Traditional market research methodologies are inappropriate for informal, emerging or precarious markets and do not provide robust and authentic insights. With Firmenich and the Naandi Foundation, Archipel&Co has developed a collaborative market research approach known as “Community Voices”.

The idea is simple: empower young, under-employed adults from underprivileged communities to interview their peers. This peer-to-peer approach, which has been tested for both Usage &Attitude studies and Product Testing, leads to more accurate and reliable qualitative and quantitative data from informal and precarious markets by embedding epistemic privilege in the survey design, implementation and analysis—while creating employment opportunities.

Initially launched in India in 2012, Archipel&Co has customized and deployed this innovative market research methodology in Ivory Coast, South Africa, and Kenya on various topics like water & sanitation, digital applications, energy, inclusive distribution, and nutrition.

To know more about our tools, process and experience:


Video presentation of our Community Voices approach

Case study: Malodor and sanitation behaviors study for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2018-2019)

Some 4.2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation while 673 million people worldwide practice open defecation, according to the United Nations, increasing the risk of contaminated water supplies and disease. Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to understand the role of malodor and sanitation-related decisions and to assess the potential of malodor control as a driver for behavior change.

In this context, Archipel&Co led 10 studies, using the Community Voices methodology, to explore the relationship between user experience (odor and cleanliness) in toilets and sanitation arbitrages in low-income settlements.

Discover our key findings in the global report (China, India, Kenya, South Africa):

Discover our 4 country reports: