We are postponing the deadline to submit case studies until 18 June to give an opportunity to those who requested an extension.
Please see the Call for submissions for more information and guidelines.
The 4th edition of the Making a Difference Awards is on its way! In just three weeks we will start reviewing the entries for these awards. We expect no less than the excellent case studies which won in 2020! The 3 winning cases were brilliant, strong and inspiring examples of research ‘Making a Difference’.
IN 2020 we aligned the best case stories with the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
SDG #3 – Good Health and Well-Being: A case study on public perceptions of schizophrenia
SDG #5 – Gender Equality: A study on the lives of typical rural Indian women aiming to understand the social norms, practices and relations and reveals the reasons that prevent them from achieving economic advancement
SDG #4 – Quality Education: A story on bullying at school and how effective market research contributed in making a ground-breaking difference, changing laws and altering perceptions
In summary, an excellent, thought-provoking and inspiring selection of case studies demonstrated the real value that research can bring to the Not-for-Profit sector in all areas of life.
Will you make a difference also this time? Inequalities and crises all over the world call for better handling of mankind. You can help bridging gaps and supporting the work and dedication of the many NGOs who are there to make a difference. We look forward to listening to your stories!
The ESOMAR Foundation’s annual Making a Difference Awards are now open for entries. Our annual Awards are a chance to applaud and reward the best examples of Market Research making a difference to the world’s Charities.
Through these awards, the ESOMAR Foundation aims to raise awareness of the impact of great research on the work of Charities, by offering a platform for these stories to be heard.
All Charity case studies, whether they are international, national or local and in any sector, are encouraged to apply.
WHY YOU SHOULD ENTER THE COMPETITION:
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION?
Check out the previous Making a Difference Competition winners
“Every child needs to be welcomed and defended, helped and protected, from the moment of their conception” 20 November 2020 Pope Francis
As last year, we want to celebrate the World Children’s Day by offering our readers and followers a few of the many examples of how solutions have been found and impact has been made on the lives of many children around the world with the help of the skills, knowledge and support of the data, research and insights community.
The aim of the research was to understand these contextual factors and the roles of specific emotions and behaviours that enable these decisions. The objective of the research was to apply learnings from cognitive neuroscience and behavioural economics to understand and influence the behaviour of at-risk families and men who buy sex. This reflected a gap in terms of the current understanding of issues.
This research was conducted with the aim of preventing trafficking by sensitising, alerting and empowering at-risk families in source areas, and to stem the demand by changing the behaviour and attitudes of men at destination areas. Key considerations during the research were to ensure that the findings and insights can easily be extrapolated into applicable interventions on the ground.
This research was commissioned by My Choices Foundation, a Hyderabad-based NGO dedicated to ending violence, abuse, and exploitation of women and girls in India and conducted by Mumbai-based Final Mile Consulting
Parikrma Foundation is a Bangalore based NGO that caters to underserved kids. It runs schools and colleges throughout the city where it provides best-in-class education and other facilities for their holistic development.
The kids come from underprivileged backgrounds and carry a lot of behavioural traits picked from their communities into the school leading to disciplinary issues. Classroom disruption and violent behavior of some students that the disciplinary policy in force was ineffective in curbing, hampered growth of others.
While it seemed like an issue with the disciplinary policy, there was much more to it. Disciplinary policies are made keeping the desired behavioural outcome in mind, rarely does it consider the motivations of those on whom it is exercised. The idea was to look at it differently by keeping the students at the center and understand “why” they do what they do. (More about the study)
India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, still loses 300,000 young lives each year to pneumonia and diarrhoea, diseases that we have the tools to prevent. If practiced together, hand washing with soap at key occasions (HWWS) and complete immunisation, two of the most cost-effective child survival interventions, could significantly reduce under 5 mortality. Lifebuoy, Unilever’s leading health soap brand and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, an innovative public-private partnership working to immunise children in the world’s poorest countries, came together to design an integrated communication platform called ‘Safal Shuruaat’. Translated as ‘Successful Beginning’, the program harnesses parents’ aspirations for their child’s success to help mobilise parents to hand wash with soap at key occasions, immunise their children and other key parenting behaviours.
