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Worldfish tool navigator for market based research 2018


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Using market-based research methods for user-responsive innovation

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Worldfish tool navigator for market based research 2018

  1. 1. Tool Navigator Using market-based research methods for user-responsive innovation
  2. 2. About the Tool Navigator When you are doing research in low-income countries and their informal markets, investigating and gathering information and data to inform user-responsive innovation can be a very complicated task. Applying conventional tactics and relying on desk research often do not produce efficient results in Base of the Pyramid (BoP) markets. Even though many of those countries have national bureaus of statistics and other information agencies, access to sector-specific data is typically very poor. The Tool Navigator aims to guide you in doing on-the-ground, user-oriented research in low-income contexts. In particular, it is meant to support you in understanding farmers', retailers’ or consumers' own needs, perspectives and preferences so that technical or market innovations can be more responsive to their needs. This includes generating insights needed for crop, fish or animal breeding programs. This user-oriented research will help you complement, verify or sharpen your secondary information sources. In the end, the most effective approach in establishing an understanding of your users is to be present in the market, making it possible to see the conditions on the ground and meet the different stakeholders. We have selected a range of user-oriented research methods that have been developed for and successfully practiced in BoP markets as they allow researchers to overcome distrust and cultural gaps. This publication is in no way a complete set of tools. Neither does it provide you with all of the background and instructions needed to implement the suggested methodologies in a user- or gender-sensitive way. Instead, the Tool Navigator refers to practical tools that are already publicly available. Some of these (unconventional) tools have been historically used by designers, but they have found their way to a broader audience of researchers and development practitioners. We hope they will also help you in your research.
  3. 3. Why you need these tools It is important to differentiate between what people say and feel. Many of our dreams, desires and worries take place in our subconscious, which makes it hard for your target group to express their ‘real’ feelings. Through user-oriented and participatory research methods, we can help respondents understand and explain their latent needs. By understanding people’s contexts we can explain the underlying desires and place them within the total customer experience (based on research by Sleeswijk Visser et al. 2005). Say Do Use Feel Dream Surveys, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups Observations Generative sessions Explicit Observable Tacit Latent What people... Research methods Knowledge Superficial Deep
  4. 4. Learn from others Watch these videos to learn how others have used user-oriented and participatory market research methods to drive their social businesses. Ruby Cup A business case for a reusable menstrual hygiene product in East Africa. Mobisol Development of a market strategy for off-grid power solutions. Endeva market research Development of a solar kiosk for communities in Madagascar.
  5. 5. How do I use the Tool Navigator? 1 For example: We want to understand the intra-household decision-making process for food expenditure and consumption, from both women's and men's perspectives in poor households in district X, so we can develop more effective behavior-change campaigns. Define your target group and your research purpose First take a moment to clarify who your target group is (be specific in terms of geography, gender, wealth, livelihoods and whatever else is required) and what you are trying to understand from your target group. Make sure you are thinking about your target group in gender-inclusive terms. We will use SenseMaker® to capture 800 stories from different rural household members, balancing input from women and men. We will gently guide the conversation by showing pictures of food habits. Select a tool Then, select an appropriate tool from the Tool Navigator on the following pages, based on best fit of the tool purpose with your research purpose. You might also want to combine tools. 2 We will ask a local artist to make sketches people can relate to. We will use the app offline for rural areas where the connection is not secure. Tailor the tool Make sure to study the tool and tailor it to your own needs as well as to the constraints of your target users or research environment. Assess and plan how to make the tool gender-integrated, drawing in gender expertise as needed (see also the section ‘A note on gender-integrated research’). 3 We will invest in good translation and run qualitative analysis at the end to detect interesting patterns (depicted in heat maps). To ‘make sense’ of these patterns, we will have an analysis workshop with field experts. Think ahead Already think about how you will manage the data that you will collect to make sure you get the most out of it with the least effort. Plan for how you will disaggregate the data by gender, and by other aspects if relevant (for example, by wealth group if your target group has more than one wealth group). Think through and plan for ethical aspects, including permissions and how to minimize burdens on people's time, while maximizing value to them. 4 We need a recruiter, field coordinator, trainer for data enumerators (men for men), quality translators and field experts for our workshop. Create a team Involve the right people including local authorities to make sure your research goes smoothly. 5 Get started Instruct your research team carefully and practice all methods first. Then you are good to go! 6
