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Author: Angela Canin

ESOMAR Foundation joins forces with the MRS to offer free access to MRS qualifications to young practitioners

MRS qualifications are recognised around the world as the leading qualifications for market and social research. MRS has joined forces with the ESOMAR Foundation to offer free access to MRS qualifications to young practitioners who are being sponsored to complete educational programmes in developing nations and emerging countries. Ayesh Jayawardana is the first beneficiary of this initiative.

Read more: https://www.mrs.org.uk/article/mrs/free-access-to-mrs-qualifications-view-from-sri-lanka

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

Students who receive ESOMAR Foundation scholarships get free access to MRS qualifications.


Prize Draw – winners announced!

Wow, what a year! We have been hard at work helping the research industry contribute to making the world a better place. Without your support we are unable to achieve any of our aims so a HUGE thank you to all of you who bought tickets and donated prizes. Now the big news…..the winners

  • $100,000 pro bono media campaign across the AOL Network for the winner’s charity of choice and sponsored by AOL! Won by Jorge Frech from MERCAPLAN Central America & Caribbean in Honduras
  • 7 night stay for a couple in the Pineland Resort in Lebanon sponsored by ARA. Won by Dan Foreman from Hatted in the UK
  • 10 seats at the De Beers boxes at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the AMALUNA show and sponsored by De Beers. Won by Elena Mosicheva from MarketSense in Russia
  • Weekend in Moscow at the Metropol Moscow Hotel sponsored by OMI. Won by Stefan Petersson from Inizio in Sweden
  • 3 bottles of whiskey: 1 Jack Daniels – Gentleman Jack; 1 Jack Daniels – Single Barrel Select; 1 Jack Daniels sponsored by Brown-Forman. Also won by Dan Foreman from Hatted in UK
  • Amazon voucher for €100 sponsored by the MRS. Won by the team at Q Agentur für Forschung in Germany
  • iPad Pro sponsored by Motivaction. Won by Maya Middlemiss from Saros Research in the UK
  • A surprising experience for a total cost of US$ 200 sponsored by MESH. Also won by the team at Q Agentur für Forschung in Germany
  • MRII training course toward the Principles of Mobile Market Research sponsored by the MRII. Also won by Stefan Petersson from Inizio in Sweden
  • An Indian traditional jacket sponsored by KREA. Won by BV Pradeep from Unilever in the UK
  • A ticket for ESOMAR 70th Anniversary Annual Congress to be held in Amsterdam on 10-13 September 2017. Won by Anna Thomas a consultant in Cyprus.

We wish all of our donors, winners, prize draw entrants and everyone reading this message the most fantastic festive season and an incredible 2017!

The Impact of Social Research: a review on the workshop

Researchers – and research buyers – want their research to be impactful. NGO’s and donors want to create programs that are impactful. How can we unite the market research industry, NGO’s, and donors? How can we use Market Research methods to best fit the needs of NGO’s committed to creating positive social change in the world?

These questions were addressed in the Impact of Social Research Workshop, on the opening Sunday of the ESOMAR annual Congress. So many of us enter research because of a profound curiosity about people, and a need to leverage that curiosity professionally. And many of us would like to know how to use that curiosity to create social change. In this workshop, we heard concrete examples of how our skills can go to work for the world.

The workshop opened with an introduction by Phyllis Mcfarlane, the treasurer of the ESOMAR Foundation. The ESOMAR Foundation began in late 2013, staffed by a team of four volunteer ESOMAR members, hailing from the UK, India, and Argentina. After the initial growing pains of establishing an international foundation, the group focused its attention on its goals. These include the Education Programme, which focuses on the education and training of young professionals in the market research industry in countries where access to such training is traditionally limited, the Better Results Programme, which helps NGO’s around the world to obtain better results, and finally, and finally the Researcher in Need Programme, which aims to assist researchers who have suffered from political unrest or environmental catastrophe.