The program aims to achieve sustained behaviour change in hand washing with soap and immunisation under the ‘aspirational’ umbrella of successful parenting as a communication platform to save lives of young children and help them reach a better potential while intervening in the first 2 years: bringing down the under 5 mortality rates. Safal Shuruaat is being implemented by a consortium led by GroupM, with Kantar as the research partner responsible for monitoring and evaluation.
Bullying. Happens to everyone, stoppable by everyone. This is a story of how effective market research contributed in making a groundbreaking difference, changing laws and altering perceptions. The audience was shocked to hear that before the campaign there wasn’t even a word for bullying in Egyptian Arabic. A diligent mission that would have never been possible without UNICEF Egypt and Marketeers Research.
The power of this study lies in the shareable and impactful output clips.
Winner of the Most innovative Not-For-Profit case study of the ESOMAR Foundation Making a Difference Competition 2018. “With deep and nuanced understanding of what was driving oral rehydration salt (ORS) uptake, we developed a radically revised theory of how to increase the use of ORS to treat diarrhea in children. Instead of focusing exclusively on RMPs, programs should create demand for ORS by reframing caregivers’ perception of the treatment. This would help RMPs to bridge their “know-do” gap and prescribe ORS with confidence.”
During the recent ESOMAR Insights Festival the inaugural winner of the Global Research Got Talent competition was announced. The joint initiative centres around young researchers using market research to support NGOs and Charities in their local community to address meaningful social issues. For this first edition, the global ESOMAR and the ESOMAR Foundation joined hands with the Australian Association of Market and Social Research Organisations; the Peruvian Association of Market Research Companies; the Online Market Intelligence in Russia; with SIMAR, the market research association of Czech Republic and the Market Research Society of India.
After extremely successful pilot competitions in India and Hong Kong, this year was the first time we have brought this initiative to the global stage, this absolutely could not have happened without the logistical coordination and organisation of the above mentioned local Associations and their partners. After rigorous local competitions a winner team was selected from each participating country.
The winners of the local competitions competed in the global stage of the initiative. In the finals we had projects competing from all corners of the world which covered a multitude of social issues. The research project themes included assisting migrants and refugees in Russia, participation of young people in the Czech society, diversity and inclusion of the LGBTI community in Peru, holistic development of underprivileged children in Indian society and combating loneliness for elderly Australians in the face of COVID-19.
It was a great opportunity to learn more about how NGOs and Charities carry out their daily work and how they achieve their goals; it is slightly more rare for the community to hear about how actionable insights resulting from research can benefit a very wide range of stakeholders and add value to our societies.
The entries were extremely valuable and the final stage of the competition was a close-run affair. The global winner of the Global Research Got Talent competition was selected MediaCom Knowledge Team Russia composed of Anna Medvedkova & Olga Kotelnikova and Anna Makarova, Elena Onischenko, Alexander Matushko and Ilgiz Haziev.
Warm Congratulations to the winners of the Local Competitions:
Alfredo Valencia, Ipsos, & Luis Ramos, Universidad Catolica de Peru, Peru,
Stephanie Perry, Ipsos, Australia
Martin Řípa, Tereza Rösslerová & Vít Pavliš, NMS Market Research, Czech Republic
Karan Sabnis, Kantar, India
The jury for this global stage of the competition was comprised of experts from the Associations Executive Committee: Philippe Guilbert (Syntec Conseil), John Tabone (Canadian Research Insights Council), Reg Baker (ESOMAR North America ambassador), Dominique Servant (Chair of the Associations Executive Committee), John Smurthwaite (ESOMAR APAC Ambassador), Patricio Pagani (SAIMO – Sociedad Argentina de Investigadores de Marketing u Opinión), Pravin Shekar (MRSI – Market Research Society of India), Chris Farquhar (MRSHK – Marketing Research Society Hong Kong).
Together with our partners we hope that through this competition we can offer a global voice to all those charities and NGOs that do a tremendous job on the ground. We want to celebrate & promote greater use of good market research, in making a difference.
