During the summer and autumn of 2022, we conducted a target-market analysis for Messente, an Estonian company specialized on bulk sending business SMSes, whose wish was to learn better about their potential new target markets in various Scandinavian countries. As part of the project, we conducted 18 in-depth interviews with existing (6) and potential customers (12) in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark according to pre-agreed company profiles.
The focus of the interviews were the goals, sectoral specificities, challenges, needs and pain points of different companies, as well as the decision-making processes of service outsourcing. We also talked about the usage possibilities and limitations of business SMS-es as Messente’s main service, and the use of various information channels in a broader way.
At Messente’s request, we turned the results of the analysis of the interviews into personas which they will continue to use to promote their communication and sales strategy and expand their market in the Nordic countries.
The Institute of Baltic Studies and RAK studied Estonian diaspora communities on behalf of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the project’s final report was launched in summer of 2022. RAK was responsible for conducting and analyzing 12 individual interviews.
The study had two main goals: first, to understand and provide an overview of the current state of Estonian diaspora members – their number, profiles and clusters, attitudes and expectations towards the Estonian state (including the direction of possible return), and secondly, based on the results and conclusions of the study, to provide input into policy making, above all In the design of the Global Estonian Program (ÜEP) and other adjacent programs or measures.
For the qualitative part of the study, we first conducted 12 in-depth interviews with a total of 14 subjects. When preparing the sample, we considered that different types of destination countries, reasons for going, time of absence, level of education, marital status and age would be covered. As a result, Estonians who had been away for a long time, those who returned to Estonia, family members, specialists, students, as well as people who have experienced unequal treatment and discrimination in Estonia (e.g. disabled people, religious minorities) were included. The focus was rather on Estonians who moved during the recent waves of migration. Among the target countries were the closest neighbors (Finland, Russia), countries in Europe and its immediate surroundings (Italy, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Turkey) as well as countries across the ocean (USA, Australia).
One of the most important realizations is that it seems to Estonians across the border that too much of the diaspora policy is focused on promoting the return to Estonia. According to them, too little attention is paid to the possibilities of supporting the homeland while living far away, for example through knowledge, skills or social capital.
However, some of the people interested in returning suffer from a lack of information and cannot search or find the necessary information in the maze of e-Estonia. There is a longing for a portal where all the information needed for a foreigner would come together. Fresh information about Estonia is important, because over time the culture of the host country becomes more and more familiar to the person. If the image related to Estonia is not constantly updated, it will inevitably become outdated. The survey also revealed that people who have moved abroad may unjustifiably feel that their current country of residence is more technologically advanced and includes amenities that are not available in Estonia. The identity of the majority of the Estonian diaspora community is multicultural, that is, in symbiosis with another identity or affiliation.
The full text of the study can be found HERE.
In the spring of 2022, we conducted a study on e-shopping for the Estonian startup FIND.fashion. FIND.fashion wants to help people find the products they want in online stores faster and more efficiently. The purpose of our research was to give them a better understanding of people’s needs, motivations and frustrations when it comes to searching for products in online stores.
We conducted online video interviews with people from Europe and the USA (18 in total, plus one focus group interview) and based on them we created the personas of five e-shoppers with whom FIND.fashion continues to work in its service development.
In addition to the strategies, motivations and habits of different people in e-shops, one of the central topics was where people get their inspiration, what to start looking for in e-shops and how different their original idea is from what they finally decide to buy.
In March-April 2022, we conducted a study of the overall experience of the patient’s treatment journey at the Tartu University Hospital. The research focused on different stages of the patient journey and helped to highlight the topics that matter most to people. Both outpatient and inpatient patients were included in the study.
