This is the first round of informal surveys conducted by the World Bank Enterprise Analysis Unit in six African countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivore, Madagascar, Mauritius), Afghanistan and Nepal.
Informal surveys target unregistered enterprises, which in these countries make up a significant part of the economy. Understanding how informal businesses function and why they prefer to remain unregistered could help implement changes in government - business relationships.
Informal survey questionnaires are a shorter, tailored to unregistered businesses, version of Enterprise Survey questionnaires. Informal Surveys are usually conducted at the same time with Enterprise Surveys.
This research is a survey of unregistered businesses conducted in Cameroon between June and October 2009, at the same time with Cameroon 2009 Enterprise Survey. 122 informal businesses were interviewed.
The objective of World Bank firm-level surveys is to obtain feedback from enterprises in client countries on the state of the private sector, assess the constraints to private sector growth and create statistically significant business environment indicators that are comparable across countries.
Informal survey questionnaires are a shorter, tailored to unregistered businesses, version of Enterprise Survey questionnaires. The topics include general information about a business, infrastructure and services, sales and supplies, crime, sources and access to finance, business-government relationship, assets, AIDS and sickness (for African region), bribery, workforce composition, obstacles to get registration, reasons for not registering, and benefits that an establishment could get from registration. Business owners or managers are interviewed face-to-face.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The primary sampling unit of Informal Surveys is an unregistered establishment. In Cameroon, registration with the Registre du Commerce compiled by the Chamber of Commerce of Cameroon differentiated formal and informal businesses.
The whole population, or the universe, covered in the survey is the non-agricultural economy. It comprises: all manufacturing sectors according to the ISIC Revision 3.1 group classification (group D), construction sector (group F), services sector (groups G and H), and transport, storage, and communications sector (group I). Note that this population definition excludes the following sectors: financial intermediation (group J), real estate and renting activities (group K, except sub-sector 72, IT, which was added to the population under study), and all public or utilities-sectors.
Producers and sponsors
For the informal sector, there were no sample lists of firms. The sampling procedure was to survey an unregistered establishment in a certain geographic region and sector, similar to a registered business with one to four employees, interviewed for the Enterprise Survey that was conducted in conjunction with the Informal Survey.
Because a formal sample frame was not used, it is not possible to calculate response rates, universe estimates, or sampling weights for the informal sector sample.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
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.
Informal Surveys are conducted in the local languages.
RMS Ltd. Cameroon
The current survey instrument is available:
- Informal Questionnaire.
The survey topics include general information about a business, infrastructure and services, sales and supplies, crime, sources and access to finance, business-government relationship, assets, AIDS and sickness (for African region), bribery, workforce composition, obstacles to get registration, reasons for not registering, and benefits that an establishment could get from registration.
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.
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 Analysis Unit 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
Where necessary please site the source as "Enterprise Analysis Unit - World Bank Group www.enterprisesurveys.org"
DDI Document ID
DDI Document version