PAMRO (Pan Africa Media Research Organisation) is currently developing a questionnaire, which aims to deliver comparable data across African borders. The questionnaire will be piloted in 12 countries from January 2006 and if approved, will become part of surveys, such as SAARF AMPS.
Piet Smit, SAARF Chief Technical Officer and PAMRO's honorary president and George Waitito, PAMRO's new Vice President discuss the advantages of this questionnaire...
Telmar, supplier of media planning software and support services, delivered a comparison report at the seventh PAMRO meeting held recently in Stone City, Zanzibar. The results clearly indicated that African countries are far from the ideal of harmonised data and a Harmonisation Committee was elected to investigate and make recommendations on how data can become comparable between African countries.
Pan African Director of Research International (RI), Tendai Mhizha, chairs the committee and George Waitito, MD Steadman Group Kenya is secretary. Other members are Paul Haupt (SAARF CEO), Piet Smit, Tshifhiwa Mulaudzi (SAARF Technical Support Executive), Lauren Shapiro of Telmar, Celia Cowper of Starcom, Tiaan Ras of Media24 and Gerry van Dyck of RI Ghana.
The committee's first meeting was held this week and various details were agreed upon:Further to the Telmar comparison, agreement was reached to use the same answering option for certain key questions. This includes all media not just TV, radio and print, such as the Internet, cell phones, outdoor and cinema.
Most importantly, the survey re-looks at the Pan African LSM (Living Standards Measure) questions taking into account that the African population is divided into 17 groups as opposed to South Africa's 10 groups.
The committee concurred on demographic comparisons such as age, education and work status and agreed that 10 to 15 questions would be asked to determine lifestyles, such as eating out at a restaurant or watching a movie at the cinema.
A representative from Lesotho attended the meeting as an observer as the country plans to conduct their first survey in 2006.
Smit says, "It's remarkable what this committee has achieved in just two short months and George Waitito is largely responsible. Thank you to all committee members for their volunteered time and to Telmar for their endless support."
Waitito says, "This initiative clearly defines PAMRO as a point of reference for best practice principles of media researchers in Africa and the rest of the world. While this initiative currently applies to 12 countries, it is one of our goals to extend the number of countries to eventually include all countries on the African continent."
In conjunction with several sub-Saharan African countries, SAARF (the South African Advertising Research Foundation) formed the PAMRO to promote media and product research in Africa.