Mcfarlane spoke to us of the fantastic successes the Foundation has achieved in its first few years. The foundation launched its first education project, in 2013, in Myanmar. The Myanmar project was a great success, brought about through partnership with the Myanmar Marketing Services Association and the MMSA. The programme provided one week of training in market research techniques for 40 students and young professionals. It was such a success, that the programme will be repeated. The Foundation is also expanding this programme to Kenya, with cooperation from the Kenyan Social and Market Research Association and MSRA.

The Foundation has also assisted the survivors of the Rwandan genocide to develop business skills and market research skills. These skills will prove invaluable to those that will eventually use them to start their own businesses. The Foundation also provides scholarships to promising young scholars and aspiring market researchers, in countries such as South Africa And Kenya.

We heard next from Sally Panayiotou, the Director of Kantar Public Research UK. Ideally, social research can inform social policy so they can create the most positive impact. Panayiotou emphasized that social research requires us to engage frequently with at risk and difficult to engage research subjects. This requires us, as researchers, to be particularly careful when selecting our methodologies. How will we discuss sexual health with women in Africa? How will we talk to AIDS victims? How can we discuss child abuse? How can we be truly empathetic, make respondents feel comfortable enough to talk to us, and reassure them that their answers are confidential? How can we create research that does not alienate our respondents? These are all important questions when working with these groups. Sally noted that we can frame our questions in non-threatening ways, be empathetic, and help respondents to feel comfortable by giving them “examples” of what others might think or feel about an issue.

But most importantly to NGO’s and donors, how do we know if programmes are working? Social change must be measured, and that, of course, requires research. Ongoing partnerships between research vendors, NGO’s, and donors can help provide important insights along the way to social change. So, there are various points at which those committed to social change can benefit from ongoing research.

Panayiotou pointed out that through all of this, it is most important to remember that social research gives the underrepresented a voice. Social research must come back to people, and create meaningful progress in their lives. In order to be providing research that enables this, we must be methodologically rigorous, and we must design research that is appropriate for the intervention.

Next, we heard about a fabulous project with great potential to provide insights to NGO’s and policy makers. Imagine if survey by survey, IDI by IDI, we could all contribute to a global body of research, a constantly growing social dataset, accessible to anyone who might need the information…. Imagine that the data collected could be targeted towards issues, generating data that could answer some of our most pressing global questions? This would be wonderful, wouldn’t it? Well, this is the aim of Paragon Partnership. Paragon, presented Namika Mediratta of Unilever, partners companies such as Uniliver and Coca-Cola with research vendors such as Kantar and Nielsen, NGO’s, and organizations such as ESOMAR. The partnership aims to provide the research required to tackle the UN’s 17 point plan of Global Goals (http://www.globalgoals.org/).

Next, imagine that Paragon’s data could be collected as easily as receiving a text message. It could be, with GeoPoll. SMS research is unique for its global reach, and the place that mobile phones play in our lives. Phones are now among the most personal of devices, especially in Africa. More affordable and more accessible than computers, mobile phones are a great avenue for research. In Africa, where respondents can be inaccessible due to low levels of internet penetration, rural conditions, and far distances, SMS research offers many solutions to these problems.   Cathy VonderHaar, of GeoPoll, USA, spoke about the phenomenal success GeoPoll has found through SMS based research around the continent. They have had remarkable success, owing partially to the fact that they have secured strategic partnerships with many of Africa’s mobile phone service provides, allowing them them to have databases that include least 50% of mobile phone users in all of the 26 countries in which they currently operate. This allows them amazing results even when incidence is low.

Research conducted through SMS has the benefit of being administered on a device with which the respondent is very comfortable. They can respond from their homes, and they will also respond succinctly, due to the format. But, since the device is so familiar, GeoPoll has gotten extremely personal, compelling responses, on everything from domestic violence and rape in the DRC, to the perceptions and fears surrounding the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. And just as importantly, since mobile technology is convenient and fast, GeoPoll is able to monitor quickly evolving situations.

These four fascinating projects have the unique commonality of leveraging market research tools in the service of the public good. As Maaya Sundaram of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pointed out during the panel discussion, their success relies on their ability to adapt their service and their language to the needs of the social and public sectors. Speaking to donors and NGO’s is a different language, and a different set of priorities than many of us on the consumer side are used to. Learning these languages, and recognizing the unique needs of this very important sector is essential if we, as a professional community, are to participate in the social changes that so many of us would want to see in the world around us.


