities and open-ended forums.

Figure 1:  Teen blogging interface


  • In-home friendship circles (14 in 3 cities): The next phase built upon these learnings using friendship circle discussions conducted in the home of a host teen who recruited same sex friends.  The first step was getting the host parent’s permission. We included structured discussion and  loosely directed conversation about their dating life and language.

Figure 2: Portion of Language Dictionary which emerged from early qualitative


Next we held creative development work sessions with creative teams and teens.

  • Creative development workshops:  We had 5 same-sex friendship groups of 3-6 teens per group. It was important to ensure authenticity and excitement in the campaign experience, language, and look and feel. We had a mixture of exercises such as word sorts, word mapping, and sketching, as well as exposure to work-in-progress concept stimuli.

With the input from the creativity workshops, R/GA developed a revised set of concepts for exploration with a new set of teens.

  • Concept evaluation groups: Friendship circles evaluated the creative overall as well as specific components.
    • Concept review: Feedback on campaign elements, including mobile, out-of-home, print, TV, radio, and web site.
    • Creation stations: The concept for the campaign web site included a host of interactive tools, including a fairly robust video creation application, an interactive quiz and an ‘i-card’ creator. The room was set up as a ‘laboratory’ with two distinct “creation stations” where respondents were asked to try the tools, and specifically to create their own video in responses to the creative elements they previewed during the focus group.  Respondents were provided with a host of everyday props to use to create their videos, including, dolls, toys, puppets and so on.

Figure 3:  Content created by respondents with group stimuli


Phase 2 (2009) 

A second phase of research was conducted to provide guidance on how to strengthen individual campaign elements or to add additional components.

  • The first stage used  in-home friendship focus groups to explore the current campaign
    • In addition to a general discussion about their lives, friendships and romantic interests more structured activities included sorting photographs of celebrity couples into the categories of ‘the good,’ ‘the bad,’ and ‘the ugly.’  Lastly, each group was given the opportunity to visit ThatsNotCool.com to give their impressions of the site in general.

Figure 4:  ThatsNotCool.com

  • The second stage included an online video diary, a texting journal and a survey of respondents’ social networking pages.
    •  Daily written and video based activities covering role playing, tech usage demonstrations, problem/solution creation
    • Texting the moderator each time they were engaged in a digital communication with a romantic interest
    • Documenting each time they saw, read or heard something that fit the theme of “digital grey areas’
    • Texting a “status update” at regular intervals (e.g.hourly) to help paint a picture of “a day in the life” of today’s teens

Figure 5: Prioritization of digital infractions
















A Less Charitable Cashless Society? – Tapping Into New ‘Tap To Give’ Technology


The shift from a cash-carrying to cash-less society in the UK has been incredibly rapid, with the effects of the shift to contactless increasing in the past year – there are now over 100 million contactless cards in issue in the UK and over 350 million contactless transactions were made in December 2016 alone. Although this shift to using digital transactions has been lauded by many as proof of new technological advances making our lives easier, it has also created challenges and barriers to charitable giving that charities and brands must tackle together to overcome.

For many of us who don’t carry cash – or at least not in the same way we did 10 years ago – we are unable to donate our spare change to those in need as we used to do. In the Netherlands an ad agency recently released a new solution to this growing tension; a jacket, to be worn by homeless people that not only keeps them warm but also allows passers-by to donate €1 by tapping the contactless payment area. The money that is donated can then be redeemed in shelters for food, a bed and a bath, and those who donate can be sure that their donations are being used as they would wish.

This isn’t the first foray by charities to try and encourage us to donate using our contactless cards – Cancer Research UK have trialled contactless donation terminals in central locations, and the Blue Cross attached contactless donation points to dogs to create the world’s first canine fundraisers – ‘Tap Dogs’. The move to cash-free is forcing charities to rapidly innovate, but this can be incredibly beneficial to their fundraising. The children’s charity NSPCC said that their recent trial using contactless donations set at a fixed amount of £2 actually increased their average donations, because people are less likely to donate small coin denominations.

Part of the reason why contactless donations have captured people’s imaginations is due to the new kinds of interaction that they provide. Contactless technology is often criticised for diminishing human social interaction, but some charities have creatively flipped this expectation on its head. The Blue Cross have used dogs to create a human-canine interaction, but Cancer Research UK have also used contactless technology to trial new interactive window displays. When a contactless donation was given, the shop windows displayed a video showing the difference that can be made by the money given. Not only does this innovation close the gap between giving to charitable causes and seeing the effects of that donation, it is also available 24/7, and utilises the physical space on the high street that the charity already has at their disposal.

Contactless donations have also taken off because they tap into our need for everything to be on demand and instantaneous. Talking to someone in the street, filling out endless clipboard forms and having to stay involved and engaged through endless emails and letters doesn’t fit with our new, fast-paced, more demanding mode of living. By using contactless donations, charities can combat this problem of a more time-poor, less patient society, by giving supporters more autonomy over their donation.

At Kantar Added Value we believe that brands should play a vital role in shifting and shaping changes in culture. We’d love to see charities partnering with other brands in this area to fully explore all innovation opportunities; people want to donate money to worthy causes, but they now expect this to fit in around their lives with as little effort and fuss as possible. Mastercard have already voiced their concerns about the growing gap between those who have access to bank accounts, and those who are cut off from the rest of society and denied opportunities because of their dependence on cash. Mastercard and other financial services brands could work to resolve this issue by backing a charity contactless campaign, such as the jacket for homeless people, to provide more credibility and confidence for those who decide to donate on the street. Alternatively supermarkets could encourage in-store charity donations by offering to round up transaction amounts, from say £6.59 to £7.00, with the extra money going straight to the customer’s charity of choice, to provide a seamless donation experience.

Although the evolving digital economy offers solutions and possibilities for many, we must be careful as a society to ensure that those without access to it are not excluded entirely – and brands should play a vital part in helping to bridge this gap. Charities also need to ensure that they are not left behind by changing societal behaviours, and that they continue to innovate and explore new modes of charitable giving.

In Brief…

We wanted to examine how technology is changing and how people use it to interact with culture. We worked with the Cultural Strategy team at Kantar Added Value and utilized cultural scoping and trends research to explore how things manifest and change in culture.

 For this work we used qualitative trends research, and looked at the actions of brands in the charity and financial sector to draw strong conclusions about the changing nature of charitable giving. For this piece of work we looked specifically at technology and how the most emergent and switched on charities were using this to their advantage.

We now have a greater understanding of how new digital technology is shifting cultural and societal behaviors, and have developed a strong call to arms for brands to become involved in the charity sector. This research has shown how the third sector can stay abreast of but also drive cultural change, and how they can work collaboratively with brands. The research encourages charities not to see these cultural shifts as problems but opportunities to stay relevant and a part of peoples lives.


Hannah Robbins – The Cultural Practice at Kantar Added Value