The Investment Climate Surveys (ICS) were conducted by the World Bank and its partners across all geographic regions and covered firms of all sizes in many industries. The ICS collected a wide array of qualitative and quantitative information through face-to-face interviews with managers and owners regarding the investment climate in their country and the productivity of their firms. Topics covered in the ICS included the obstacles to doing business, infrastructure, finance, labor, corruption and regulation, contract enforcement, law and order, innovation and technology, and firm productivity. Taken together, the qualitative and quantitative data helped connect a country’s investment climate characteristics with firm productivity and performance.
Firm-level surveys have been administered since 1998 by different units within the World Bank. Since 2005-06, most data collection efforts have been centralized within the Enterprise Analysis Unit (FPDEA). Enterprise Surveys, a replacement for Investment Climate Surveys, are now conducted by the Enterprise Analysis Unit.
The Investment Climate survey in Lesotho was completed in the late fall of 2004. About 110 firms in three sectors of the economy—manufacturing, construction and tourism—were interviewed. The dataset described in this study includes only manufacturing establishments (75 observations).
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Producers and sponsors
Government of Lesotho
There are 75 manufacturing firms in the dataset. 47% the sample was in the garments sector (including footwear and leather) and 25% were in food and beverages (including meat and poultry). This fairly closely matches the overall distribution of manufacturing firms in the country. The remaining firms were in variety of other manufacturing sub-sectors including construction materials (11%), printing (8%) and other (9%) .
The following firm sizes were included in the sample: Micro (1-9 workers) - 15%; Small (10-49) - 32%; Medium (50-99) - 3%; Large (100-499) - 25%; Very Large (Over 500) - 25%.
To ensure adequate coverage of large and very large firms and to reflect their importance to the economy in terms of employment, these enterprises are overrepresented in the ICS sample. The sample was divided between small and micro firms and large and very large firms, there were very few medium sized firms (between 50 and 100 employees) in the sample. In part, this reflects a divide between garments producers and other firms, the median garment producer in the
ICS sample had 550 employees, while the median non-garment producer had 25 employees.
The private sector mapping showed that most of the private sector firms in Lesotho are located in Maseru district, which contains almost 60 percent of companies, followed distantly by Leribe (which includes the important industrial centre of Maputsoe) with 12 percent. Two other districts, Berea and Mafeteng have 6 percent each. The survey sample, which only includes manufacturing firms, matches this distribution relatively closely. About 53 percent of firms in the ICS sample are in Maseru, 14 percent are in Leribe and 14 percent are in Berea. No other regions accounts for over 10 percent of the sample.
In summary, the sample reflects the private sector relatively well in terms of the sectoral and locational distribution of firms in Lesotho. Large and very large firms are oversampled in ICS, reflecting their importance to the economy.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
The Lesotho Survey contained a lot of missing data. This was primarily a problem in the section on firm productivity. Although nearly all firms were willing to answer broad
questions on the investment climate, they were often unwilling or unable to answer questions about their income and capital. Whereas all but two firms in the Lesotho ICS answered all questions on perceptions about the investment climate, all but six firms answered a question on the time that senior management spends dealing with regulations, and all but eight answered the question on whether "firms like theirs" typically had to make unofficial payments or gifts to government officials to get things done, only one-third of them provided enough information to calculate value-added per worker. Although it was always difficult to get firms to answer these questions, this was far higher than in most other countries where investment climate surveys had been completed. In the other low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, between 55 and 60 percent of firms answered enough questions to calculate value-added per worker and in South Africa about 80 percent did.
The small sample size also meant that it was difficult to break down responses by firm. Most investment climate surveys presented information by firm size (micro, small, medium, large and very large), by whether the firm exported or not, by location within the country, by sector, and by foreign or domestic ownership. When the Lesotho data was broken into smaller groups, only a small number of observations were left.
The current survey instrument is available:
- Investment Climate Survey Questionnaire
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.
Firm-level data is available to the public free-of-charge. In order to access the 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 https://www.enterprisesurveys.org"