Monday, February 27, 2017

Focus Groups and Inclusion: Getting your Shoes Dirty

A focus group is not a focus group is not a focus group. People working in the development space have always been open to doing this "dirty work", sitting in circles on the floor in communities to talk to community members about their habits, needs and dreams. But today, more and more commercial companies are venturing into the low-income "market" using traditional market research tools and processes to gather insights from potential and current clients.  This may partly explain why some solutions miss large groups of people in the process.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

History Repeats Itself- Write it down and Process It!

As we ring in the New Year I will address something that's a bit unusual for this space. Keeping your perspective. The "directions" are simple. Write things down on paper. Store. Re-read. Repeat as often as necessary. Below, I share some insights from writing things down for over 25 years.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What type of Market Research is Right for You?

More and more, companies, investors and international organizations tackle the hard questions about their clients' needs and behaviors with numbers and data and we can all be glad. Numbers can tell us a lot! But sometimes, a few more in depth interviews can tell us so much more.  Take EA Consultants' Market Research Quiz to see what might be the right approach to your research questions...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Convening for Human Centered Design

There is a lot of information, including on our own EA Learning site about respectful research. But one area that is still underdeveloped (including in many IRB requirements) are guidelines for convening respondents.  We know that we have to protect respondent privacy, and we know that we have to ensure their responses are voluntary when we interview them- but what if we are scaring them by our covening methods and we don't even know it?

Monday, June 13, 2016

When the Lights Go Out- Context and PPI Measurement

Grameen Foundation’s Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) can be a useful way to measure a company’s outreach to low-income customers. A quick 10-question, standardized survey, it allows us to predict whether household incomes are likely to fall under US$1.25, 2.00, 4.00, or more per day.   But PPI alone may not always be sufficient- not least because the measure’s simplicity may fail to capture context at any given time.  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Faster, lighter, smarter...What are remote focus groups?

Last week, my team and I held a focus group with a small group of Kenyan call center staff members in Nairobi.   We discussed qualitative aspects about the clients they speak with, discussed whether clients were rural or urban, thought about how age may influence usage, and laughed about their experiences with some people who don't always tell the truth on the phone.  My team was in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles.  A few years ago, all of our field work was performed in country, but today, we are using technology to make us faster, lighter and smarter.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Asking her "Do you own your phone?"

I  was at a Thinkshop last week sponsored by UNCDF and UN Women on financial inclusion and women where we spent the greater part of a snowy day discussing how to better include women in the mobile financial services.  Despite the promise of mobile services for providing women with convenient, hassle free transactions, according to data, including Findex, women are the ones least served by these products.