Insights are required to give young people with dyslexia equal opportunities in the education system
The Egmont Foundation works to safeguard children and young people against “modern poverty” – the lack of learning and life skills. Every year the Egmont Foundation invests approx. DKK 100M with their main objective, that by 2030 all young people are able to complete an upper secondary education.
In 2018, the Egmont Foundation carried out a study focusing on dyslexia among children and young people in Denmark. The aim was to collect insights that could help improve learning and vitality among dyslectics. Previous studies have shown that fewer young people with dyslexia finish an upper secondary education compared to others.
To be able to optimise education for dyslectics, it was necessary to identify challenges of these young people’s school life. More specifically, to understand:
1) education patterns and expectations
2) performance in primary school
3) experienced support
4) use of digital aids
5) the importance of wellbeing at schools, and
6) the importance of social background.
Epinion was chosen to conduct the research. Epinion is a market research agency headquartered in Denmark who empower organisations to improve today and see tomorrow.
A design with survey and register data to maximise the validity of the study
Egmont Foundation chose a solid design using survey and register data to map the challenges among children and young people in Denmark with dyslexia. The two methods were combined to gain a full understanding of ways to improve learning for dyslectics. In both methods, Epinion created a control group for comparison.
Nota, the Danish Library and Expertise Centre for people with print disabilities, has a very large member database of dyslectic children and young people constituting the population. For the survey, a representative group of the population aged 14 to 22 years old was invited, and 1.024 participated. The control group was constituted of 204 randomly selected young people in the same age.
For the register analysis, Nota’s member data was enriched with data from Statistic Denmark adding information about education pattern, grades, family background, income and much more. Only young people aged 25 with dyslexia constituted the population here, because 25 is an important cutting point in the Danish education and employment systems. They were compared to all other young people born in the same year using statistical matching techniques.
The results are now the basis for prioritising efforts and funding on the most pressing issues
Through the study, Egmont Foundation has gained a new understanding of both the wellbeing of dyslectic children and young people in the educational system, and characteristics of dyslectic when it comes to educational level, grades, employment, and much more.
The study showed that dyslectic children and young people, today, don’t have the same opportunities to complete a secondary education as others. The study finds that, while an equal number of dyslectics enter a secondary education, fewer dyslectics completes a secondary education compared to the control group. One of the possible influencing factors could be that dyslectic children and young people earn lower grades in primary school, especially in Danish and English, but also in math.
This is important and highly relevant knowledge for both political actors and NGO’s engaged in creating the best opportunities for the education of all children and young people, despite their social background. We know that education is a significant factor in protecting children and young people with dyslexia against further vulnerability, and the study has already increased the awareness of the problem in the Danish municipalities.
The results of the study provide Egmont Foundation with a basis for prioritising which issues are the most urgent to address when it comes to the wellbeing of dyslectic young people, and which charity projects are the most relevant to fund.
Based on the study, Egmont Foundation formulated three objectives for future efforts:
· To detect every dyslectic, as early as possible
· To minimise differences in primary school grades between dyslectic and other children
· To minimise the effect of social background on the possibilities for dyslectics to complete a secondary education
To be able to achieve these objectives, it is essential that institutions and organizations involved in the sector work together and engage in broad ranging partnerships. Egmont Foundation has decided to invest a minimum of DKK 20M in the coming years to accomplish the objectives and is currently looking for specific projects with solutions to the three objectives to fund
We are thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s edition of our Making a Difference Awards. We have received a large number of entries – all of which of great value for highlighting and promoting how the best of research has made a significant difference to Not-For-Profits.
We had an overwhelming response and three winners were chosen by the expert jury. The judges considered projects that made the biggest difference to the most important issues of our time, as identified by the UN SDGs.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Making a Difference Awards!
Making-a-Difference – Good Health and Well-being
Public Perceptions of Schizophrenia
Çiğdem Penn, Xsights, Turkey
NFP Federation of Schizophrenia Associations
Making-a-Difference – Gender Equality
Pro Bono Research for Light of Life Trust: Providing earning capability and opportunity to rural women
Indu Upadhyay, Ipsos, India
NFP Light of Life Trust (LOLT)
Making-a-Difference – Quality Education
Anti-Bullying Campaign Progressive Copy Development
Mariam Ghabrial, Marketeers Research and Consultancy, Egypt
NFP UNICEF Egypt
The winners are invited to present their case studies during the ESOMAR Insights Festival from 14-17 September 2020.
