Kantar Public launches European research centre and training academy

31 October 2016 Consultancy.uk

Consulting and marketing research agency Kantar has launched two new business lines within its Kantar Public arm. The Kantar Behaviour Change Academy will provide training schemes aimed at creating better behaviour insight in public communication campaigns, while the 'Centre Kantar sur le futur de L’Europe' will focus on research activities in the political space.

The Kantar Behaviour Change Academy, which will launch in Sydney, Australia, early in 2017 and in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in the Spring, will be led by Kathy O’Donoghue, Executive Director of Kantar Public Australia and, according to the firm, an industry leading expert in the application of behaviour insight in public communication campaigns. The Academy will give clients from the public and commercial sectors the opportunity to attend short residential courses to explore current global best practice in citizen behaviour change programmes from around the world. The Faculty will draw together Kantar experts from Australia, the UK, and the Netherlands.

With the move, Kantar Public wants to advance the application of behavioural insight techniques, a method that is across the world increasingly being used by governments to deal with their toughest public policy challenges – from public health, to democratic engagement, to community resilience and environmental challenges.

Commenting on the launch of the Academy, Kathy O’Donoghue says he is excited with the prospect of being able to lead the Academy, adding “With a wealth of experience in delivering behaviour change programmes around the world, the new Kantar Public Behaviour Change Academy is an excellent initiative to harness this expertise. We will exemplify and share best practice and new thinking to deliver the best work for our clients.”

Kantar launches European research centre and training academy

Kantar’s new Paris-based 'Le Centre Kantar sur le Futur de l’Europe' is a research centre focused on the future of Europe and brings together a pan-European team of researchers with expertise in political and opinion polling, social and economic trends and migration. The unit will be overseen by Edouard Lecerf, Global Director of Political and Opinion research at Kantar Public.

The centre aims at contributing to the quality of public debate, through, among others, the provision of publications, white papers and surveys for journalists and researchers worldwide. “A series of seismic social and political events, from the movement of refugees, to the British referendum on its membership of the EU, are driving significant change in public opinion and political outcomes across Europe. In such times, policy makers need high quality and timely empirical evidence, in order to shape their response. We know we can make a contribution in this area and believe that it is important that we do”, says Michelle Harrison, Global CEO of Kantar Public.

Edouard Lecerf adds: “Europe and its institutions are facing unprecedented turmoil. The question of Europe is now central to elections in every European country, contributing to changes taking place across the political landscape. Yet other indicators show that Europeans are still attached to the European project. It is in this context that I’m pleased that Kantar Public is investing in the Centre Kantar sur le futur de l’Europe.”

Kantar Public was launched earlier this month by Kantar in a bid to focus its services to Government and Public Sector clients.

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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”