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Make a Difference!

We are getting close to the end of the year festivities! It’s that time of the year when donating comes as a natural gesture of warmth and solidarity.



We would like to thank our many donors who are filling this special time of the year with joy and generousity!

A big thank you goes to:

System1, the global marketing research and advertising company, who took part in ‘Making a Difference’ mile, dressed as Santa’s to raise money for the ESOMAR Foundation.

In total 75 staff from System1 ran in the charity event, with the company sponsoring each runner, bringing the total funds raised to €4,250

ENI Recruitment who is donating 1% of all their permanent placement billings from 1 November 2017 to 14 February 2018 to the ESOMAR Foundation raising so far €1,830 in just under 4 weeks.


Thanks to 20 donors who donated fantastic prizes and the wonderful supporters of the ESOMAR Foundation who are buying tickets for the annual Christmas Charity Draw we have raised so far €1,440 to fund ESOMAR Foundation activities.

You can buy tickets at €30 (each) until 15 December!

Buy here:



Believe in yourself, be confident and don’t be afraid to take chances

This is the third blog from Nutsa Kvitashvili who is following the BA Program of Sociology at Caucasus School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Nutsa is the recipient of the ESOMAR Foundation Scholarship sponsored by Inizio.



It’s been a while since my last blog so I’m going to tell you a little bit about my summer vacation and my studies. I’ve enjoyed my summer vacation a lot. I was in Batumi it’s the second largest city of Georgia and it is located on the coast of the Black Sea in the counrty’s southwest. Batumi is a place which I really enjoy visiting with my friends because of its beautiful walking areas, long boulevards and old 19th century buildings which gives you the feeling that you are in Europe. It was a blast.

Summer has ended and I’m about to start my 4th and last year at Caucasus University. Thinking about my last year of studies makes me sad and excited at the same time. Sad because studying at university is one of the most interesting, thrilling and inspiring experience in life. After spending four years studying, adapting to life after university can be pretty difficult. But at the same time I’m beyond excited because after graduating from university you will start a new journey, a new chapter in life. This is the time in your life when you can reach new heights, the time when everyone has a lot of opportunities but a lot of people miss that chance because they’re afraid to go after them. The important thing is to believe in yourself, be confident and don’t be afraid to take chances.

This year my studies are starting a little bit late because Caucasus University is moving into a new building and all the students are excited about this change because the architecture of the building is very beautiful and has a historical atmosphere.


In this semester I’m going to study a bunch of interesting subjects such as sociology of arts, sociology of religion, visual sociology, sociology of education, etc. I’m very excited about the new semester, new building and new subjects which I’m sure are going to be intriguing and fascinating.

How you can support

If you are a market researcher, a national market research association, an NGO involved in research or a university interested in a scholarship in your country please contact us at

Partners & Sponsors

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


Phyllis Macfarlane

ESOMAR Foundation run a session at ESOMAR Congress 2017


A review by Phyllis Macfarlane

The session titled ‘Making the World a Better Place’ aimed at debating some ways forward to help tackle societal issues.



“This is the people’s agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind,” said Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, at the launch of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)

This session at the ESOMAR 2017 Congress was focussed on ESOMAR Foundation’s objective to help the Development Aid Sector use research more, and more effectively, to achieve ‘better results’, and the Paragon Partnerships’ objective to help the UN to ‘ leave no-one behind’.

To us market researchers it’s obvious that if you try and change behaviour without really understanding people’s thinking and culture, then you are doomed to failure. You might do something that seems perfectly logical to the western mind, but fail to take account of the recipients’ real feelings and emotions, and it just won’t have the effect you expected. So, without the use of good market research, most aid initiatives are likely to fail. And yet this is exactly what happens  – a lot of the time!

The objective of this session was to showcase the work we have done so far, as ESOMAR Foundation and Paragon, to demonstrate the real difference that good market research can make to aid programmes, in the hope that other NGO’s can learn from these examples.