Among the entries there were a number of them which deserved a commendation for their excellent approach, so, we are particularly happy to announce the entries which were commended:
Why Don’t We Talk About This? Why Kenya needs to start talking about mental health
Paul Drawbridge, Be Forward Foundation, Kenya
Project Butterfly: Transforming Perceptions of Transgender People
Sarah Jenkins, Magenta, United Kingdom
Human Trafficking survey: Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine
Inna Volosevych, Info Sapiens, Ukraine
Street Sports Incubator
Mohammad Alomari, Jordan Youth Innovation Forum (JYIF), Jordan
The Healthy Priorities
Florencia Rojo, Fine Research, Argentina
The ESOMAR Foundation wishes to thank all those who participated in the competition. We aim to promote and highlight the excellent case-studies – to encourage the use of more insightful and inventive research for massively increasing the overall impact of market research in building a better world!
Let us picture ourselves one year ago. Words like pandemic, lockdowns or new normality, would have sounded as science fiction jargon to most of us. Yet, in September 2019, we happened to conduct a survey across the Americas asking thousands of doctors about how prepared they saw the region to face an epidemic.
The topic was suggested by Save The Children field staff as one of the relevant queries around health priorities. We were of course, completely unaware about how prophetic these answers could turn out to be when for instance 6 out of 10 doctors in both Latin America and US stated that these areas were little or not at all prepared to face an epidemic.
With this precedent, and in the light of the outbreak, we decided to start in March a specific program addressing COVID-19 concerns in Latin America. By that time, very few cases were reported, and the disease seemed something happening mainly in Europe. However, by the end of May, WHO reported that Latin America outpaced Europe and the US in number of new daily cases. Brazil became the second most affected country in the world and as we write these lines, the country still holds that position.
In LatAm, early lockdowns have been useful to avoid a rapid peek. These strict mobility restrictions have compensated the lack of strong health infrastructures, as the ones in Europe, especially considering that even in some European countries these resources were put beyond their own limits
This delay provided governments with critical time to improve their local hospital resources. This relative progress was even acknowledged in our tracking surveys in most countries in the region, with the significant exception of Brazil.
However, the situation has not yet stabilised and is not clear when the peek might be reached. Even if happening soon, is showing to be a longer process than in other geographies. Furthermore, maintaining strict restrictions for a longer time is also likely to result in a deeper economic impact.
Perspectives from the frontline
In this webinar we have aimed to analyse the pandemic from the standing point of physicians. In an unprecedented data collection effort over 10,000 doctors in 16 countries in Latin America have shared their views.
Results have shown that HCPs have raised two major concerns: Fear of infection (for themselves and their families) and worries about the abrupt fall of the number of patients they are caring, which in most countries are over half the number they used to see before the pandemic. This obviously impacts them economically but also worsens their patient conditions, due to lack of controls, or late diagnosis.
We specifically tracked the estimated patient adherence and according to physicians roughly only 60% has been able to have a proper compliance to their treatments under the current circumstances. And we are not just talking of somebody needing new lenses or thinking about taking an aesthetic dermatological procedure. The same low adherence level is being experienced by patients that are bearing diseases that can be life threatening without proper treatment such as cancer, HIV, diabetes or serious respiratory or cardiological diseases.
Another insight of our survey is that these groups of patients are not only lacking adequate treatment but are particularly vulnerable against COVID-19. Seven out of ten hospitalized patients by HCPs in our survey, share one of these preexistent conditions. The survey specifically highlights the situation of diabetic patients. These are estimated to be around 9% of the Latin American population, according to public prevalence data, however, we found in our survey that they represent almost 40% of the hospitalized patients with COVID-19. While most governments in the region have properly put emphasis in protecting the elderly, they have failed to show a similar protection and concern for these high-risk patient groups.
Of course, the medical profession is also acknowledging turbulences. In previous research in the region, we have identified the doctor as a vulnerable link within the healthcare system. They had to manage a more informed patient, new technologies and new treatments but with limited resources in systems that offer a restricted access to the best possible treatments. Doctors used to claim they were bearing too much pressure, too little income and felt undervalued compared to earlier generations of doctors.