In addition to questionnaire surveys, site observations took place in the buildings of the L. Puusepa 8 and L. Puusepa 1a clinics, short and in-depth interviews were also conducted with patients and their attendants, and patients were asked to fill in experience diaries. The qualitative experience survey conducted among the clinic’s patients was the first of its kind in Estonian hospitals. During the treatment journey, the patients’ thoughts and experiences of the spatial environment of the clinic as a whole were mapped – arrival at the hospital, orientation and waiting there, solutions for children and people with special needs. They were also asked about human relations and communication, referring to pre-visit communication, information and communication shared at the reception, post-health care service or communication between visits. In addition to hospital treatment, daily and human details – care, sleep, food, self-care, free time and exercise options, and leaving the hospital – were mapped through patients undergoing inpatient treatment.
As a result of the study, the experiences and expectations of patients are better known, which makes it possible to apply this knowledge in everyday hospital work. For example, a clear reminder system with instructions both before and after treatment, expanding reservation options, supplementing house and parking information, organizing visitor information, making waiting areas more patient-friendly, also considering small patients and people with special needs, expanding food, exercise and leisure options.
From fall 2021 to spring 2022, in cooperation with HAAP Consulting, we conducted a study for the Estonian Ministry of Justice, the aim of which was to understand which sanctions the offenders themselves consider to be the most efficient and effective, and what this assessment depends on. We analyzed how offenders perceive the expediency, legality and impact of the sanction (punishment and/or other means of influence) imposed on them on recidivism and future coping. We also analyzed how offenders evaluate the procedural process before receiving a sanction and the work of prison and probation afterwards.
The study as a whole consisted of document analysis, interviews in prisons and qualitative analysis. We were lucky to have the qualitative part of the study, which during the analysis also turned out to be the part carrying the final report. We conducted a total of 25 semi-structured in-depth interviews with people who participated in the process of criminal proceedings, 12 of whom were inmates in Tartu, Tallinn and Viru prisons at the time of the interviews.
Summarizing the results of the study, it can be said that offenders generally do not protest against the sentence and do not argue that they should not be punished for the crime they committed. To a large extent, offenders’ evaluations of the impact of the punishment as a whole are related to the issue of communication – how the punishment is perceived depends very strongly on the entire procedural process and whether the offenders understand the purpose of the punishment and obligations imposed on them. If they feel that too much has been done to them or that the reasons for the punishment have not been sufficiently explained, the punishment seems unfair and imposed by someone from outside. A respectful and considerate attitude in the procedural process and the involvement of the offenders themselves in the sentencing process gives them the opportunity to have a say and thereby take greater responsibility for the consequences.
In the summer of 2022, we conducted a supporter survey for the Estonian Human Rights Center (EIK) in order to understand what motivates making a one-time or permanent donation to the EIK, what on the other hand prevents making a one-time or permanent donation, and what are the needs of the EIK’s supporters. To do this, we gathered input from EIK’s current and potential donors. The survey results will serve as input for EIK to develop a regular donor package and messages for current and future donors.
During the project, we talked to 12 people who are either permanent donors, occasional donors or followers of EIK. We did a group interview with six regular donors, where we talked about their donation habits and their journey, experience and needs as regular donors to EIK. Individual interviews took place with people who have made one-time donations to the EIK or who follow the activities of the EIK, but have not supported the organization financially.
The research revealed that people’s donation habits and needs depend partly on how far they are in the donation journey, but also partly on what type of donor they are. So, for example, some supporters respond primarily to emotional appeals, prefer to donate to a specific person or cause, and primarily make one-time donations. Still others are happy to donate to the organization as a whole, prefer to make permanent donations and are strategic in their decisions – for example, donating to those who are unlikely to be supported by very many.
Although the participants of the study were generally aware that a permanent donation is the most useful form of support for the organization, in order for this knowledge to take root, it is still necessary to carry out extensive information work in society. In addition, a clear motivation for taking this step is also needed – either personal, which can be the creation of a permanent job, or external, for example, the organization’s funding is endangered or some critical social problem is raised.
In spring 2022, the Estonian Good Deed Foundation commissioned a study from us to better understand how people get to teaching and how different degree programs, acquiring the teaching profession, and completing further training are related to teaching. During the research, we conducted interviews with 20 people of different ages, among them students studying to become teachers, people who have reached the teaching profession from other walks of life, and those who have given up the teaching profession.
