An Enterprise Survey is a firm-level survey of a representative sample of an economy's private sector. Firm-level surveys have been conducted since 1998 by different units within the World Bank. Since 2005-06, most data collection efforts have been centralized within the Enterprise Analysis Unit. The Enterprise Surveys are conducted across all geographic regions and cover small, medium, and large companies. The surveys are administered to a representative sample of firms in the non-agricultural formal private economy. Data are used to create indicators that benchmark the quality of the business and investment climate across countries.
The survey was conducted in Iraq between March and October 2011 as part of the Iraq Enterprise Survey, an initiative of the World Bank. Data from 756 establishments was analyzed.
The objective of the survey is to obtain feedback from enterprises on the state of the private sector as well as to help in building a panel of enterprise data that will make it possible to track changes in the business environment over time, thus allowing, for example, impact assessments of reforms. Through interviews with firms in the manufacturing and services sectors, the survey assesses the constraints to private sector growth and creates statistically significant business environment indicators that are comparable across countries.
The standard Enterprise Survey topics include firm characteristics, gender participation, access to finance, annual sales, costs of inputs/labor, workforce composition, bribery, licensing, infrastructure, trade, crime, competition, capacity utilization, land and permits, taxation, informality, business-government relations, innovation and technology, and performance measures. Over 90% of the questions objectively ascertain characteristics of a country’s business environment. The remaining questions assess the survey respondents’ opinions on what are the obstacles to firm growth and performance. The mode of data collection is face-to-face interviews.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The primary sampling unit of the study is the establishment. An establishment is a physical location where business is carried out and where industrial operations take place or services are provided. A firm may be composed of one or more establishments. For example, a brewery may have several bottling plants and several establishments for distribution. For the purposes of this survey an establishment must make its own financial decisions and have its own financial statements separate from those of the firm. An establishment must also have its own management and control over its payroll.
First version of the dataset.
The scope of the study includes:
- characteristics of establishments;
- sales and supplies;
- competition and innovation;
- land and permits;
- security (crime);
- business-government relations;
- business environment;
Regions covered are selected based on the number of establishments, contribution to employment, and value added. In most cases these regions are metropolitan areas and reflect the largest centers of economic activity in a country.
The whole population, or universe of the study, is the non-agricultural economy. It comprises: all manufacturing sectors (group D), construction sector (group F), services sector (groups G and H), transportation, storage, and communications sector (group I), and the IT sector (ISIC 72 in group K). Note that this definition excludes the following sectors: financial intermediation (group J), real estate and renting activities (group K, except sub-sector 72, IT), and all public or utilities-sectors. Unregistered (informal) firms, firms with less than 5 employees, or 100% state-owned enterprises are not eligible for the survey.
Producers and sponsors
World Bank Iraq Trust Fund
The sample for Iraq was selected using stratified random sampling. Three levels of stratification were used in this country: business sector, establishment size, and governorate.
Business sector stratification was defined by creating six levels: the universe was stratified into four manufacturing sub-sectors (food, non-metallic mineral products, and chemicals/rubber products) and an "other manufacturing" category, retail/wholesale, and an "other services" category.
Size stratification was defined by three levels following the standardized definition for the Enterprise Surveys: small (5 to 19 employees), medium (20 to 99 employees), and large (more than 99 employees). For stratification purposes, the number of employees was defined on the basis of reported permanent full-time workers.
Regional stratification was defined by 10 sub-national locations (governorates) in Iraq: Ninevah, Kirkuk, Baghdad, Babil, Kerbala, Al-Najaf, Thi-Qar, Basra, Suleimaniyah, and Arbil.
Iraq's Central Organization for Statistics (COSIT) with the cooperation of Kurdistan Regional Statistical Office (KRSO) provided the World Bank with a sampling frame, generated in 2009 during the initial discussions regarding Enterprise Surveys. However despite the target sample design of 1,000 firms (which was known to be extremely ambitious at the outset of the survey project), the list from COSIT contained 959 firms. Transportation, storage, and communications sectors (group I) along with the IT sector were missing in this sampling frame.
Given the missing sectors and below-target total of firms in the sample frame, the implementing contractor solicited and obtained lists of registered companies from local (governorate-level) chambers of commerce. The implementing contractor provided the World Bank with Excel sheets from seven governorates. 106 firms in sectors group I and ISIC 72 were randomly selected and appended to the list of 959 firms from COSIT. Thus a total of 1,065 firms constituted the sample frame provided to the implementing contractor.
The overall survey response rate was 92%.
The number of firm contacts per realized interview was 1.37. This number is the result of two factors: explicit refusals to participate in the survey, as reflected by the rate of rejection (which includes rejections of the screener and the main survey) and the quality of the sample frame, as represented by the presence of ineligible units. The number of rejections per contact was .06.
