Research Solutions, an ad hoc agency based in Kenya, has been introducing research methods to businesses and government institutions in Sierra Leone.
Kahiga Wachira, the Research Manager, told Awoko they wanted to make an impact in Sierra Leone after working with clients who had interest in African market and Sierra Leone for over five years now they felt that after such time they should at least make an impact.
“We would like to see more and more people conducting research, more and more research agencies that are operating here in Sierra Leone. We would like to see businesses flourish because people will have information that they need to make their decision,” Mr Wachira stated.
In view of this aspiration, Research Solutions did a workshop inviting local businesses and government institutions to basically get them to understand research tools that are available.
Mr Wachira stated that they were encouraged with the response they had received from the local companies and also the willingness to learn.
He said the research issues came up as a very interesting topic to them.
“Our hope is that people will appreciate research as a decision making tool and it should be entrenched in management issues and decision making because managers and marketing managers make decisions all the time,” he averred. He said managers could only be satisfied if they knew that the level of risk in the decision they make was reduced. “You cannot reduce the level of the risk if you do not have information and that is basically what we are here to do to reduce risk,” the Research Manager pointed out.
Mr Wachira accepted that there was a problem in the research industry because at an advance level research was not being taught in schools and higher institutions of learning. He acknowledged that this was not only a Sierra Leone problem but an African problem.
“You will find that market research, specifically research in the marketing issues is only taught in selected universities not as an undergraduate course but a post graduate course. So you find out that those are one of the reasons why research is not really developed it is not really as advanced,” he noted. Mr Wachira said he thought that their primary reason first of all was to make an impact with local institutions. “I think the main objective first of all is to develop the industry to work with the industry players to promote this industry and after that then we can look at how we can promote research from the learning institutions,” he stated. By Mohamed Fofanah