And here are some remarkable facts:

The value of the Development Aid Sector is $142.6B  ( If only 1% of this money were spent on market research it would represent a $1.4B opportunity for the MR Industry. So, as Steve Kretschmer, of the Surgo Foundation,  expressed so eloquently in the Panel Session, this is a real opportunity for the Industry, as well as a way to make the world better.  He said that he knows of many, many examples  where much of the aid money spent was invested poorly or completely  wasted because little or no real ‘why?’ insights were identified to guide the design of interventions and solutions.

As the first presenter, Hannah Surabhi, of My Choices Foundation, India, showed – research had informed the actions they took all the way through their programme to prevent sex-trafficking in India  – had they done what they originally intended they would not have achieved anything. In fact, had they not had Final Mile’s insights they would have run with a campaign that likely would have done more harm than good.

Georgina Day, of Street Invest, and Flora Somogyi, of Big Sofa, told how they collaborated to create 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.

Too many people dismiss Street Children as criminals and a threat to society. Or they just see them as passive victims  – who need rescuing. Whereas what is really required is to respect Street Children’s realities. Children live on the streets for many reasons, but they often face similar issues: including violent abuse, stigma, political discrimination and rights violations.

In a recent consultation with street youth, hosted by the United Nations, one child said: “People don’t see street children as human beings. When the police clear us off the street they boast that they are removing the rubbish from town.”  Georgina also told us about Street Invest’s unique quantitative method of counting street children – qual and quant working together, to leave no-one behind.  

Sonia Whitehead of BBC Media Action collaborates with media partners to reach more than 200 million people – they work large-scale, mainly in fragile states, to achieve governance, health and resilience outcomes.

In the last 5 years BBC Media Action have carried out a lot of quantitative research. For example,  in 2016 they surveyed over 20,000 people from across their projects.   However, they have also increasingly realised the need for qualitative research to contextualise it, to understand people more deeply, and to explain the impact that they are having.  Also, frequently project budgets don’t enable them to do quantitative surveys – so more and more they need to construct strong qualitative research that will provide donors with the evidence they need. Just as for commercial research, Qualitative research is used to understand difficult-to-reach populations, explore sensitive subjects, and unpick and understand quantitative data. And it’s just as necessary for the Aid sector to do this as it is for any commercial ‘customer-centric’ company.

Alexis Le Nestour described the journey that Save the Children and ESOMAR Foundation/Paragon are on to find ways to research complex issues like Adolescent Girls’ Diet, and Child Marriage, and Attitudes to Beast-Milk Substitute. He identified that the ways in which NGO’s look at research questions can be quite different from how commercial organisations look at their issues. NGO’s are interested in tackling big, complex questions that are sometimes hard to decompose.  Save the Children works with the most marginalised populations which are not often covered by standard market research: there may not be agencies in the poorest countries in the world or in fragile countries; survey techniques may not be appropriate; some of the issues are extremely sensitive , for example trauma, sexual violence etc,. We do need to work at communication and education if we are to achieve our objective of getting research used more.

In summary, we showed several excellent examples of how Qualitative research had made the difference between success and failure. How  research can change perceptions.

So why isn’t more qual and quant research done by the sector?

  • Because Qual research is not seen as rigorous enough by donors
  • Because it’s difficult to measure change – you have to take a longer term view than most Aid project timetables allow
  • Because we can’t communicate properly – yet!

So, what we’ve learnt in the last year is that it’s difficult to break down the barriers, even when everyone is trying hard.

Acceptance of Qualitative research is low – we just have to work harder to demonstrate how necessary Qual is to solving problems – and we have to improve the quality of qual research practice and reporting.

And the Quant requirement is complex – the data is difficult to collect and the audience can be difficult to find – new, robust, methodologies are required.

Also, NGO’s are conflicted – they hope that new tech approaches will help – but they know that unless the research is properly ‘scientific’ then it won’t be accepted.