Item non-response was addressed by two strategies:
a- For sensitive questions that may generate negative reactions from the respondent, such as corruption or tax evasion, enumerators were instructed to collect the refusal to respond as a different option from don’t know (-7).
b- Establishments with incomplete information were re-contacted in order to complete this information, whenever necessary.
Survey non-response was addressed by maximizing efforts to contact establishments that were initially selected for interview. Attempts were made to contact the establishment for interview at different times/days of the week before a replacement establishment (with similar strata characteristics) was suggested for interview. Survey non-response did occur but substitutions were made in order to potentially achieve strata-specific goals.
For some units it was impossible to determine eligibility because the contact was not successfully completed. Consequently, different assumptions as to their eligibility result in different universe cells' adjustments and in different sampling weights. Three sets of assumptions were considered:
a- Strict assumption: eligible establishments are only those for which it was possible to directly determine eligibility.
b- Median assumption: eligible establishments are those for which it was possible to directly determine eligibility and those that rejected the screener questionnaire or an answering machine or fax was the only response. Median weights are used for computing indicators on the www.enterprisesurveys.org website.
c- Weak assumption: in addition to the establishments included in points a and b, all establishments for which it was not possible to finalize a contact are assumed eligible. This includes establishments with dead or out of service phone lines, establishments that never answered the phone, and establishments with incorrect addresses for which it was impossible to find a new address. Note that under the weak assumption only observed non-eligible units are excluded from universe projections.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Complete information regarding the sampling methodology, sample frame, weights, response rates, and implementation can be found in "Description of Iraq Implementation" in external resources.
Data Collection Notes
Private contractors conduct the Enterprise Surveys on behalf of the World Bank. Due to sensitive survey questions addressing business-government relations and corruption-related topics, private contractors are preferred over any government agency or an organization/institution associated with government, and are hired by the World Bank to collect the data.
The Enterprise Surveys are usually implemented following a two-stage procedure. In the first stage, a screener questionnaire is applied over the phone to determine eligibility and to make appointments; in the second stage, a face-to-face interview takes place with the Manager/Owner/Director of each establishment. All Enterprise Surveys are conducted in the local languages.
Through a competitive process, ASHARQ Research Company Ltd. was hired to implement the Iraq 2011 Enterprise Survey. ASHARQ was provided both the sample design and the sample frame (list of eligible companies for interview) and ASHARQ conducted the face-to-face interviews and entered the respondents’ responses into an SPSS dataset. Twenty five interviewers were employed to conduct the survey.
ASHARQ Research Company Ltd.
The current survey instruments are available:
- Manufacturing Questionnaire,
- Services Questionnaire,
- Screener Questionnaire.
The standard Enterprise Survey topics include firm characteristics, gender participation, access to finance, annual sales, costs of inputs/labor, workforce composition, bribery, licensing, infrastructure, trade, crime, competition, capacity utilization, land and permits, taxation, informality, business-government relations, innovation and technology, and performance measures. Over 90% of the questions objectively ascertain characteristics of a country’s business environment. The remaining questions assess the survey respondents’ opinions on what are the obstacles to firm growth and performance.
English questionnaires (Manufacturing and Services Questionnaires) were provided to the implementing contractor for translation to Arabic and Kurdish. The translated questionnaires were back-translated into English by a third party so that instances of sub-optimal translation could be identified and corrected.
Data entry and quality controls are implemented by the contractor and data is delivered to the World Bank in batches (typically 10%, 50% and 100%). These data deliveries are checked for logical consistency, out of range values, skip patterns, and duplicate entries. Problems are flagged by the World Bank and corrected by the implementing contractor through data checks, callbacks, and revisiting establishments.
Enterprise Analysis Unit
Confidentiality of the survey respondents and the sensitive information they provide is necessary to ensure the greatest degree of survey participation, integrity and confidence in the quality of the data. Surveys are usually carried out in cooperation with business organizations and government agencies promoting job creation and economic growth, but confidentiality is never compromised.
Aggregate indicators based on Enterprise Survey data are available to the public at https://www.enterprisesurveys.org
Firm-level data is also available to the public free-of-charge. In order to access the firm-level data, users must agree to abide by a strict confidentiality agreement available through Enterprise Analysis Unit website by clicking on "External users register here" at https://www.enterprisesurveys.org/Portal
The use of the datasets must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the identification of the Primary Investigator (including country name);
- the full title of the survey and its acronym (when available), and the year(s) of implementation;
- the survey reference number;
- the source and date of download (for datasets disseminated online).
World Bank. Iraq Enterprise Survey (ES) 2011, Ref. IRQ_2011_ES_v01_M_WB. Dataset downloaded from [URL] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
DDI Document ID
Data Development Group (DECDG)
Documentation of the survey micro- and metadata information in DDI format
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
First version of metadata and external resources description.