So how has the pandemic changed this? Well, most professionals stated that the pressure in their work environment has increased. This is most noticeable among those on the front line who are fighting the disease under risky conditions, but really affects all kind of professionals who agree that there is an extra burden in calming down their stressed patients.
On the other hand, almost half of all physicians also see a decrease in their income. The citizen clapping that has been performed at nights in several cities in the region could suggest the appreciation has increased, but overall doctors perceive that it had a minor impact and that the appreciation has not really changed.
So, let us summarize: less patients, less income, higher risk of infection, more pressure… This definitively should have an emotional impact on anyone. And indeed in this context, it is not surprising that more than 9 out of 10 physicians recognize that the pandemic situation has impacted them emotionally suffering one or more of the following symptoms: Fear of personal or family infection, anxiety, fatigue, sleeping difficulties, feeling of isolation, stress, uncertainty, or irritability. Among those on the front line, fear of family and personal infection and fatigue were even significantly most relevant.
Finally, the project also explored in how doctors framed the future. By late July, professionals estimated that it would still take about 5 more months for the situation to be under control and for the population to return to their activities with minimal restrictions. This time has extended from the 3 months estimated in March, or the 4 months in May.
Physicians believe that massive testing capabilities would demand in average six more months and we shall wait one year for the availability of effective drug treatments.
On the bright side the vaccine is looking closer. By the end of May the vaccines were perceived as distant and not available before the following 19-months window. Two months later, doctors estimated collectively that an effective vaccine would be available within a year.
Conclusions and lessons for researchers
This research turns on a red light about the need to take action to protect those who protect us, generating specific demands for the different stakeholders.
For the health authorities, to provide the training, the financial support, the equipment, and the protocols that can make the healthcare system to improve its performance considering the current restrictions.
For the professional associations, to build an improved engagement with their own members helping with training and support.
For the health insurance plans, to take and play financial responsibility.
For hospitals and clinics, to combine protocols that can enable patient care and prevent local infection.
For the pharma industry, other than the obvious demand to develop specific products for COVID-19, there are opportunities to generate communications and actions that can generate empathy with the doctors and work with them and their patients to address the restrictions to treatment adherence, drug access and consultations.
This project has also been an incredible source of learning for market researchers.
Firstly, to check the augmented potential for new alliances. The impressive sample sizes we got in this project would have not been possible without the kind support of Save The Children and ESOMAR Foundation. By endorsing the not for profit nature, these partners facilitated the collaboration of thousands of doctors. These professionals are usually paid to participate in surveys, but we have learned that when approached in the right empathetic tone and with a clear not for profit message, they can generously provide their opinions without any compensation other than a copy of the results.
And alliances can also grow inside our own industry. Accessing best of class platforms and fresh ideas have been possible due to the generous collaboration to this initiative of researchers from Toluna, Reckner Healthcare, Ipsos, Confirmit, Delvinia, Datum, Provokers, PBG, Observatorio 1987, YouUniversal and Unilever among several others.
Secondly, to recognize the opportunity to revisit our methods and technologies that COVID-19 is accelerating. Pressed with limited time and social distancing requirements, we chose to base our exploratory stage using CRIS a virtual moderator platform developed by Delvinia a Canadian colleague. CRIS, was not only able to “chat” with 83 doctors in 5 days but also to unveil many of the emotional challenges that doctors face, which were later confirmed by our quant survey.
But talking about re thinking our technologies, what impressed me most was when our guest participant at the webinar, Ana Maria Mendez, National Fundraising at Save The Children Colombia shared how they were dealing in the current context to teach kids in the poorer areas in this country. In some rural areas, internet is scarce and sometimes there is no even electrical power supply. So rather than using fancy new virtual platforms, this fantastic team creatively found a solution in a technology that has been with us for over a century and started running remote classes by radio.