  6. 6. Overview of 16 tools Activity mapping Social mapping Resource flow Price mapping Get a better grasp of things that are complex or sensitive for your target users See how people respond to new propositions or interventions Co-creation workshop Rapid prototyping Product in market Ranking values SenseMaker® study Creating scenarios Figure out what people value in their life or work Self-docu- mentation Remote sensors Learn about people’s daily habits through unobtrusive methods Observations Context immersion Observe your users group to understand what cannot be (easily) said Deep dialogues Focus group discussions Sit together with your target users and listen to their stories Specific generative techniques PrototypingGenerative techniques Unobtrusive monitoring ObservingListening Purpose: Category: Tool:
  7. 7. Tools, summaries and resources Deep dialogues Supplement your quantitative market surveys with semi-structured interviews with individuals from your target group. With this activity, get a deeper and more varied insight into your target groups, which is critical to identify real opportunities and understand their current challenges. You can use different methods to dive deep such as the Five Whys. MC Toolbox page 58 Frog’s Toolkitpag 35–37 Find a complete list of resources on page 11 Focus group discussions Focus groups often consist of 4–8 people from the target group. These sessions generally last 1–2 hours and provide a quick overview of the opinions and needs of the target group. Remember to run separate groups for different subgroups, such as for women and for men, as needed. Part of their value lies in the unexpected findings that can come from a free-flowing discussion in the group, using a topic guide. When deeper and more individual information is needed, go for interviews instead. MC Toolbox page 60 IDEODesign K Observations (Unstructured) visits in selected places and shadowing people (with their permission) help understand what people do in a specific situation in ‘real life’. At the start of a project, shadowing helps familiarize yourself with a certain practice or group of people, including differences by or relations between women and men or other groups. People’s everyday lives can be so habitual that some issues may not be as apparent to them; sometimes observing them can reveal hidden aspects. Observation is also very important to check and contrast ‘what happens’ with ‘what people say happens’. MC Toolboxpage 68DIYToolkit Context immersion Go the extra mile, spend time with women and men from your target group, and participate in their daily activities. Taking part in their daily activities will reveal not just the physical details of the person’s life but the routines and habits that animate it. Honesty, reflections and good ideas are often expressed while people work together or during informal chats in the evenings. MC Toolboxpage 70IDEODesign K Self-docu- mentation With self-documentation methods like photo journals, you invite your target group to become active researchers themselves and document their day-to-day activities. This can give you insight into areas that are hard to access from the outside, such as family routines. This can also be empowering for the person doing the documentation. Make sure you sit together afterward and ask the person to walk you through what was captured. MC Toolbox page 60 IDEODesign K Remote sensors Low-power, low-maintenance cellular or satellite-enabled sensors are becoming increasingly affordable, allowing direct measurements of the performance and use of interventions in an entirely new way. They fill critical gaps in understanding the habits of people. Unilever, for example, has used sensors to monitor usage of toothbrushes and soaps. As with all tools, they require appropriate and explicit consent from the people involved. ITO CiscoReportKopernik Catal
  8. 8. Ranking values By putting a deck of cards, each with a word or single image, in the hands of people in your interview or focus group, you can quickly spark a deeper conversation about what matters most to them. Challenge your target group to actively value and rank products, services or detailed aspects of a solution in accordance with their perceived value. MC Toolboxpage 76IDEODesign K SenseMaker® study People use stories as filters to make sense of the world around them. The SenseMaker® methodology allows you to capture stories and visualize them to find interesting patterns that will give you a deeper understanding of what matters to your users. SenseMaker® combines soft data of qualitative research with hard data of quantitative research. Cognitive Edge WebBoP Incblog po Creating scenarios Build situational stories to make it easier for your target group to understand abstract questions. Develop a fictional or realistic story that sums up your understanding and then present it to your target group during an interview or focus group for clarification, feedback or to validate your assumptions. Use personas if you want to define and verify segments within the group of users you are targeting. MC Toolboxpage 74DIYToolkit Co-creation workshop Getting your target users to make things can help you understand how they think, what they value, and may surface unexpected themes and needs. For example, collages are an easy, low-fidelity way to invite people to make something tangible and then explain why they made certain decisions. MC Toolboxpage 80IDEODesign K Rapid prototyping Rapid prototyping is an incredibly effective way to make ideas tangible, learn through making and quickly get your target group to say how they appreciate certain propositions or interventions. You can use different types of prototypes such as storyboards, role plays and mock-ups. No need to make it perfect, just good enough to get the idea across so that people can respond to it. IDEODesign KitDelft Design G Product in market Display your prototype at a local point-of-purchase for your target users to assess the product. The activity gives you the most candid feedback. It can also help you create an early and motivated dialogue with potential local retailers or entrepreneurs. Invite them to share ideas on how to optimize the proposition based on their dialogue with customers. MC Toolbox page 86 Tools, summaries and resources Find a complete list of resources on page 11
