Forcier: The Integrity of Our Research Approach
Monitoring and Evaluation provides a voice for underrepresented populations and a space for improvement which begins with a community first approach. From our research, Forcier not only listens to the individual, but also takes the individual voice and creates a forum for it to be heard at the national and global level - which can create responses that incite real change. To understand how Forcier conducts research, the following principles make up our foundational approach to research, no matter the project, context, or partner.
1) Employing participatory research methods.
Forcier strives to use participatory approaches and to involve stakeholders and beneficiaries in the research design process. Often, Forcier does this through facilitating design workshops before the design of data collection tools. This allows the opportunity for our researchers to listen to and gather community member opinions on the topic at hand before research design, giving us a chance to measure from the perspective of the local community. In addition, Forcier develops mechanisms for beneficiaries to give feedback to Forcier during and after the data collection process. In the past this has done by returning to communities that we worked in to share our research findings and obtain feedback from interviewees and what we could improve upon. There is always space for growth, and employing participatory research methods is the first step in not only growth as a company but research results that matter to those who it effects the most.
2) Data collection bound by ESOMAR standards.
Forcier conducts all of its research in line with ESMOAR standards – the world’s largest membership for social and market research. This ensures that all of the data we collect is upheld to a standard level of quality and all of the people we employ understand the level of quality we produce. Forcier is bound in all of its activities and contracts to the ethical guidelines for research outlined in the ICC Code of Conduct/ESOMAR Guidelines, National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research with Human Subjects, and the UK Data Protection Act. All of our Researchers have been trained and certified by the US National Institutes of Health in Ethical Practices with Human Research Subjects and adhere to the ESOMAR code of conduct.
3) Abiding by our detailed Ethics Plan.
Integral to research is ensuring that it is conducted in an ethically sound way. Forcier not only has a companywide ethics plan, available to our partners upon request, but in addition we are a voluntary participant in the UN Global Compact initiative. As a UN Global Compact Member, Forcier actively subscribes to the ten principles of the Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
4) Stakeholder inclusion.
Just as Forcier relies on its in-country teams and national staff to provide localized expertise, we rely on the insights of stakeholders at the national, regional and local levels to assist in our research. From project inception, we open lines of communication with government officials and local project managers in order to obtain research permissions, develop context behind the project, location, or thematic area, and provide inputs on the data needs of the community. Inclusion of stakeholders is not only necessary to successful data collection but it also facilitates ownership of the project at the national, regional, and local level.
5) Understanding of local contexts.
Taking the time to understand the context of where we are collecting data before research begins, is central to our research approach. Due to the fact that Forcier operates in such a varied set of countries within Africa and the Middle East, it is essential that Forcier conducts a Literature Review or Desk review prior to data collection. This not only informs the design of data-collection tools but also enhances our understanding of the complex dynamics and community norms which may exist in the locations we enter. Overlooking this step can not only be dangerous for our researchers entering new locations, but also have implications for the data we collect.
6) Gender considerations.
Forcier designs research methodologies with equity and inclusion in mind, in order to lend a voice to all beneficiaries, project staff, and stakeholders equally. Tools are designed with the respondent’s comfort as a central focus - this includes adapting tools for persons with disabilities. Data collection teams are staffed with diverse members of our staff to match the communities in which they will be visiting. In many of the locations in which we work, women, youth, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, and persons with disabilities are often marginalized and lacking a voice in society. Through our research, we recognize the importance of gathering the perspectives of marginalized populations and the impact that this can have in terms of social inclusion and development.
Forcier Consulting Group