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 is used to create indicators that benchmark the quality of the business and investment climate across countries.
This survey was conducted in Afghanistan between May 2013 and July 2013 as part of the Enterprise Survey project, an initiative of the World Bank. 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.
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.
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;
Kabul, Hirat, Kandahar, Mazar, Jalalabad
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 according to the group classification of ISIC Revision 3.1: (group D), construction sector (group F), services sector (groups G and H), and transport, storage, and communications sector (group I). Note that this 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
The sample for Afghanistan ES 2013 was selected using stratified random sampling. Three levels of stratification were used in this country: industry, establishment size, and region.
Industry stratification was designed in the way that follows: the universe was stratified into manufacturing, retail/wholesale, construction, and other services.
Size stratification was defined following the standardized definition for the rollout: 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. This seems to be an appropriate definition of the labor force since seasonal/casual/part-time employment is not common practice, apart from the construction and agriculture sectors which are not included in the survey.
Regional stratification was defined in 5 regions (Kabul, Hirat, Kandahar, Mazar, Jalalabad) which include both city and the surrounding business areas.
The sample frame used in Afghanistan was combined from 3 sources. The list of manufacturing firms was obtained from the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) and was updated in April 2012. The list for retail firms was generated by the implementing contractor for the 5 cities of fieldwork. The construction/other services list was obtained from the implementing contractor and is largely based on firms registered with AISA.
The frame was used for the selection of a sample with the aim of achieving 360 interviews with establishments of five or more employees.
The percentage of confirmed non-eligible units as a proportion of the total number of sampled establishments contacted for the survey was 1.72% (70 out of 4,072 establishments).
Survey non-response must be differentiated from item non-response. The former refers to refusals to participate in the survey altogether whereas the latter refers to the refusals to answer some specific questions. Enterprise Surveys suffer from both problems and different strategies were used to address these issues.
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.
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.
Universe estimates for the number of establishments in each industry-region-size cell in Afghanistan were created based on the findings from the Integrated Business Enterprise Survey 2009 conducted by the Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan (CSO). In addition to this 2009 report, population totals from the CSO website were used to apportion the number of establishments across the 5 subnational locations. Once an estimate of the universe cell projection was made, base weights were computed by dividing the universe number over the achieved number of interviews in each cell.
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 Afghanistan ES 2013 Implementation."
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 or director of each establishment. All Enterprise Surveys are conducted in the local languages.
Nielsen India Pvt. Ltd. was hired to implement the Afghanistan 2014 Enterprise Survey. The team comprised of seven supervisors and sixteen interviewers.
Nielsen India Pvt. Ltd.
The structure of the data base reflects the fact that 2 different versions of the questionnaire were used for 3 categories of businesses (manufacturing, retail, and other services/non-retail). The Manufacturing Questionnaire includes all common questions asked to all establishments and some specific questions relevant to manufacturing firms. The Services Questionnaire, administered to retail and other services/non-retail establishments, includes all common questions asked to all establishments and some specific questions relevant retail and other services firms. Each variation of the questionnaire is identified by the index variable, a0.
All variables are named using, first, the letter of each section and, second, the number of the variable within the section, i.e. a1 denotes section A, question 1. Variable names proceeded by a prefix "SAR" or "AFG" indicate questions specific to the South Asia region or Afghanistan only, therefore, they may not be found in the implementation of the rollout in other countries. All other suffixed variables are global and are present in all country surveys over the world. All variables are numeric with the exception of those variables with an "x" at the end of their names. The suffix "x" denotes that the variable is alpha-numeric.
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.
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. Afghanistan Enterprise Survey (ES) 2013, Ref. AFG_2013_ES_v01_M. 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
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
First version of metadata and external resources description.