  9. 9. Activity mapping Assist groups or individuals in making a simple map that represents their activities within a given time frame, such as ‘yesterday’s schedule’. This method provides a good introduction into the current local practices and the opportunities on which improvements could be made. MC Toolbox Page 62 GTZ Practitione Social mapping Focus group activity that allows your target group to map the socioeconomic relationships between relevant individuals and organizations. You can use this activity early in your research to identify relevant stakeholders through deep dialogues. Ask participants to map out the people they are related to through their business, community or daily activities. To help understand gender and other dynamics and come up with gender- and socially-inclusive solutions, include gender, wealth group or other social dimensions of the people on the map as needed. MC Toolbox page 64 World Vision to Resource flow Using visualization tools to generate an estimate of the input and output at a general level of your target group, such as a fish breeder or smallholder family. This allows you to acquire some numbers about what goes in and out of a role in a value chain or how a family spends money. A resource flow is an exercise you can try while you are conducting an interview. As with other tools, be ready to do this separately with women and with men (and potentially other subgroups) so that you can see if and how they are similar or different. This will help make for more responsive innovations and recommendations. MC Toolbox page 66 IDEODesign K Price mapping Price mapping is very useful in determining the different costs that a target group encounters, such as throughout a given supply chain. The map allows you to do simple analyses together with your participants and address their capacity to invest in new solutions. An alternative method is the money game. MC Toolbox page 78 Tools, summaries and resources Find a complete list of resources on page 11
  10. 10. A note on gender-integrated research Incorporating both men and women in the value chain Women entrepreneurs can play a vital role in boosting economic productivity and growth in emerging economies if they are included as viable and trusted economic actors across the agri-food value chains. At the same time, in many contexts there are barriers that prevent women from engaging and benefiting on par with men from innovation processes and value chain opportunities. For that reason, we encourage you to answer the following questions: 1.What key problems or opportunities in the value chain do women face that your research, product or service can solve? What about men? 2.To what extent and why are these challenges or opportunities the same or different and what does that tell you about how to focus and design your study? Taking a gender-integrated approach within your research The research methodologies presented in the Tool Navigator might require adaptation when involving both men and women. It is important to make the participants feel comfortable since you are trying to get (personal) insights from them. Take time to think about questions such as the following: 1. How are you defining your study aims such that you will benefit both women and men? 2. How are you defining your target groups in such a way that you will engage with and benefit both women and men? 3. What are the risks or potential negative outcomes from the research or innovations, such as marginalizing women or a vulnerable group of people and how can these be mitigated? 4. How do you need to refine and implement your tools so that you can engage equitably with and understand the needs, preferences, barriers and opportunities of both women and men? In other words, how will you ensure that both women and men are heard and that you can understand how and to what extent their needs are similar or different? 5. Within the detailed planning: When and where do processes need to take place to accommodate women's time and work demands? When do you need to talk to women and men separately? Are different forms of communication needed? Do researchers need to be the same gender as the participants? 6. What else do you need to think about to ensure that the findings can be disaggregated and that both the process and outcomes are equitable? ProducersSuppliers Distributors Customers
  11. 11. Essential links and more information For the Tool Navigator we selected tools from toolkits that are publicly available. These are: Delft Design Guide Development Impact and You (DIY) Toolkit Frog’s Collective Action Toolkit IDEO Design Kit ITO Cisco Report Kopernik Catalog Market Creation (MC) Toolbox SenseMaker® – BoP Inc food and behavior sensing blog post SenseMaker® – Cognitive Edge Web GTZ Practitioner Guide World Vision Social Mapping Tool Lastly, you might want to look at some of these scientific publications on the recommended tools: Sanders L and Stappers PJ. 2012. Convivial Toolbox: Generative research for the front end of design. Gaver W, Boucher A, Pennington S and Walker B. 2004. Cultural probes and the value of uncertainty. Herbert J and Rubin I. 2005. Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data. Hultink E. 2013. Choice of consumer research methods in the front end of new product development. For questions and feedback regarding this Tool Navigator, please contact BoP Innovation Center ( For more information about the authors, go to and
  12. 12. A publication of