Matching grants are one of the most common types of private sector development programs used in developing countries. Matching grants consist of partial subsidies, typically 50 percent, provided by government programs to try to spur firms to undertake innovative activities.
This study is a randomized experiment testing the impact of matching grants for business development services in the Republic of Yemen. The program provided firms with a matching grant of up to $10,000 as a 50 percent subsidy towards the cost of business services like finance and accounting systems, website creation, training, marketing, participation in exhibitions, and some associated goods such as office and IT equipment. The program was intended to run in two annual rounds, aimed to provide grants for business development services to 400 enterprises, 200 in each of two years.
The program was launched in August 2013 and widely advertised through a 45-day campaign. Firms applied between October 1, 2013 and December 26, 2013. The first year of the program took place in 2014, but due to civil conflict outbreak in late March and early April 2015, the second year of the program was cancelled. The dataset documented here is based on the first round.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
v01, edited dataset with firms identifying information removed
The scope of the study includes:
- company information
- business financing
- business performance
Aden and Sana'a
Firms who applied for the matching business development grants. To be eligible, firms must be operating in Yemen, have offices in either Sana'a or Aden, be in operation for at least 6 months, not be in a prohibited activity (such as weapons manufacture), and have submitted a complete application form.
Producers and sponsors
Ana Paula Cusolito
Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality
Firms were selected for the program from among the eligible applicants in public randomization events held in Sana'a on January 9, 2014 and Aden on January 12, 2014. The only variable used in stratification was city, with separate drawings occurring in the two cities. The events were open to the public, and attendees included some of the applicants, members of the project's Advisory Committee, and media. In each city 100 firms were randomly drawn, along with a reserve list in case any of the originally selected firms withdrew from the program. In the end this resulted in 216 firms being randomly assigned to the treatment group. Researchers chose a random sample of 100 firms from the eligible applicants in each city to be the control group for the follow-up survey.
Information from application forms of the firms in the treatment and control groups served as the baseline.
54.3% (226 of the target 416 firms). Attrition was higher in the control group (51%) than the treatment group (40.7%), with this difference statistically significant (p=0.036).
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Telephone Interview [cati]
Data Collection Notes
A call for the second year of the program took place in November 2014, with random selection in December 2014. However, with the worsening security situation in Yemen this second year of the program was abandoned. Researchers therefore quickly launched a follow-up survey in March 2015. This timing is approximately 4 to 10 months after firms had used their matching grants, and right before widespread civil conflict broke out.
Firms who applied for the grant had to fill out an application form. The form collected basic information on the firm such as employment level, sales, whether they export, types of innovative activities conducted in the past three years, and then basic information on what business development services they would like and an agreement to pay half the costs of these.
The follow-up survey was conducted via phone given that safety issues, gas shortages, and time constraints prohibited an in-person survey. The questionnaire collected basic company information such as operating status and employment, the firm's innovation activities and use of consultants, financing from banks and the grant program, and on the firms' exports and sales.
The firm follow-up questionnaire is available in Related Materials, but the application form is not.
Firm identifying information has been removed
Public use for research purposes only. No attempt to identify the firms should be done.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
David McKenzie, World Bank. Yemen, Rep. Matching Grant Impact Evaluation 2015. Ref. YEM_2015_MGIE_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
Development Data Group
Documentation of the study
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
v01 (November 2015)