First published on RW Connect. Written by Stephanie Alaimo




Paragon is the Market Research Industry’s initiative to use data and insight to improve people’s lives. ESOMAR Foundation is representing ESOMAR on the Paragon Committee.


The main idea of Paragon is to add questions to existing surveys which help monitor progress with major aid initiatives, but we now also have an opportunity to work with  Prof. Jeffrey Sachs (Director of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network- UNSDSN) (http://unsdsn.org/) (https://sipa.columbia.edu/faculty/jeffrey-sachs ). SDSN need advice and support that is beyond simply including a few questions in existing surveys.


Prof Sachs is leading 2 very high level projects that he would like our help with:


o   “World Happiness Report”- World academics measuring happiness and well-being around the world.  Further research is needed to understand what produces high levels of well-being in the world, to enable policies to support better lives

o   “Ethics & Action Program”- Engaging world leaders of faith and religion (i.e. the Pope, etc.) to take action on the UN Sustainable Development goals (SGD’s). SDSN needs a greater understanding of public attitudes to generosity, tolerance, climate change, etc.


We are looking for Market Researchers who are experts in understanding and measuring well-being and such public attitudes globally,  who could take a brief from Prof Sachs, design and manage some qualitative and /or quantitative research – whatever is appropriate – and then potentially devise appropriate questions which could be added to large quantitative surveys. We need an expert qualitative and quantitative researcher(s) to design and lead the project, and also a number of qualitative researchers who could collaborate and conduct fieldwork in different countries, to identify the relevant insights.


Paragon was created to infuse insights that will help to tackle the 17-point plan of the UN Global Goals – end poverty, combat climate change, and fight injustice and inequality around the world. A single government or organisation cannot find the solutions to these global challenges. Our only hope is to work in partnership, where everyone plays their part.


If you are interested in playing your part by supporting us with this project and volunteering to undertake some of the work, please email ESOMAR Foundation with a description of your experience and interest. info@esomarfoundation.org

ESOMAR Foundation, MRSA and WIRe offer a scholarship to a woman in Kenya!

The ESOMAR Foundation in co-operation with MSRA (Kenyan Marketing and Social Research Association) with the generous support of Women In Research (WIRe) and Unilever is excited to announce the WIRe Kenyan Scholarship. WIRe aims to raise US$5,000 from individual and company donations, matched dollar for dollar by sponsor Unilever, to award a US$10,000 scholarship to a Kenyan female student in a discipline related to market research.


The scholarship will fund the education of an exceptional Kenyan woman student from a disadvantaged socio-economic background to give her the chance at a rewarding career in market research, both to advance the voice of women in research and also to advance the voice of African women in the practice.


As such, Kenya is a prime location to award this scholarship because of the engaged research community and growing market research industry.


WIRe and Unilever’s generous support of this scholarship is an excellent match with the aim and purpose of the ESOMAR Foundation mission.


WIRe arms women in the marketing research industry with the tools to develop professionally, build connections and stay inspired. WIRe believes in the positive impact of women in business. WIRe’s mission is to advance the contributions of women in research, both for themselves and the greater good of the industry.


Through its global reach and the creation of programming like this scholarship, WIRe continues to give women in the marketing research industry the tools to develop professionally, build connections around the world, and stay inspired.


Kristin Luck, Growth Strategist/Board Advisor & Founder, Women In Research:


“We are delighted to support the ESOMAR Foundation in awarding a scholarship to a deserving woman in Kenya. As a global non-profit, we connect women in research around the world, with a key strategic goal of propelling those from under-resourced or conflict communities by empowering them to become confident, career-focused and ready to join the next generation of professional women. We strongly believe that this scholarship represents an amazing opportunity for a young woman in Kenya to pursue her career in market research”

If you or your organization interested in supporting our scholarship program, click here, to learn more or contact info@esomarfoundation.org . Alternately you may visit www.womeninresearch.org to donate directly to the scholarship fund.

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