As a result of our fieldwork and research, we created six personas, with the help of which we illustrated different journeys of becoming a teacher and the major pain points of learning to be a teacher, acquiring a profession and working as a teacher. In summary, it can be said that in the course of learning to become a teacher, the most lacking is thorough practice, during which one could try to understand a topic from beginning to end, but during which a mentor would always be at hand to help deal with more difficult situations. A more individual approach is also expected, so that everyone can acquire the knowledge and skills they need, and not repeat what they have already acquired.
At the end of May, the study was followed by a meeting of the Teachers’ Academy working group, where we introduced the personalities and held a workshop, the aim of which was to find more flexible solutions/opportunities for how the journey of becoming a teacher could look like in the future. The workshop also had participants from the Ministry of Education, Tallinn University and Tartu University.
The research was financed by the Heateo Education Fund.
From April 2021 to May 2022, together with the Center for Applied Research Centar, think tank Praxis, and Turu-uuringute AS, we helped to conduct the tender “Evaluation of the macroeconomic impact of the creation and implementation of the Employment Support Scheme for the Ministry of Social Affairs”. The evaluation consisted of several analyses, as a result of which an overview of the impact of the work capacity reform on its main target groups in 2016-2020 was completed.
With the reform, the assessment of work capacity was transferred from the Estonian Social Insurance Board to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, and a new methodology of work capacity assessment was introduced, in which the focus was on the assessment of work capacity instead of the assessment of work incapacity. Receiving work capacity support for people with partial working capacity was linked to an activity requirement – activity in the labor market, studies or job search – and the range and availability of services supporting activity was expanded.
Our task was to collect feedback from the main target groups of the reform – people with reduced working capacity and employers. In total, we conducted 6 in-depth interviews with employers and 38 in-depth interviews with people belonging to the target group, for example, those whose work ability has been assessed as absent or partial, and also those who, in their last assessment, received a decision that their work ability has not decreased. We asked people what their lives and livelihoods were like before and after the reform; whether and how the procedure for assessing work ability has changed in people’s experiences; what kind of supporting help in the form of services both employers and employees with reduced working capacity need in order to readjust the work environment and the nature of work in case of permanent health loss.
The conclusion of the final study is that the reform was an appropriate and effective measure that positively affected the growth of employment of people with reduced work capacity. Now we can no longer talk about a reform and a transition period, but about a new functioning system. But the system needs consistent analysis and, with it, development, so that the created services serve their purpose. For example, many people who took part in the survey complain that they do not know when to contact the unemployment fund, the social security office or the local government to get some support services.
In spring 2022, we helped an art-house cinema Tartu Elektriteater collect input for the development of its new cinema software. The new software was developed with the aim of simplifying their daily routine tasks and thereby gaining more time for the main work, i.e. creating a program. In order to use this software to help other small cinemas optimize their work in the future, it was necessary to understand what conditions the system should meet, so that it also meets the needs of other cinemas. Thus, the aim of our study was to map the experiences, problem areas and needs of European cinemas in relation to the use of cinema software. The obtained results helped Elektriteater to improve the functionality and user experience of the software it was developing.
Altogether, teams from 16 European film theaters and two different theaters were involved in the study. We conducted in-depth interviews where we asked them to describe their everyday tools, show their work processes and, if possible, share them via screen. We tested the demo version of the finished software with six cinemas in order to find errors in the user experience in addition to the functionality. At the end of the project, we organized a separate workshop with three Estonian cinemas to specify the needs related to the transition to the software.
One of the interesting observations from the study was that the adoption of new software features is significantly hindered by people’s need for control and the power of habit. For example, even if the existing cinema software allowed certain functions to be used within the program, cinema program managers still preferred to perform these work steps in the good old Excel program, which seemed more familiar to them. The Excels shared on the screen, however, gave a good idea of which information fields cinema managers actually use the most in their daily work.
The study was funded by the Europa Cinemas “Collaborate to Innovate” project, and the study report was also translated into English to be shared not only with the software development team but also with all participating cinemas.
First – who are the young people behind the acronym “NEET”? The abbreviation comes from the English “not in education, employment or training” and means a person who does not study, does not work and does not participate in education or training. Youth is defined as the age group between 15 and 29 years old, and currently 14.2% of European Union member states are NEET youth.
In July-December 2021, together with the Estonian NGOs Social Innovation Lab and Stories of Impact, we run a project called “Creating a future cooperation model for providing support to young people in a NEET situation using the service design method”. The aim of the model is to highlight a solution on how to support young people in a NEET situation at the local government level through the cooperation of various parties, and to reach the smoothest possible process from the point of view of the target group.
The input for the creation of the model was 6 co-creation workshops and parallel studies among young people in the NEET situation.
The role of RAK’s anthropologists was to conduct research and create young personas based on them and put together itineraries. We conducted in-depth interviews with young people, with which we thoroughly mapped the problems and needs of young people and how they perceive their surroundings on a daily basis.
In turn, we validated the journeys created in the workshops both with the young people themselves and with professionals who work with young people. It was important to add the young people’s view and understanding of which of today’s practices do not work, the reasons for this and what the process of receiving support should be, in their opinion, to the journeys put together by the experts.
As a result of the interviews and co-creation we created:
• 6 personas of young people, or collective portraits with diagrams of their progress so far;
• 6 customer journeys, or models of youth movement in an “ideal world situation” – how to move from your initial needs to positive solutions with the support of a cooperation network;
• Cross-sector cooperation model for supporting young people in NEET situation and services for local governments.
In general if you look at the problems, obstacles, needs and wishes of young people, they were quite similar in each region, while the opportunities offered by local governments in supporting young people and offering them services strongly depend on the region and local opportunities.
Conversations with young people came out very strongly, and when applying the model, it must be remembered that in order to successfully support young people in a NEET situation, it is necessary to first listen to the young person, their thoughts and problems, and then start finding solutions and setting goals together. Offering only opportunities and directing them to services without actively involving the young people themselves in the process does not work and does not help the young person take responsibility for shaping their future.
A total of 30 people from 16 organizations, programs or institutions participated in the co-creation process. The participants were from: Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Education and Research, Social Insurance Board, Education and Youth Board (including representative of Pathfinder centers), Estonian Unemployment Fund, Estonian Open Youth Centers Association (Noorte Tugila), Johannes Mihkelson Center, Development Center of Unique School (STEP program), Estonian Youth Associations Union . In addition, representatives from the following local governments participated: Põltsamaa, Viimsi and Elva parishes and Narva, Viljandi, Tallinn and Pärnu city governments.
The creation of the model is financed from the structural support funds of the European Union Social Fund and through the budget of the Education and Youth Board in the framework of the directive of the Minister of Education and Science of 29.06.2015 No. 281 “Establishing the conditions for granting support for the implementation of the activity “Involvement of youth at risk of exclusion and improvement of youth employment readiness”.
Commissioned by the Estonian state-owned real estate companyRiigi Kinnisvara AS, we carried out a multi-stage project from the fall of 2021 to the spring of 2022 in preparation for the design of the State services house to be built on Kärdla’s central square.
We started with a study of work behavior in the institutions moving to the Kärdla State House, which provided an overview of the existing use of space, work behavior and service processes. A total of 15 institutions participated in the study, and in seven of them we also conducted participation observations; we conducted in-depth interviews with 31 people. A total of 15 institutions participated in the study, and in seven of them we also conducted participation observations. In addition, we collected a total of six working time diaries from employees of institutions where there are more people and where work profiles are varied. The analysis brought out the descriptions of the work profiles of the institutions (personas) and today’s customer journeys, the differences of which significantly determine the needs of the institutions for the solutions of the new state house.
