Survey Research In Afghanistan: Challenges and Results Presentation for the  SAPOR Conference Raleigh, North Carolina, USA...
Contributing Authors <ul><li>D3 Systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Karl Feld </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Veronica Gardner </li><...
Cross-Cultural Context <ul><li>D3 operates in 95+ countries of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Nationwide stratified random, g...
ACSOR-Surveys <ul><li>D3 majority-owned joint venture with BBSS-TNS Bulgaria </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly general population, ...
Sampling & Logistics <ul><li>Last Afghan census 1979 with annual updates since 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of refugees...
Starting From Scratch <ul><li>Sampling & Logistics </li></ul><ul><li>Household Access & Respondent Selection </li></ul><ul...
Stratified Random Frame <ul><li>Regions </li></ul><ul><li>Urban/rural </li></ul><ul><li>34 Provinces </li></ul><ul><li>Dis...
Challenges <ul><li>Awareness (Interviewing itself as cognitive exercise) </li></ul><ul><li>Few to no paved roads </li></ul...
Household/Respondent Selection <ul><li>Kish grid </li></ul><ul><li>Gender subsamples 50/50 within sample point </li></ul><...
Challenges—Ethnicity/Gender <ul><li>Language/Ethnicity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnicity—Pashtun 44%, Tajik 25%, Hazara 10%,...
Distribution of Ethnicity in Afghanistan
Challenges—Rule of Law/Education <ul><li>Education: 45-48% illiteracy, 5% higher education (impacts Q design and wording) ...
High First Attempts
Quality Control <ul><li>Live observation and back checking (25%) </li></ul><ul><li>Traveling Control Unit </li></ul><ul><l...
Building The Next Generation <ul><li>Asia Foundation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside training for senior staff </li></ul></u...
What Do Public Optimism Levels Effect? <ul><li>Nation-building </li></ul><ul><li>Reconstruction projects </li></ul><ul><li...
Summary <ul><li>Older Afghans have lost more optimism than younger Afghans </li></ul><ul><li>Pashtuns and Tajiks show simi...
Methodology <ul><li>Monthly surveys conducted by the Afghan Center for Social and Opinion Research (ACSOR-Surveys) since 2...
Younger vs. Older Afghans <ul><li>Aug ‘05 – Optimism rates high among all age groups; highest among Afghans ages 40-49 and...
<ul><li>Feb ’08 – Afghans 40-49 have become the least optimistic, followed by those 50+ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Those 40-49 ...
Changes in Optimism Rates by Age Group 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% Will Live Better ...
Two Regions Experiencing High Declines in Optimism <ul><li>High levels of optimism in both regions in August 2005 </li></u...
Regions of Afghanistan
“ Do You Think You Are Living Better or Worse Than Your Parents Were Living When They Were Your Age?”
“ Do You Think That Your Children Will Live Better or Worse Than You Are Living?”
Pashtuns vs. Tajiks <ul><li>Little difference in overall rates from August 2005 to April 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in...
Operation Achilles <ul><li>“ Do You Think You Are Living Better or Worse Than Your Parents Were Living When They Were Your...
Operation Medusa <ul><li>“ Do You Think That Your Children Will Live Better </li></ul><ul><li>or Worse Than You Are Living...
D3 Survey of Women In Muslim Countries (WIMC) <ul><li>Designed to empower women to speak of the effects of gender rights a...
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Afghanistan Have Highest Disenrollment By 5 th  Grade
Income Leads In Poor Countries (10%+) <ul><li>Egypt: money (51%), health (30%) </li></ul><ul><li>Iraq: money (23%), securi...
Not As Interested In Starting A Business <ul><li>Over 55% in all but Afghanistan (32%), Iraq (11%) and Iran (18%) </li></u...
WIMC Women Vote <ul><li>70% of all the women of the WIMC self-reported that they also voted in the last election or refere...