But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean that should give up – au contraire! – we just have to work harder to find the right way to communicate our value – to understand the issues , break them down and find the insights to resolve them.

It sometimes feels like we’re banging our heads against a brick wall – but, as we learnt from both Keynote speakers on the following day at Congress, actually nothing worthwhile is achieved without a great deal of effort. And whilst the Client Panel, also on the following day, showed that the commercial sector has the imperative of wanting research to be done more frequently, faster and cheaper, in the Development Aid sector they need more long term thinking, rigour, and real human understanding. Exactly what we can deliver – if only we can learn the language.

The Market Research Industry  can make the world a better place by helping the UN monitor progress on the 2030 SDG’s and by helping the Development Aid sector do the right things to change lives.

As ESOMAR Foundation and Paragon we are working together for this – we look for your support!

(Originally posted in RWConnect)

Will you be the lucky one?

Or will you surprise a colleague or a family member or a friend with a special gift? Try your luck and help our Education programme!



For the third consecutive year, we are holding a charity prize draw to increase funds for the execution of our activities. By buying tickets you will help us reach our goal of setting up training, scholarships and help researchers in need.

Our donors have spoilt us with exciting prizes. Discover them here.

  • Tickets for the latest Cirque du Soleil show
  • A weekend in a deluxe hotel in a Central America Capital
  • A 3 night stay in a five star hotel in Rio during Carnival
  • A drone
  • Wi-Fi sunglasses
  • … and much more!

Visit our dedicated webpage and support the work of the ESOMAR Foundation!

If you have questions don’t hesitate in contacting us at:

Join the ‘Research for Good’ Competition

Give a chance to the most inspiring example of research for social good in action to be of help to NGOs, their causes and the world!

Submit by 16 December 2017!



Do you do Social research? Does your research contribute to understanding the human condition to better the human condition? Are you keen to showcase your unique insights to the world through an advertising campaign in 2018? The best, most inspiring and surprising example will form the basis of the 2018 advertising campaign supported by System1 advertising agency and Oath (charity arm of AOL).

Inspired by the Meena’ story and willing to portray similar stories where research helped bettering the human condition, the ESOMAR Foundation is running the Research for Good Competition.


How to enter?

Fill in the entry form and send your submission by 16 December 2017!


Understanding the human condition, to better the human condition.

 In collaboration with:



John Kearon appointed New President of the ESOMAR Foundation


Amsterdam, 12 September 2017 – The ESOMAR Foundation has announced the appointment of John Kearon as their new President. He will succeed Gunilla Broadbent who has covered this role since the creation of the ESOMAR Foundation in 2013 and has been the driving force of the founding board.

The ESOMAR Foundation wishes to warmly thank Gunilla for her dedication and for her belief that through the Foundation the wealth of knowledge and experience that is represented in the market research industry could be applied to every aspect of society to ensure a more transparent, reliable and sustainable world.  Gunilla has ensured a smooth introduction of the Foundation into the world of philanthropy and has run the Board of Directors with commitment and enthusiasm.

The ESOMAR Foundation welcomes John Kearon and wishes him all the best in his new role. John, together with the other Members of the Board (Phyllis Macfarlane, Angela Canin and Anna Alu’) will take over responsibilities for setting and achieving the objectives and policies of the ESOMAR Foundation.

John’s role in conceiving and leading BrainJuicer Group PLC, now System1 Group PLC, made him Ernst & Young’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, the ARF’s Gold Award for Research Innovator and four times winner of ‘Most Innovative Market Research Company’. As one client commented, “John’s a mix of Richard Branson and Colin Firth, with a healthy dose of Monty Python thrown in”. A popular speaker at industry events and winner of many awards, including two ESOMAR prizes. John believes  that Understanding the human condition, to better the human condition is essential for making the world a better place.