In the second stage, we conducted inclusive co-creation workshops to specify the interior program with the employees of the institutions moving to the Kärdla State House. At the beginning of March 2022, workshops were held in Kärdla under the leadership of RAK / CAAE anthropologists and Karisma architects, who won the conceptual design of the architectural competition with their idea “Pruht”. In cooperation with RKAS, we brought together representatives of various institutions to find solutions for making the future state building functional and pleasant, both as a work and customer service environment. Together, we explored the cross-use of spaces, proposals for a co-working environment, and how the future state building relates to the surrounding public space, services and the local community.
At the beginning of 2022, we conducted a study for the Estonian Maritime Museum. The aim of the project was to provide an overview of the experience of children and families visiting the Seaplane Harbour Museum branch and to understand what the children’s needs and expectations are in relation to the permanent exhibition. During the research, we conducted observations along with short interviews, visited the museum with the children by prior agreement, conducted in-depth interviews and asked the children to capture the museum visit with a camera and to talk about it later with the help of photos.
We included 19 children from 11 families in the study using the methods of shadowing, photo voice and in-depth interviews. The result helps the museum to understand their visitor experience from the children’s perspective and to understand how children would like to see the permanent exhibition. We found that it is possible to make the children’s visit both more educational and more enjoyable by bringing the information even closer to the children and taking into account the central role of parents in shaping the children’s visit.
The next stage of the project was passed on to the creativity accelerator VIVITA with a workshop held after the presentation, where we discussed together with the Lennusadama team how to direct the visit of children and families and to convey the exposition even better to children. VIVITA then conducted a design sprint with the children. As a result, they designed 4 new objects to the new permanent exhibition to be opened in 2023.
In cooperation with Vivita and the Estonian public sector Innovation team, we held a webinar for wider audience to raise awareness among civil servants, politicians, opinion leaders, desingers etc. As a result, this visual sheet of instructions was born – feel free to download it and share it!
Author: Siiri Taimla-Rannala, Joonmeedia
From December 2021 to February 2022, we helped to collect feedback for the students majoring at humanities at the University of Tartu.
The aim was to understand what ate the alumni and students’ expectations and assessments of the MA program curricula. We wanted to know what motivated them to choose a specific study program or why, for example, they did not continue their studies in the MA program in the same field after finishing their BA studies? We also looked into how the MA programs alumni evaluated the knowledge, skills and competences acquired during their studies – what is the value of the curriculum for them? The results of the study will be used to develop curricula to meet even more the expectations and needs of future students.
The focus of the study was on the three curricula of Tartu University in the field of humanities and arts: semiotics and cultural theory, ethnology, folkloristics and applied anthropology (EFRA) and Estonian and Finno-Ugric linguistics. As a method, we used group interviews – we talked with current undergraduate and graduate alumni as well as current students.
In general we concluded that it is increasingly important for the students that what they have learned has a practical output and it can be applied in their daily lives. The majority highlighted that they would like to use more practice and learned skills and competencies, and at the same time get more information from the university about how to better implement the acquired knowledge on the labour market and outside the academy – what are the future prospects of the MA degree? Also a need for wanting more meaningful feedback on their work came out. It turned out to be important that the opportunity to combine studies and work is very important for the MA program.
In the first weeks of January 2022, we conducted a fast research at the request of the Estonian Government Office to map and understand the experiences of Estonian families and young people in the pandemic situation, as well as attitudes and fears regarding the vaccine against COVID-19.
In addition to questions related to the vaccine, we opened up the topics of information consumption, medicine and the experience of the corona pandemic with the help of questionnaires, which helped to understand the broader background of attitudes towards corona vaccines. The research gathered input to help create methods to support people in making an informed decision.
Young people and families of different backgrounds and ethnic origins from different regions of Estonia were included in order to get a more complete picture of the effects of the pandemic and vaccination attitudes. A total of 11 parents and 12 young people (aged 15-17) participated in the study. Among the participants were anti-vaccine, pro-vaccine, skeptics, as well as people who have suffered from the corona virus.
