A researcher’s toolkit

London design studio Accept & Proceed has produced a guide for field workers at Nike Foundation charity The Girl Effect featuring illustrations by Robert Hanson.

London design studio Accept & Proceed has produced a guide for field workers at Nike Foundation charity The Girl Effect featuring illustrations by Robert Hanson.

Managed by the Nike Foundation, The Girl Effect aims to help adolescent girls around the world out of poverty. The organisation invests in gender equality projects and compiles reports and campaigns highlighting the risks young females face in developing countries.

As much of its work relies on thorough field research, The Girl Effect wanted to put together some advice for volunteers and staff working abroad. Experienced researchers compiled hints and tips on how to speak with locals, interview young subjects and gather as much information as possible in any situation and last year, asked Accept & Proceed to translate this into an easy-to-follow guide.

“A lot of field workers experience cultures that are completely alien to them and arrive in countries with a set of preconceived ideas and ways of doing things. The toolkit explains how research in these places should be done and includes tips like encouraging interviewees to draw, or interviewing friends together rather than alone,” explains creative director Matthew Jones.

It’s a serious document, but Accept & Proceed wanted the guide to look fun and cheerful – “after all, it’s a tool for making people’s lives better”, says Jones. The studio teamed up with illustrator Robert Hanson, who designed images for each section of the toolkit, and used A2 Type’s Typewriter and The Girl Effect’s official font, 20th Century.

The project took around a year to complete, says Jones, as research essays had to be divided into clearly defined sections grouped under a particular theme, and complex checklists had to be broken down and presented in a concise format. The guide is stored in an illustrated box, “but it’s designed so workers can take just three or four documents with them, to have to hand when they’re out and about,” he adds.

“It was also quite an in-depth print spec – the design looks quite simple but all of the documents are double backed with coloured edges, and we designed bags for researchers to carry them in,” he explains. The toolkit will initially be delivered to workers in Africa and India, and The Girl Effect will also supply copies to staff at other humanitarian organisations.

The guide is one of several projects Accept & Proceed has worked on for Nike and The Girl Effect: in July 2012, the studio designed a set of infographic flyposters and handouts for the charity to be distributed at the London Summit on Family Planning, including this one (below).

It’s a useful resource packed with practical tips and advice, and both Hanson’s illustrations and Accept & Proceed’s design make it a bright, engaging and easy-to-navigate kit.

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