As part of its strategic goal of building a climate for investment, job creation, and sustainable growth, the World Bank has promoted improving business environments as a key strategy for development, which has led to a systematic effort in collecting enterprise data across countries. The Enterprise Surveys are an ongoing World Bank project in collecting both objective data based on firms' experiences and enterprises' perception of the environment in which they operate.
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 2005-2006, 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.
As of December 2019, the ES covers over 180,000 firms in 150 countries, of which 142 have been surveyed following the standard methodology. This allows for better comparisons across countries and across time. Data are used to create statistically significant business environment indicators that are comparable across countries. The ES are also used to build a panel of enterprise data that will make it possible to track changes in the business environment over time and allow, for example, impact assessments of reforms.
Informal surveys target unregistered enterprises, which in some 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 Surveys are usually conducted at the same time with Enterprise Surveys.
The survey of unregistered businesses was conducted in Somalia, between October and December 2019, simultaneously with the Somolia Enterprise Survey 2019. The survey covers two cities: Bosaso and Mogadishu. The fieldwork was implemented by Altai Consulting in collaboration with Tusmo Research and Consulting.
The primary objectives of the survey was to:
i) to understand the business demographics of the sector in the two cities, and
ii) to describe the environment within which these businesses operate.
A secondary objective of the survey is to provide an estimate of the number of informal businesses operating in these cities.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Unit of analysis is informal business.
For the survey in Bosaso and Mogadishu, a business that does not have any of the following two items is considered as informal: i) Registration with the Ministry of Commerce; and ii) Registration with the respective Municipality.
Version 01. Edited, anonymous dataset for public distribution.
The scope of the study includes:
- General information
- Location and infrastructure
- Sales and supplies
- Business practices
The universe includes informal businesses, where informality is defined based on whether or not a business is formally registered with the government. The definition of formal registration can vary by country. For the survey in Bosaso and Mogadishu, a business that does not have any of the following two items is considered as informal: i) Registration with the Ministry of Commerce; and ii) Registration with the respective Municipality.
Producers and sponsors
World Bank Group
World Bank Group
The 2019 Somalia ISBS uses an innovative technique to survey informal businesses. The survey follows an area-based sampling methodology with geographic area rather than an establishment or a business unit as a primary sampling unit. To account for potential clustering of informal business, the survey uses an area-based sampling called (stratified) Adaptive Cluster Sampling (ACS), whereby one selects a sample of starting squares and adaptively samples surrounding squares based on the number of informal firms discovered in the enumerated squares. All informal business in selected squares are enumerated using a 2 to 3-minutes questionnaire, referred to in this document as the short-form questionnaire. The short form questionnaire is a listing questionnaire where basic information about the business is collected. A randomly selected subset of the enumerated businesses is given a 20-minutes questionnaire, referred to in this document as the long-form questionnaire. This is the main questionnaire of the survey and the basis of the database posted on the ES portal.
The survey is adaptive in the sense that if the number of informal units in a square exceeds a predefined threshold, all the squares surrounding the starting square are surveyed, following the same approach of enumeration and randomly conducting the main interview. If one of the surrounding squares exceed the threshold, then the squares surrounding that square in turn are also surveyed. This process continues until either the network is exhausted, or an arbitrary cut-off point is defined.
The first step in the sampling approach is the construction of a spatial grid as the Primary Sampling Units (PSU) frame, as shown in Appendix A - 1 for Bosaso, and 2 for Mogadishu respectively. The grid covered the total of municipal areas and each cell had a size of 150 by 150 meters. This produced a total of about 3100 squares between the two cities, excluding squares that are considered inaccessible. The second step was to stratify each grid, with in each city, based on land use type. The grids were categorized into five strata: residential, commercial/industrial, mixed (commercial and residential), Market centres and open area. The stratification was based on local knowledge of the survey implementing contractor with approval from the WBG task team leader. The third step in the sampling process was to select a pre-defined number of starting squares from each stratum for enumeration and main data collection (see Appendix B for the number of starting squares selected for each city).
It is important to note that for Mogadishu, because of security challenges data collection was conducted only in areas considered as safe (as of November 2019) for field team to conduct in person face-to-face interviews. Consequently, data for Mogadishu is representative only for these safe areas (with Bakara market among areas excluded), highlighted in light green in the map in Appendix A-2.
To estimate population parameters, weights are applied to survey samples. In surveys design following standard random sampling, selection probability of all units is known before the actual data collection. Hence, weights can be derived as the inverse of selection probability.
Computation of sampling weights is a bit involved for Adaptive Cluster Sampling (ACS) since final sample size is not known a priori. In ACS, selection probabilities are not known a priori since sampling squares are adaptively added to the sample depending on the number of informal businesses found in a square. In adaptive sampling, one instead talks about empirically derived inclusion probabilities.
Note: Refer to Sampling Weight section in "The 2019 Somalia Informal Sector Business Survey Implementation Report" for further details on sampling weight.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Enumerators were assigned to starting squares, enumerating all informal business units in selected squares and administering the main questionnaire to a randomly selected subset of the enumerated businesses. This survey was fully implemented using the World Banks' Survey Solutions CAPI system. The selection for long-form (main) questionnaire was conducted in real time (i.e., concurrently with the listing process) using the CAPI system with a random decaying probability of selection; these minimizes issues stemming from the transitory nature of many informal activities. An important feature of the implementation is that enumerators did not have control over who gets selected for an interview with the long-form (main) questionnaire since the CAPI does so randomly. All respondents that were not selected for the long-form were given a short-form questionnaire, which captured information on the type of activity, physical location, and the number of workers. Outright refusals were also recorded, using enumerator observation of the activity, workers observed, and whether the business had any sign and permits on display.
Overall, the enumeration started with a total of 372 starting squares in the two cities combined, and a total of 727 squares were enumerated in the end (see Appendix-B for detail). Out of a total of 7,747 business enumerated, about 491 were randomly selected and responded the main questionnaire (i.e., the long-form), which is the main data file.
Implementation of the actual fieldwork can be daunting given the complicated nature of the sampling methodology. An intensive and extended training and piloting sessions were conducted before the launch of the fieldwork. A three-day intensive training of enumerators and field management team took place followed by two days of piloting in each of the two cities. Based on feedback from this trainings and piloting, necessary changes were made to the questionnaire and CAPI script.
A detailed monitoring protocol was put in place during the data collection phase to ensure the integrity of the fieldwork and methodology. In addition to supervision through assigned supervisors, every enumerator records his/her path using a tracking software (Oruxmaps) installed on to all the CAPI tablets. Enumerators submit captured paths to a centralized server at the end of enumeration of every square. This tracking path is checked to ensure that enumerators have fully covered the square assigned to them. This quality check was done daily, and for cases where the tracking path indicated below acceptable level of effort in listing informal business, the enumerator was asked to re-survey the square.
Altai Consulting plc
The survey data was collected using a standardized questionnaire, i.e., the long-form questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed building on previous modules used by the Enterprise Analysis Unit of the World Bank to survey informal businesses.
Enterprise Analysis Unit
World Bank Group
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).
The World Bank .Somalia - Informal Sector Business Survey 2019, Ref. SOM_2019_ISBS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from https://www.enterprisesurveys.org/portal/login.aspx on [date].
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 DDI
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (July 2020)