The results clearly show that people’s attitudes are primarily influenced by their own experiences and those of their friends, and that the influence of the media on such topics is marginal for young people. Seeing from acquaintances that the effectiveness of vaccines is not guaranteed, skepticism about vaccination also automatically rises. The effects of the restrictions of Covid-19, especially the change in studies and being away from friends, were considered much more frightening than the disease itself.
In the fall and winter of 2021, RAK / CAAE were commissioned by the Estonian Rescue Board. The purpose of the project was to find out whether and what kind of digital environment would be needed so that different parties could conveniently keep an eye on the maintenance activities of fire safety installations.
During the research, we conducted 21 interviews and 5 field observations along with walk-along interviews. We included building owners, people responsible for fire safety in the building, maintenance service providers as well as fire safety specialists and fire safety experts in the study. We discussed how the maintenance of fire safety installations is currently organized as well as expectations for the digital environment.
As a result of the study, we took the process of organizing the maintenance of fire safety installations into bits and pieces and pointed out the bottlenecks of each stage, which in turn affect the expectations of the digital environment. Among other things, a whole list of desired functionalities that could be in such an environment was also prepared. The finished report is in the hands of the Rescue Board, so if you are interested in reading it, you can contact them directly.
In summer 2021, we conducted a research project about the uses of the Pollinator Highway for Tallinn Strategic Management Office.
The aim of this project was to better understand how people perceive the different spatial sections on the Pollinator Highway, how they move about on the Pollinator Highway and what they would like to do there in the future. Altogether, 113 (!) people somehow contributed in the research. We did field observations, different kinds of interviews, mapping and drawing exercises and asked people who live and/or move in the area to take photos and videos for us.As a result, we created 6 personas whose needs and wants should be taken into considerations when further developing the different spatial sections. Among other things, it became clear that nobody feels completely comfortable using the Pollinator Highway. Cyclists cannot ride too fast because there are always other people on the road. Older people worry that they might get hit by a scooter. Parents keep a sharp eye on their toddlers because they are afraid that the kids get in the way of others.
At the same time, people think that the Pollinator Highway is an exciting undertaking and they cannot wait for what it will become. There were many more interesting observations – you can read about them on the Pollinator Highway’s website: https://www.putukavail.ee/?lang=en.
At the end of 2020, we conducted an analysis of children’s accessibility for the Estonian Health Museum. The purpose of the research was to map the physical and psychological obstacles that children face in the museum. Additionally, we learned about the motivations of kids and their parents to visit museums and the barriers that they might encounter when planning a visit.
The target group of the research was children between age 3-7 and their families. Four different methods were used:
As an outcome of the research, we saw that the main obstacles that kids experience in the museum are related to the difficulties of understanding the meanings of the exhibits. As a recommendation, we suggested involving more other mediums additionally to texts.Another takeaway was that for kids and their families, visiting a museum is seen as a social experience and one of the main expectations when coming to a museum is to playfully learn together. Hence we suggested creating more exhibits that are appropriate for people from different age groups and comfortable for families to engage with as a group. Also, we recommended creating more social games.
In autumn 2020, we conducted research for Enterprise Estonia and the e-Residency project team. The aim of this project was to gain a better understanding of Estonian e-residents who have a connection to Germany.
We conducted 20 semi-structured in-depth interviews with German citizens living in Germany, German citizens living abroad, and foreigners residing in Germany who all were e-residents.
We discussed the expectations, needs, fears and problems regarding the programme and the larger cultural differences. Based on the interviews, we created four persons that help to better illustrate the needs and wants of the e-residents. As a result of this project, the e-Residency project team got some reassurance that they are on the right track as well as new ideas for next steps.
We made a pilot study for Luminor Bank in May 2020. The aim of this research project was to get initial insights regarding how the COVID-19 crisis has influenced people’s behaviour and use of different services and how might the crisis influence the future of bank services.
We conducted 8 semi-structured in-depth interviews with both the owners of small businesses and private customers to get a better overview of how the COVID-19 crisis has affected their everyday life, if it has in any way changed how they use bank services and how they view the role of the bank in the future now when their habits have changed. The results of this pilot study will be used as an input for developing new services.
