A social research company

At Decodis, we believe that actively giving people the space to express themselves as they wish – in their own language, in their own dialect, in their own voice – elevates our understanding of their lived experiences and opinions.


We realize this principle by offering impact investors, private corporations, donors, thinktanks, NGOs and governments nuanced insight into the perspectives of the populations they serve. We use methods that are high-powered, scalable and low-cost. We achieve this by leveraging not only automated interview methods such as Interactive Voice Recording (IVR), but also scalable analytics such as Natural Language Processing, Discourse Analysis, and Acoustic Analysis. Our methods have proven to be effective in helping organizations understand and better serve their target populations.

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Our Story

by Dr. Daryl Collins, CEO and Founder

I've been doing research on vulnerable populations for over twenty years, but something has been increasingly troubling me. I get the feeling that people have just been telling us what they think we want to hear.
 

The stories I was hearing were far too simple. Only if I spent a longer period of time interviewing them, such as with the Financial Diaries research method I co-innovated as the basis of Portfolios of the Poor, did I achieve a real understanding of their experiences and opinions, which were messy and complicated. But lengthy fieldwork that is frustratingly expensive, onerous to execute and not scalable. I heard similar experiences from peers in different parts of the globe who struggled to make quality social research with increasing constraints.
 

I founded Decodis to solve that problem. Using proven technologies in innovative ways, our team at Decodis is creating tools to access even deeper understandings than I could with Diaries, but in a more agile, cheap and scalable way.


Join us in reimagining social research.

Meet the Team

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CEO and Founder

Author of the acclaimed Portfolios of the Poor and a pioneer working at the intersection of finance and human vulnerability. In the past two decades, Dr. Collins has built a broad portfolio of work with foundations, bilateral donors, governments, NGOs and private service providers. Her work is grounded in a deep understanding of the lives of vulnerable communities across the globe, leveraging the experience of executing Financial Diaries studies in over 10 countries. Dr. Collins spent the last decade as Managing Director and CEO of niche consulting BFA. She holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. from New York University. Daryl is currently based in Massachusetts, USA.

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Senior Research Analyst and Data Scientist

A Natural Language Processing (NLP) specialist who started his career as a Software Engineer and later pivoted to analytics and data science with focus on NLP. Before joining Decodis, Prava worked as analytics consultant for Genpact, working on multiple projects on speech analytics and data science. Prava has extended his skills into different use cases of NLP using deep learning and neural networks, in English, Spanish and other languages. He has worked on projects in India, the U.S., Paraguay, Colombia, Philippines, the Netherlands and Bangladesh. He has a Bachelors in Technology from Acharya Nagarjuna University, an MBA from Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad and a post-graduate qualification in machine learning and artificial intelligence from Purdue University. Prava is currently based in Hyderabad, India.

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Director of Projects

Marcia Almeida Mendes is Director of Projects at Decodis and keeps the team moving forward in all aspects of the business - from directing a range of our projects, to creating Decodis media products, to implementing firm-level productivity tools. Her talents are a unique mixture of communications and linguistics. She has a Master’s in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School (Tufts) and a Master’s in Applied Linguistics from the University of Brasilia. Before joining Decodis, she was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, then spent three years at Hankuk University in South Korea as an assistant professor of Brazilian Studies. She has also worked in communications, marketing and outreach in Brazil and Guinea-Bissau, and served as an EdTech consultant for the United Nations training division on their flipped classroom solutions. Marcia is currently based in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

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Senior Linguist

Derry Moore is Senior Linguist at Decodis and uses his unique capabilities in understanding the cross between social engagement and language as a foundation to our methods. As head of speech signal analysis, he decodes participant's discourse beyond just the content of what they say, untangling meaning from how they say it as well. Derry has fifteen years of experience and study in sociolinguistics – from a Bachelor’s in Linguistics from Millersville University to a Master's and Ph.D. (ABD) at the State University of New York, Buffalo. He has applied his linguistic skills to English, Spanish, Guarani, Hindi, Bangla, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Afrikaans and continues to explore work in different languages. His language skills extend beyond linguistics, having spent time during the past decade as a writing instructor, coach, and consultant. Derry is currently based in Pennsylvania, USA.

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Project Manager

Dhaval leads the team's efforts in conceptualizing and executing its projects in South Asia leveraging his experience as a practitioner/researcher across different sectors. Before joining Decodis, he worked at the Corruption Justice and Legitimacy Program looking at how to leverage social norms and behavior change strategies for anti-corruption intervention. He is also the co-founder of a collaborative called  ADMEL Lab that seeks to embed inclusive accountability in M&E frameworks. His experience includes working with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Nigeria and co-founding a non-profit organization focusing on the holistic development of children from low-income families in India. Dhaval has also practiced as a litigating lawyer focusing on governance and regulatory issues in Asia for several years. He holds a Master’s in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School (Tufts). Dhaval is currently based in Mumbai, India.

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Project Manager

Maria Pia is a Project Manager at Decodis and uses her unique cross-sector experience to lead our research projects in Latin America. Before joining Decodis, Maria Pia worked with Peruvian and Mexican NGOs on financial education, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship development. She also has more than seven years of experience in the private sector leading marketing and customer experience projects at a major telecommunications multinational.  Her experience brings invaluable insight to Decodis' remote data collection and qualitative analysis.
Maria Pia holds an M.Sc. in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the London School of Economics (LSE). She is currently based in Lima, Peru.

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Data Analyst

Leona is a Data Analyst at Decodis and, being an excellent problem-solver, she is fundamental at helping the team manage, analyze and visualize data in the most efficient way possible. With Pravarakya and Dhanashri, she helps develop ever improving ways of automating data collection and analysis. Before joining Decodis, Leona worked with a consulting company in Mumbai where she contributed to the development and implementation of a credit score card model using SQL, among other achievements. Leona has graduated from the University of Mumbai with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering in the field of Information Technology. She is currently based in Mumbai, India.

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Data Analyst

Dhanashri is a Data Analyst at Decodis and highly capable of working on our complex databases of multiform projects. With Pravarakya and Leona, Dhanashri helps develop ever improving ways of automating data collection and analysis. Before joining Decodis, she worked at market research and financial services companies, where she handled complex data sets both in analysis and also in visualization. Dhanashri is a certified Data Scientist and holds an Engineering Diploma in Electronics and a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunications from the Don Bosco Institute of Technology in Mumbai. She is currently based in Mumbai, India.