Finally, during the whole process we could also witness the deep social need for understanding. The results have enjoyed widespread reception in the media of dozen countries, something that is quite unusual for a HCP survey focused in healthcare topics. This is a confirmation that in spite of the known economic challenges for our industry, more than ever we have the unique opportunity -and responsibility- to give voice to our audiences and offer a compass to support the unprecedented sailing in these uncertain waters.
The global ESOMAR Foundation and the general partner of the competition in Russia The Platform for Social Change ‘todogood’ announce the winner for the Research Got Talent Russia competition that was conducted on June 19.
The competition encourages young professionals to use market research and insights to support local charities and NGOs to overcome pressing social issues. There were 16 teams made up of young researchers below the age of 35 from different companies, research agencies, and universities in Russia. Each team was allocated a charity/NGO at random; they were required to submit a project proposal about the issue facing the charity/NGO and how they would conduct research to assist them to overcome this issue. Entries were required to reflect a relevant, innovative, and impactful research design project that assesses the organisation’s specific issue. The research projects in the competition aimed to assist change in a broad range of areas and detailed analytic reports were then produced. The research project themes included preserving cultural heritage, assisting migrants and refugees, supporting children with illnesses, and even researching the real and potential audience of mini football.
‘It is important that Russian sociologists are ready to actively work with the non-commercial sector. The teams prepared a detailed analysis concerning the most relevant and important questions of the NGO’s; the quality of the research is the result of the professionalism and enthusiasm of all teams’ – noted Alexander Shashkin, ESOMAR Representative in Russia, CEO of OMI (Online Market Intelligence).
The three finalists were announced, and the winner was the MediaCom Knowledge corporate team for their work in association with Committee for Civil Initiatives. The NGO seeks to support migrants and refugees, providing them with necessary documents, as well as standing up for their rights by changing the attitude that the government and society have towards them. The aim of the research was to identify a portrait of potential private donors for the NGO. The answers of 2,000 respondents were recorded and an analytic report subsequently produced. The tip of the iceberg, some important figures and conclusions, were then shared during the videoconference. For example, the research showed that although only 2% had donated to support migrants and refugees over the past year, although 26% are ready to help if provided with enough information about the cause.
The committee head of Committee for Civil Initiatives, Svetlana Gannushkina, was very pleased with the results of the research: ‘I want to say a huge thank you for the work. As you have heard, we are working with migrants and refugees, and this is a group that experiences xenophobia all over the world. It is a moment of joy for me, as the group (of researchers) provided the information that the public in Russia is not lost for us and is willing to help this cause.’
The silver medalists were the Truestory team who worked with Samara Hospice NGO. The NGO has an inpatient stationary unit as well as a network of ambulances and consists of doctors and nurses who care for patients with palliative statuses who cannot be cured. The aim of the research was to investigate the scale of opiophobia in society and in the healthcare community as well as to reveal the main obstacles in anti-pain therapy appointment and give the recommendations how to overcome them. One of the highlights of the research was that trained medics were more likely to consider living with pain an abnormality than other members of the society did. The research also showed that levels of opiophobia were not very high amongst the respondents.
The Reverse Influence team together with ORBI Foundation came in third place. Reverse influence is a corporate team of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (WCIOM). ORBI Foundation is a specialized fund that deals with the problem of stroke in Russia. It helps people who have faced the disease and their relatives, supports medical institutions, and draws public attention to the problem of stroke. The research aimed to identify how much the public knew about the stroke and its effects, and to assess the quality of social support for those who suffered.
The Mediacom Knowledge team will now enter the final ESOMAR’s Research Got Talent global competition. Winners from each region participating in the global competition will present their work to an international audience at the special ESOMAR event in Autumn 2020. The winner will also be given the floor at the ESOMAR Congress 2021 to be held in Toronto, Canada.
The judges for Russia’s Research Got Talent Award competition included:
ESOMAR Foundation and Todogood would like to acknowledge and thank the generous sponsors for helping make this exciting initiative possible: Oprosso – survey programming platform, OMI (Online Market Intelligence) – B2C online panel, LevadaLab – Telegram messenger research bot, Tiburon Research – online qualitative research platform, Top of Mind – surveys with doctors and nurses, UXPressia – UX research platform.
