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The beauty of new beginnings

Wander into the unknown, open your heart & take the leap! I wrote these words down on the first day of 2023 as my mantra throughout the year and sure enough, dreams of faraway places came knocking at my doorstep and roaring my name so loud.

My biggest wish for 2023, was that at some point this year, whenever I will have to introduce myself, I will have to mention that ‘’ I am pursuing my Master’s degree’’ this was only a dream because I always have believed in being the change, and bringing change, in the society I live in and I also desired growth in my career. I believe that if I advance my education, I will gain the skills I need to transform the world and be an asset in the Market Research space.

17th October 2023, I describe this day as ‘’Beatrice International day’’, it’s like everything in the universe had gathered together and decided it’s about time my life shifted into new many beginnings that would bring me so much bliss. This is the day I received my scholarship confirmation from ESOMAR Foundation/WIRE. Finally, my dream of advancing my education had come true, and people who only knew me through my certificates decided to invest in my future and transform me into the professional I have always desired to be.

Since I started my Master’s degree, it has been a series of new beginnings for me, from meeting a new family from ESOMAR Foundation/WIRE, my classmates, attending classes every day and the shift my life had to take to now being a full-time student, these are experiences I wish I knew were waiting for me. Lately, I have been happy, contented, and at peace as I embrace this new journey of achieving my dreams.

From Nairobi Kenya, I send a billion thank you (s)!!!


Beatrice Karimi is pursuing a Master in Development Studies (MA Development Studies) at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Beatrice is the recipient of a scholarship funded through a partnership with Women in Research (WIRe).

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 info@esomarfoundation.org

Partners & Sponsors

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

Trainer volunteer experience in Kenya – Meltem Karahan

As a volunteer to train for this initiative, I had great experience Before, During and After the event.


First of all, it was very challenging to put the training content together. Besides day to day work, I had to set aside significant amount of time to understand the objectives of the training, to find out about the needs of the audience in Kenya and most importantly to develop the content that best meets the objectives and the needs for the majority. While I put the content together for the sessions such as, ensuring research quality, translating clients’ objectives to discussion guides or analyzing data to tell impactful stories, I felt quite challenged as there was so much to share but not available in an organized format and there was little time to deliver the key messages. Hence organizing my knowledge, distilling key themes and messages, tailoring them to the audience and meeting the time requirements were quite challenging. However, as much as it was a challenge, it was a rewarding exercise too.  I experienced good recall of my knowledge from many years ago which motivated me to use them again in my day to day work with my own organization.  I ended up with well organized training modules which I can reuse given the contents are timeless and will always be of value. And importantly, I better understood some of the concepts I thought I knew well before. Aristotle said “Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach”.  This is so true.


During the event, I met great people, heard great content from other trainers and also from the participants. Engagement with the participants during breaks and during the sessions was invaluable. We had so much information exchange. I learned about the challenges of doing research in Kenya as well as in other parts of Africa from multiple perspectives (both from clients’ and from suppliers’), I learned about the challenges of young researchers as well as of experienced ones. I met great people dedicated to doing high quality jobs, seeking wisdom. Some of the questions I got were very inspiring, making it so clear why we need to take part in such events and help each other with our diverse experiences across different industries, different experience levels and different geographies. I also felt that, by networking, sharing these experiences, knowledge and ideas, there was better understanding of client and supplier perspectives, which I believe lead to healthier relationships, deeper dialogues and eventually to better quality work on both sides. After all “sharing is caring” and we need to care for each other as members of one big researchers’ society.


Finally, after the event, I left with great memories and having made many new good friends. My memories of Nairobi as a great city and its great people were enhanced. I had great bonding time with other trainers and feel quite confident that I have more resources around me if I need to tap into their experiences in future. The whole MSRA team made my experience unforgettable. I now have a different level of standard for what a great event looks like. I had many returns from the participants and organizers which enable a great sense of accomplishment.  So I encourage you all to try and volunteer because “every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”.




Meltem Karahan

Photos from the ESOMAR Foundation traning in Kenya!

 Developing the Impact of Research in Emerging Markets – the ESOMAR Foundation Education Programme!

Forty six delegates from 19 agency, client, and academic organisations gathered together in Nairobi on April 13/14th 2016 for an advanced Training programme organised and funded jointly by ESOMAR Foundation and MSRA – the Kenyan Social and Market Research Association.

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The Foundation completed another successful training in Africa!

Developing the Impact of Research in Emerging Markets – the ESOMAR Foundation Education Programme. A contribution from Phyllis Macfarlane – Treasurer of the ESOMAR Foundation and GfK.

Forty six delegates from 19 agency, client, and academic organisations gathered together in Nairobi on April 13/14th 2016 for an advanced Training programme organised and funded jointly by ESOMAR Foundation and MSRA – the Kenyan Social and Market Research Association.

The ESOMAR Foundation volunteer trainers were Meltem Karahan (P&G), Pervin Olgun (ESOMAR Council and Barem), and myself, Phyllis Macfarlane. We’d been working together over several months on the content of the training programme, and were excited to be meeting our audience at last. (And perhaps a little nervous, on finding out it was so large!)

