Core Services

ACSOR has the nationwide infrastructure to immediately execute a broad range of data collection projects with little to no ramp-up time.

As a full-service research firm, ACSOR is ready to take on large-scale projects, including ones that require different types of simultaneous data collection efforts. With our staff of trained interviewers and qualitative research facilitators, we are ready to conduct nationwide face-to-face surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews with a broad range of interest groups. We also monitor television and radio transmissions from our fully equipped media monitoring center. These research techniques are employed to carry out public opinion research, monitoring and evaluation, consumer studies, and audience and media measurement.

Face-to-Face Interviewing

Of all research techniques, face-to-face surveys are one of the most widely used. ACSOR has over a decade of experience conducting large-scale national sample surveys for clients such as ISAF and USAID. The results of many of these projects have been publically released and withstood the scrutiny of the international opinion research community.

Unlike other methods, such as focus groups and in-depth interviews, respondents of face-to-face surveys are asked structured questions, and interviewers are directed to ask the questions in the same manner across respondents. Items on ACSOR questionnaires can be open-ended, allowing respondents to answer in their own words, or close-ended, providing respondents with response categories from which to select.

One of the most important stages of survey research at ACSOR is acquiring a sample of respondents. For researchers to be able to make statements about the population of interest, the sample must be representative. Biased samples lead to invalid data and, ultimately, incorrect conclusions. A goal for good survey research is to employ, when possible, simple random sampling, where every respondent has an equal chance of being in the survey. ACSOR is equipped to evaluate the most appropriate sampling method based on the needs of each client.

Focus Groups

Focus groups offer the opportunity for ACSOR moderators to lead a group through an in-depth discussion highlighting points of conflict and consensus in beliefs and attitudes on a variety of topics. ACSOR maintains a staff of trained moderators and facilities across the country, and is ready to execute qualitative projects with minimal preparation time.

Focus groups offer the opportunity for ACSOR to evaluate whether conclusions drawn from other research resonate during group discussions. They allow our researchers to delve into the opinions of certain subgroups of the population. ACSOR has conducted focus groups with teachers, business owners, students, and security personnel, in addition to numerous focus groups with members of the general population.

In order to promote open discussion and candidness of participants, we design focus groups that take into consideration the cultural and environmental realities of Afghanistan. Focus groups are typically composed of 8-10 participants, who are of similar demographic characteristics, such as gender, age groups, ethnicity, and language. Focus groups are audio recorded, transcribed, and translated for quality control and analysis.

In-depth Interviews

In-depth interviews give our clients a chance to dive deep into a subject and access a richness of opinion that a quantitative survey does not allow. ACSOR is equipped to conduct in-depth interviews with the general public and key stakeholders across the country.

Unlike focus groups, in-depth interviews are conducted one on one so that the ACSOR moderator is able to develop closer rapport with the individual respondent and probe for additional information. In the Afghan context, many topics that would be easily discussed in Western environments are less socially acceptable for discussion in a group. Therefore, in-depth interviews can be a good way to explore topics where social desirability and face-saving concerns might cause an interviewee to be less candid in a group discussion setting.

ACSOR has experience conducting in-depth interviews with a variety of key informants, subject matter experts, security personnel, business owners, teachers, community elders, government officials, and other groups. In-depth interviews are audio recorded, transcribed, and translated for quality control and analysis.

Media Monitoring

ACSOR’s media monitoring team has the capability to meet a wide range of media research requirements. From our headquarters in Kabul, ACSOR utilizes digital recording equipment to capture media broadcasts from both terrestrial and satellite transmissions of television and radio stations.

ACSOR employs a full-time, multi-lingual media monitoring team which offers clients the option to receive deliverables in Dari, Pashto, or English, depending on client preferences. Our team has the ability to log and deliver content summaries ranging from a few targeted programs to full broadcasts of several stations airing concurrently.

ACSOR’s media monitoring resources can always be customized to meet individual client needs. Rather than simply offering pre-packaged media products, we work with our clients to determine what resources will best meet their research objectives. As a full service research provider, ACSOR can also pair quantitative media surveys or focus group research with our media monitoring capabilities to provide an all-encompassing solution for clients wishing to explore and understand Afghanistan’s diverse media landscape.