Gunilla Broadbent said:

“I am absolutely delighted and thrilled that John has accepted the appointment as the new President of the ESOMAR Foundation . John happens to be one of my favourite people in the industry and we could not have asked for a better, more enthusiastic, charismatic and talented person to lead the Foundation to the next level.“ 


John Kearon said:

“It’s a genuine pleasure to take on the Foundation role and build on the brilliant foundations Gunilla and the team have laid. Starting something is always the biggest step – zero to one is infinite after all – my job is to build on what they’ve started.”


ESOMAR Foundation

The ESOMAR Foundation is the charity arm of ESOMAR, the global industry association of Market, Social and Opinion research.

The ESOMAR Foundation has been set up to explore how to use the knowledge, skills, creativity, interest and resources of researchers to help charities improve people’s lives around the world through greater human understanding.

ESOMAR Foundation believes that a fair, just and peaceful society is deserved by all and recognises the immense promise that the research community offers to those striving to achieve these goals on a global level. We bring volunteers and resources together to execute projects and provide financial support to help and support charities and NGO’s to achieve their aims.



ESOMAR is the global voice of the data, research and insights community.

With more than 5000 individual and over 500 corporate members from over 130 countries, ESOMAR is a truly global association. We promote the value of market, opinion and social research and data analytics and represent more than 35,000 professionals including all those who use research for informed decision-making. We’ve been providing ethical and professional guidance and advocating on behalf of our global membership community for 70 years.


Anna Alu

+31 20 664 2141

The ESOMAR Foundation charity draw is now open!

For the third consecutive year, we are holding a charity prize draw to increase funds for the execution of our activities. By buying tickets you will help us reach our goal of setting up training, scholarships and help researchers in need.

This year our donors have been more generous than ever! It’s only September but we have already received a lot of interesting prizes including tickets for the latest Cirque du Soleil show, a weekend in a deluxe hotel in a Central America Capital, a 3 night stay in a five star hotel in Rio during Carnaval, to a drone, wifi sunglasses and much more!

You can support us by buying tickets or sponsoring the charity prize draw providing us with interesting prizes for our supporters.

Visit our dedicated webpage and support the work of the ESOMAR Foundation!

If you have questions don’t hesitate in contacting us at:

Sex trafficking, poverty, street children, child marriage…research can help finding solutions

 My Choices Foundation, BBC Media Action, StreetInvest, Save the Children and Surgo Foundation have worked hard together with the market research industry in looking at the insights that help finding the most appropriate solutions to these societal problems affecting millions of people around the world!

On 12 September these organisations will present their findings at an ESOMAR Foundation event and will debate some ways forward to help tackle these societal issues. The session will be part of the ESOMAR Annual Congress to be held in Amsterdam on 11-13 September.

Meena’s story about sex trafficking in India is just one the stories we feature at this event….

Read more about Meena’s story

Not able to attend in person? No problem, you can follow this session and other parts of the event for free by registering to ESOMAR TV

For more information contact us at:

Making the World a Better Place

A not-to-be-missed session organised by the ESOMAR Foundation (Part 2)




How engaging and fundamental this can be! We have recently written about the special session that the ESOMAR Foundation will hold on 12 September at the ESOMAR 70th Anniversary Annual Congress. While ESOMAR celebrates its anniversary, the Foundation looks at the essential area of society which refers to eradicating poverty and leaving no one behind.

The market research industry has a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can be applied to every aspect of society to ensure a more transparent, reliable and sustainable world. Market researchers are great believers of applying their skills and knowledge to do social good, so we already know that we can count on their participation and involvement in the discussions. It’s a golden opportunity to mobilise forces within the industry and reach out to NGOs and all interested parties. The aim is to create synergies and cooperation to make the world a better place!