From February to March 2020, we conducted a target group research for the Teach for Estonia (Noored Kooli) program .
The aim of the project was to map the worldview, expectations, attitudes, behavior, values and ideas of the target group, also their expectations to the brand. We interviewed potential participants of the program and those who eventually gave up the possibility to participate. To get a more complete picture of peoples’ experience and motivations and to see the long-term impact of the program on a personal level and in the wider educational landscape, we conducted a group interview with the alumni of the program.
As a project outcome we created personas, which will help to understand the personal motivations and expectations for the Teach for Estonia program and brand, also more broadly for the teachers profession. Through the personas we also covered the factors that influence people’s choices at different stages of their lives.
The results of the research show that the role of the teacher is considered to be very important in society, but at the same time it is a difficult and underpaid profession. The participants pointed out that the program has had a positive effect on the image of the teaching profession and the development of Estonian educationfield. Although the program is intensive and is not fit for everyone, it is certainly important in bringing new teachers to school and supporting them in the process. The results of the study help the design agency Velvet to develop the program’s brand and communication strategy.
The project was supported by National Foundation of Civil Society.
We conducted 24 user interviews for the UX team at Swedbank in the spring 2020. The aim of the project was to better understand which data is seen as personal data and in which cases are people willing to share their personal data with a bank. These interviews are an important input both in changing the format of asking for a consent and in rethinking the role that the bank plays in a person’s life.
The interviews were based on the user research model which was developed at the head office of Swedbank. One part of this model was involving people based on the Big Five personality traits. The same research model was used both in Estonia and in Sweden in order to compare and contrast the users. The interviews also helped to uncover cultural differences. It turned out that Estonians and Swedes are not as different as it may seem when it comes to personal data.
From December 2019 to February 2020, we conducted a research commissioned by the Government Office and the Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia to map the challenges and experiences of children’s accessibility. Research findings provided firstly input to the work of Estonian government’s task force for accessibility, but more broadly they also benefit for various aspects of society: planning public transport network or road infrastructure, providing goods and services, operating schools etc.
About 60 children aged 7-14 from Tallinn, Märjamaa, Viljandi and Kohtla-Järve participated in the research. Among them were children with both Estonian and Russian home language. The main focus was on physical barriers, but children were also eager to share their experiences about social, psychological, behavioral barriers as well.
In addition to group interviews, we used walk-along-interviews, which means that the anthropologist walks with the child on his/her daily journey between home, school and after-school activities. Inspired by classical anthropological participatory observation, in a walk-along-interview children themselves could be guides and introducers of their daily life and activities. Among other things, the method makes it possible to provide answers to questions that a person cannot answer verbally, because he or she may not be even aware of it. This is especially visible when studying children’s experiences, as children are not yet used to analyzing and discussing their everyday activities in a more abstract way. We recorded the walk-along-interviews with photo and video equipment, gathering this way information about the physical obstacles and the behavioral aspects of the target group, which formed the backbone of the research.
In November 2019 CAAE conducted in-depth interviews for the Kalamaja Community Museum. We conducted several interviews with real estate developers, urban planners, urban activists and inhabitants of Kalaranna area in Northern Tallinn. The aim of the project was to map the opposing views of the parties involved in the development of Kalaranna. The results of the project can be seen in the temporary exhibition “Defenders of Kalaranna” in community museum.
In October 2019 in collaboration with the Department of ethnology of the University of Tartu we conducted a project with the aim to gain input for better arrangement of the internship system. We focused on internships within the following MA curriculums in the Institute of Cultural Research: Ethnology, folkloristics and applied anthropology; Cultural management; Folkloristics and applied heritage studies.
To get feedback and ideas on how to better the system, we brought together programme coordinators, representatives of the organisations who offer internship opportunities (museums, startups etc.) and students. A focus group interview was conducted in Tallinn and a day-long workshop in Tartu. We discussed the different parties expectations, fears and ideas, looking for solutions for improving the system.