Our brief was to help the Kenyan MR Industry develop it’s work for market research to have greater impact on business decisions in Kenya – a big task, covering qualitative and quantitative research, understanding client’s business requirements, and reporting for greater influence at senior level.  We knew we had a lot to cover, and high expectations to meet – it’s always an issue to satisfy the needs of many experienced researchers, some interested in qual, some in quant, some in both – some in other aspects of MR altogether. And, with a big audience, it’s difficult to introduce the interactivity that everyone needs to learn effectively. Everyone was going to have to work really hard for the 2 days. So that’s what we all did – delegates and trainers alike!  It was exhausting but ultimately very satisfying.

Meltem Karahan played a major role in the training – generously sharing her 28+ years’ experience in P&G and showing us how clients distil information in order to make decisions. It was extremely useful to see how data from multiple sources is reduced to tell what appears to be a very simple story – deceptively so because of the huge amount of effort and thought that has gone into it – a real insight into how clients think and process market and customer information.

Meltem also spent lots of time demonstrating the importance of high quality qualitative and quantitative research practices – specifically asking the right questions and developing  true listening skills. The delegates truly appreciated her openness and advice on what clients expect from researchers .

Pervin shared her experience of the statistics that all researchers need – for sampling and for data analysis. And again this was much appreciated. In fact delegates would like to see even more detail on advanced analysis techniques and modelling – the challenge of Big Data was mentioned more than once!

I covered the importance of qual and quant research to business decision making, calculating the ROI of research, and speaking the right language for senior executives. The analysis and  communication challenges that the new generation of researchers face. Also Qual Group discussion techniques and the Future of MR – digital qualitative research and behavioural economics.

All the presenters shared Case Studies to demonstrate how research adds value, insight and how to report data effectively.

A real highlight of the workshop were the discussions  around client demands and to what extent researchers can push back – especially when clients clearly do not understand local culture and practices. Obviously the  way to do this is positively – explaining that certain things will not work or will not be acceptable to local respondents. The delegates particularly appreciated Meltem’s candour in answering their questions and concerns – which are clearly very real.

By the end of the 2 days everyone was exhausted, but all agreed that they had learnt a lot – both delegates and trainers.

What did we learn from the feedback?

Well, we had lots of good scores. Delegates particularly appreciated the content on story-telling and insight generation, the sessions on research quality and ethics, and  the newer techniques such as digital qual and behavioural economics. They would like more training on social research, advanced data analysis techniques, insight generation, reporting and presentation, big data, and behavioural economics.

They would also like more local case studies, more time(!), and more interactivity. It’s always a challenge, to cover both the amount of content required and spend time digesting it.

Some nice comments on what delegates particularly liked: ‘The use of case studies to demonstrate how insights can be maximised for the company’s benefit’; ‘It was forward looking and focussed on addressing changing industry needs’, and, my particular favourite: ‘It was a breath of fresh air!’ . We can ask for no more

In ESOMAR Foundation training programmes, such as this, we aim to stimulate both young and experienced researchers to stand back and think about their work and the future of MR. For so much of our research lives we are immersed in difficult and challenging process to deliver to ever increasing client demands and deadlines, gathering data from ever more busy, complex and elusive respondents – it is inspiring to see examples and hear stories of how research is used to impact our clients’ business. And it’s also important that growing, emerging markets develop and adapt approaches which are suitable for them and their culture. It should not be a case or replicating what is done elsewhere, but of innovation and fresh thinking. We hope to stimulate that thinking.

We aim to entertain as well as educate – the main enjoyment comes from sharing real case studies (with videos!)  – and we had excellent examples from Africa and all over the world. It is always good to see, and reflect on  what happens to research after it leaves the agency. After all, as researchers, we are very fortunate to lead such varied and exciting lives – many people do not have such interesting and challenging work, which impacts people and society every day.

The real highlight of the Kenya Workshop, for me, and for Meltem and Pervin, was to meet so many enthusiastic and dedicated researchers  – and hear of their experiences, challenges and questions – sometimes the best learning is done in the tea-breaks and over lunch. (The food – and especially the cake – is always excellent in Kenya!). We are grateful to the MSRA Council for all their support and hard work to deliver such an engaging and worthwhile experience. And I am particularly grateful to Meltem and Pervin for giving their time and expertise so generously. We all hope to continue in 2017!

Phyllis Macfarlane


Knowledge is Strength!

In April this year, we are arranging another training course for market research professionals. This time in Nairobi, Kenya. The training initiative is part of our Education program that was launched in 2014. The aim of the Education program is to improve the quality of the market research industry in emerging and developing economies. “Our ambition is to roll out these training programs where they are needed and in countries and regions from where we get requests. We see an enormous demand for professional training in Africa and as an independent charity we are really equipped to do this”, says, Phyllis MacFarlane, Treasurer of ESOMAR Foundation with long experience of training market research professionals in Africa.

To increase the number of training sessions, the Foundation is in need of sponsors and partners. Last year we received a generous contribution from Confirmit, a software provider for the Market research industry, which will be used for further develop and expand our education program in Africa.

To help us roll out the training programmes we collaborate with local Market Research associations. For our training in Kenya, we work with Market and Social Research Association, MSRA.

We also get many requests from senior professionals in the industry, who would like to contribute with their time and experience as trainers. Pervin Olgun founder of Barem, Meltem Karahan from Procter & Gamble and Phyllis MacFarlane from GfK will hold the training course in Nairobi.

To read more about our previous training programme in Myanmar click here.

Do you want to know more about how you or your organization can support our Education program click here.