Emerging Markets2CV POV

Girl Effect, 2CV and Maido Win the 2016 MRS Best Innovation Award

The 5th December 2016 was another special evening at the annual Market Research Society (MRS) Awards Ceremony, with Girl Effect, 2CV and Maido winning the Best Innovation award for their amazing work on TEGA.  We are incredibly proud of everyone at 2CV that has contributed to the success of TEGA and thrilled to see them receive industry wide recognition. The judges said "We were bowled over by Girl Effect - the project represents innovation on so many levels. By thinking creatively at every turn, the team overcame significant methodological, technical and social challenges to create a research solution which gives thousands of girls worldwide a voice while empowering their peers to become qualified researchers themselves. This really represents what research is all about: championing ordinary people and getting their voices heard." 

Girl Effect, 2CV and Maido Win the 2016 MRS Best Innovation Award

TEGA: Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors / A bespoke digital research platform, created to capture the voices of girls from hard to reach communities

Conducting research in the developing world can be a challenge; especially when broaching sensitive topics with vulnerable audiences in an unstable environment. Traditional methodologies often involve a team of western researchers wanting to know intimate information from overwhelmed respondents in an unfamiliar setting. Girl Effect wanted to change this and find a way to gain authentic insight from 10-19-year-old girls in hard to reach places; and make it a positive and empowering experience for girls to take part in.

Girl Effect, working with 2CV and Maido, have developed a bespoke digital application, which enables the user to safely and easily capture rich media content of the world around them. We put this research tool in the hands of bright local young women (aged 17-24) with a passion for learning. We call these women TEGAs - Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors.

TEGAs are trained using a bespoke MRS curriculum, accrediting them as MRS-standard Qualitative and Quantitative Digital Interviewers. Training is delivered through face to face and m-learning, assessments are conducted remotely and feedback given digitally.

The TEGA methodology has been successfully piloted in Kano, Northern Nigeria. Officially classified as a 'red zone' by the Foreign Office, it is currently near-impossible to conduct qualitative research there. TEGA enabled Girl Effect Nigeria to gather valuable insight that they are now using to guide their strategy and programming. TEGA has since been used to service the needs of external clients; DFID (Department for International Development), MercyCorps, and most recently Oxfam - who are currently expanding the TEGA network into Maiduguri to research and evaluate their work with internally displaced people.

Given the volatile setting for which TEGA operates, safety was pivotal to the design and development of both the technology and training plan. The girls' safety is always the priority, we developed a 'panic button' the TEGA can press at any time. Once pressed, a 'trigger tree' is unleashed, immediately calling emergency contacts and sending the TEGA's GPS location. The app also takes inspiration from Snapchat in that all data is immediately wiped from the device as soon as it's captured, enabling true data security.

We have 17 TEGAs in Kano, but following the success of the Pilot, and further enhancement of the technology, Girl Effect are planning to roll out TEGA in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Malawi this year - and possibly five more markets in 2017. The TEGA vision is huge - to create an economy for girls by having a network of thousands of TEGAs around the world. By capturing the authentic voices of girls, TEGA will enable girls to be heard, and positive change to be actioned.

Visit the MRS website here for more information about the awards and winners.