Making a difference: How qualitative research helped UNICEF shift cultural paradigms in the Middle East

Room 1 | 9:00 am - 9:30 am | Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Based on a case study that won an ESOMAR Making A Difference Award in 2020, this session will discuss how we applied qualitative research techniques for our client UNICEF to uncover insights towards sensitive topics in ways that traditional questioning methods can’t.

In the Middle East there is major diversity, which can lead to failure for well-known brand names if they use the same approach in different regions, without taking cultural beliefs and norms into consideration. In order to enter a market, grow and make changes, it is critical to first understand the cultural drivers and barriers. The social research we conducted in Egypt with UNICEF resulted in a major cultural paradigm shift on human and government policy levels.

Key takeaways:

  1. Insight into the key cultural dilemmas in the Middle Eastern world affecting market research.
  2. Communication challenges for social entities who seek paradigm shifts in cultural beliefs and behaviors (UNICEF case study reference).
  3. Qualitative techniques for deriving truth about sensitive topics.
  4. How market research ended up creating words and changing worlds.

Case Study Non-Profit Presentation by End-Client


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