Formative research is descriptive research which helps Marie Stopes International better understand the interests, attributes and needs of the different groups of people that it works with, including vulnerable and hard to reach populations. Formative research informs decision making, whether that be in the form of a baseline survey to help design a project or set benchmark indicators so an intervention can be monitored over time; or the pre-testing of advertising, communication materials and products; or larger consumer surveys to understand a populations’ knowledge and behaviour towards a particular product or service.
The information gathered is used to:
- define and understand those groups better
- improve upon or develop new services and information that will better meet their needs
- ensure those services and that information are appropriate before they are launched
- improve the relationship between Marie Stopes International and its clients, and others that it works with
In the UK, Marie Stopes International’s research publications in this area include: