at the intersection of brands, media and culture

10 things I learned while doing research in the developing world

In market research, research, travel on January 2, 2008 at 4:19 pm

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Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

A brief list:
1. Hire a fixer asap. You don’t know the country and you likely don’t know how and when you can travel to places safely.
2. Utilize your breast pocket for all important papers. It will look less like you are searching for your gun.
3. If you are going to need to bribe a militia member for passage, have small bills available. It is difficult to get change from militants.
4. Ask first. Ask before you look around, before you take a picture, before you take out a video camera, before you pee in their field.
5. As a general rule militia members don’t like their pictures taken nor do they want to be photographed at military checkpoints. Not 100% sure on this one but I got that sense.
6. If you have food allergies or are a vegetarian, have translations in the local language on a piece of paper. Pantomime is a universal language but sometimes not well understood.
7. Take some medications with you because when you’re doubled over with stomach cramps it can be hard to make it to a pharmacy.
8. Be careful of being taken for an NGO worker. If people see you as a greenback you’re less likely to get a balanced story of the bad and the good.
9. If you’re going to take pictures, bring a Polaroid camera. If nothing else, you can send the fixer off with it to distract the hordes of children who want their pictures taken.
10. Be Safe!

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