According to all participants of the final event, great work was done, and many members would like to continue to participate in the ESOMAR Research Got Talent initiative. The organizers are also planning to disseminate the knowledge that was created via local publications, webinars and the virtual library.
For further information:
In 2016, the Ministry of Healthcare (MoH) of Ukraine adopted the regulation which directly allowed 24/7 access in intensive care units (ICUs). According to the survey only 20% of respondents were able to visit their family members in reanimation 24/7 in 2019. This regulation wasn’t cancelled during COVID-19 epidemic, but in reality most hospitals in Ukraine isolate all patients in all reanimation units. This June, a 4 year old boy died alone in ICU with leucosis diagnosis – the doctors didn’t let his mother to visit him because of quarantine regime.
Until 2016 only several Ukrainian hospitals allowed visitors in ICUs to be with their loved ones. In most hospitals, ICUs were closed for visitors. Children got psychological traumas because they did not see their parents in the hardest moments of their lives. Some children and adults died alone.
Access to ICUs was prohibited violating the Fundamentals of Ukrainian Health Legislation and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Since 2016 civil activists led the country-wide ‘Open reanimations campaign focused at enabling family members to visit patients in reanimation’. This campaign made the Ministry of Healthcare (MoH) to adopt the regulation which directly allowed 24/7 access in June, 2016. However, implementation of this order is still a big issue. There were signals that hospitals sabotage the MoH’s order, but no strong evidence was available. Lack of actual information limited the ability of activists and MoH in further actions. The research was conducted to study the experience of ICU patients and their families and to define possible measures for its improvement by NGO “Horizontal connections” (whose team launched the campaign) and Info Sapiens’ with the support of experts from other fields. All work is done pro bono.
Online survey was conducted among 498 patients of ICUs and their relatives who were at ICUs within June, 2016 – March, 2019 (after adoption the regulation which allowed 24/7 access). The links to online questionnaire were disseminated by Ministry of Health of Ukraine and other organizations. The survey covered citizens of Kiev and all oblasts of Ukraine. 62% of respondents were at adult ICUs and 38% – at pediatric ones.
Efficient use of resources in the health system is a worldwide challenge. In Ukraine, it is a particularly difficult task due to: a) the lack of reforms in the healthcare for 30 years after the Soviet Union collapse, b) the lack of solid economic growth to finance the transformation of the system, c) turbulent political life, d) war, etc.
The research provided a unique assessment (no other data on that topic is available) of the actual level of implementation of the MOH’s order three years after its adoption – only 20% of respondents were able to visit their family members in reanimation 24/7.
The survey showed that efforts are needed both on supply and demand side – only 53% of respondents are aware of the regulation which allows 24/7 access. It uncovered the main problems of personnel-patient interaction – it is the personnel’s attitude that people suffer from the most; not bribes, not doctor’s (un)professionalism, not even the health-related worries.
The survey provided evidence against some popular myths, which allows refocusing the efforts of stakeholders on the truly important issues. Involved NGOs are already reshaping their activities to focus on the main problems (as revealed by the survey). In particular, the research brought up the need to:
1. Continue strengthening the public demand for the openness of ICUs.
2. Support patients/family members by providing information about ICUs.
3. Change the mindset of the healthcare workers, managers and officials by providing them with information, trainings, and support on the way of ICUs opening.
4. Elaborate guidelines for healthcare management how to improve facilities and gain resources at hospitals for rooming-in (panel screens, chairs for parents, antiseptics, etc.).
This research helps to fight for the right to get a medical aid without systematic attacks on one’s dignity and severe struggle for the information or human contact.
The results of the study were shared with the Deputy MOH, over 60 chief doctors, oblast health management divisions, members of parliament and patients’ organizations. MOH and the minister personally put them on their website and Facebook page.
National Health Service considers integrating results into the education programs for health professionals and updating their standards.
Our partner NGOs developed guidelines for ICU visitors for online and offline distribution. The MOH helped distribute them to the hospitals.
This article is published as an entry for our Making a Difference Awards.
You can still submit your entry for this year’s edition of ESOMAR Foundation Making a Difference Awards. This is a chance to applaud and reward the best examples of Market Research making a difference to the world’s Charities.
Submit your entry here!