Here is the programme:

From Village to Virtual Reality
How behavioural research has transformed the Red Alert approach to prevention of sex-trafficking in India

Hannah Surabhi, My Choices Foundation, India

My Choices Foundation exists to give women and girls in India the choice to live lives free from abuse, violence and exploitation. It does this by addressing two of India’s most pervasive and intractable issues: Domestic Violence and Sex Trafficking. Their anti sex-trafficking work through Operation Red Alert is leading the prevention movement in India, and has become an international pioneer in its technology-driven approach. The presentation will cover how My Choices is applying the findings from their research (that employed learnings from cognitive neuroscience and behavioural economics) to understand and influence the behaviour of families at high risk to sex-trafficking.

Using Qualitative research to develop and understand the impact of media content in difficult contexts – Afghanistan, South Sudan and Somalia

Sonia Whitehead, BBC Media Action, UK

BBC Media Action is the BBC’s international development charity who use the power of media and communication to help reduce poverty and support people in understanding their rights. Sonia Whitehead will summarise how they have used qualitative research to both inform the development of TV and Radio programmes and understand their impact. Work will be presented from countries such as Ethiopia, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Somalia.

 “I am one in a million” – Respecting street children’s realities

Georgina Day, Streetinvest, UK and Flora Somogyi, BigSofa, UK

StreetInvest is a global charity that exists to improve the lives of street children. StreetInvest believes that participatory research and data collection are an integral part of developing successful programmes on the ground and national and international policies and legislation. StreetInvest and Video Analytics Company, Big Sofa, will share how they have used rich qualitative video data from ethnographic research, to generate insights into this marginalised and often invisible population, and how they hope to go beyond informing stakeholders, to influencing change in the way interventions are designed.

Paragon Partnership with Save the Children UK – Early progresses and lessons

Alexis Le Nestour, Save the Children, UK

The Paragon partnership connects market research agencies with NGOs to provide support on research. Paragon is supporting Save the Children UK in its research on adolescent girl nutrition and child marriage in Western and Central Africa. The presentation will provide more details about the progresses made and how it complements the type of research done by SCUK. Lessons for NGOs and market research agencies that wish to engage in common research project will be discussed.

How can we make a difference?

The presentations will be followed by a Panel discussion including the above speakers as panelists and with the participation of  Steve Kretschmer, Managing Director of the Surgo Foundation. Topics to be tackled during the panel discussion are:

  • What can the MR Industry do to achieve this vision?
  • How can we better use the data we already have and the surveys we do?
  • How can we promote and demonstrate the value of Qualitative and Ethnographic data to Donors and Policy Makers?
  • How can we mobilise our experts and energetic young researchers?
  • How can we really make a difference?

The session will be led and moderated by Gunilla Broadbent, ESOMAR Foundation President and Phyllis Macfarlane, ESOMAR Foundation Treasurer,

This is a unique opportunity for the ESOMAR Foundation to take an active part in the 70th anniversary ESOMAR Congress. Watch this space for more news on the programme. For more information contact us at:




The Annual Report 2016 is out!

We are pleased to share the Annual Report and Financial Statement 2016 of the ESOMAR Foundation.

In 2016 the Foundation strengthened several activities and enjoyed an increase in awareness and support from the industry and beyond. These developments provide a promising outlook for the future. The Foundation can continue to execute its activities in partnership with the many stakeholders who have provided both financial support and expertise and will hopefully continue to do so in the years to come.

The ESOMAR Council and the Supervisory Board continue to support and stimulate the Foundation in executing its mission “to use the skills, knowledge and support of the industry to do social good”.

A special Thank You!

Without the generous help and support of the many volunteers, sponsors, friends, ambassadors and partners, the ESOMAR Foundation could not survive! So, we would like to take this opportunity to warmly and sincerely THANK YOU ALL for ensuring that together we can pursue our mission of contributing to a better world.

Results so far are encouraging! With the help of our wonderful industry, we look forward to continuing to grow and achieve even better results in the years to come!


If you wish to know more about the ESOMAR Foundation, please contact us at