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Afghanistan Survey Methods And Challenges

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Survey research is difficult in Afghanistan. Violence, illiteracy in both urban and rural areas, cultural constraints, and access to family and women in particular have all been faced by D3 Systems in the process of building a self-sustaining national survey operation in Afghanistan. Grown from an organization capable of simple urban polls of Kabul in 2003 to multistage, nationally representative random survey samples today, D3’s partially-owned subsidiary called the Afghan Center for Socio-Economic Research is a vibrant, busy company conducting research every day throughout Afghanistan. This paper focuses on the various challenges faced by ACSOR operating in Afghanistan. Findings from the 2006 and 2007 nationwide probability samples completed by ACSOR for the Asia Foundation’s Annual Reports on Afghanistan and D3’s research on women’s issues will be included. Particular emphasis will be placed on issues of education, armed violence, lack of familiarity with research, cultural restrictions on women, ethno-linguistic fragmentation, and outdated population data. General results of the D3 Women in Muslim Countries and Asia Foundation surveys are discussed with emphasis on trends across time related to international development issues as they relate to survey research. Among these are human security as Afghans perceive it, the status of women in Afghan society, and education and awareness of democratic practices like public opinion polling among Afghans nationwide. Trends are demonstrated empirically with the Asia Foundation tracking data and supplemented with findings from recent reporting by D3 and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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  • Afghanistan Survey Methods And Challenges

    1. 1. Survey Research In Afghanistan: Challenges and Results Presentation for the SAPOR Conference Raleigh, North Carolina, USA October 9-10, 2008
    2. 2. Contributing Authors <ul><li>D3 Systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Karl Feld </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Veronica Gardner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John Richardson </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ACSOR-Surveys </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sweeta Hashimi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zemarak Mohsini </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matthew Warshaw </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Cross-Cultural Context <ul><li>D3 operates in 95+ countries of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Nationwide stratified random, general population surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Generally operate through indigenous knowledge transfer and investment. </li></ul><ul><li>Specializes in difficult research environments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All Middle East/North African countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remote islands (eg. Papua New Guinea) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict and Post-conflict zones (eg. Iraq, Sudan, Haiti, Colombia, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina, Pakistan, Afghanistan) </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. ACSOR-Surveys <ul><li>D3 majority-owned joint venture with BBSS-TNS Bulgaria </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly general population, nationwide quantitative research </li></ul><ul><li>International client base of government, commercial and non-profit clients </li></ul><ul><li>Hub offices throughout country </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kabul </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mazar e Sharif </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jalalaabad </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Sampling & Logistics <ul><li>Last Afghan census 1979 with annual updates since 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of refugees (Pakistan, Iran) and IDPs </li></ul><ul><li>UN efforts to update database (World Food Programme, National Vulnerability Assessment) </li></ul><ul><li>All sources above, other agency sources and current longitudinal interviewing database of 100,000+ interviews used to build sampling frames </li></ul>
    6. 6. Starting From Scratch <ul><li>Sampling & Logistics </li></ul><ul><li>Household Access & Respondent Selection </li></ul><ul><li>Training and Quality Control </li></ul><ul><li>Building The Next Generation </li></ul><ul><li>The Pace of Afghanistan’s Development </li></ul><ul><li>Afghan Women (CEDAW) </li></ul>
    7. 7. Stratified Random Frame <ul><li>Regions </li></ul><ul><li>Urban/rural </li></ul><ul><li>34 Provinces </li></ul><ul><li>Districts in descending order by size (rotation by size as necessary) </li></ul><ul><li>Urban sherwali and rural everywhere else </li></ul><ul><li>Settlements randomly selected </li></ul><ul><li>Cluster distribution of 10 by gender </li></ul><ul><li>Starting points are recognizable locations </li></ul>
    8. 8. Challenges <ul><li>Awareness (Interviewing itself as cognitive exercise) </li></ul><ul><li>Few to no paved roads </li></ul><ul><li>Internal travel extremely dangerous (physical hazards, organized and random crime, corrupt law enforcement) </li></ul><ul><li>Travel by foot or donkey cart for long distances (18 hour walk) normative </li></ul><ul><li>Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, wind chill exposure, frostbite </li></ul><ul><li>Military action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taliban, ISAF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Southern and Eastern regions </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Household/Respondent Selection <ul><li>Kish grid </li></ul><ul><li>Gender subsamples 50/50 within sample point </li></ul><ul><li>Gender-matched interviewers </li></ul><ul><li>Constant focus on gender distribution within sample </li></ul><ul><li>Hospitality reflected in high cooperation rates </li></ul><ul><li>Access to women extremely limited </li></ul>
    10. 10. Challenges—Ethnicity/Gender <ul><li>Language/Ethnicity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnicity—Pashtun 44%, Tajik 25%, Hazara 10%, Uzbek 8%, Other 13% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sunni 84%, Shi’a 15% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dari 50%, Pashtu 35%, Turkic languages 11% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining a 45% female interviewing team in each province </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women cannot travel or obtain household access independently, male family member </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First Kandahar female team quit en masse </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Distribution of Ethnicity in Afghanistan
    12. 12. Challenges—Rule of Law/Education <ul><li>Education: 45-48% illiteracy, 5% higher education (impacts Q design and wording) </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of Law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Police/security harrassment, both sides of conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taliban action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Urban mistrust (spies) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stoning (women) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letters of permission, one side </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. High First Attempts
    14. 14. Quality Control <ul><li>Live observation and back checking (25%) </li></ul><ul><li>Traveling Control Unit </li></ul><ul><li>Standard Testing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patterns of consistent responses by respondent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patterns of consistent responses by interviewer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patterns of non-response </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviewer Productivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soccer Cards (Green, Yellow, Red) </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Building The Next Generation <ul><li>Asia Foundation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside training for senior staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graduate level intern program with Kabul University in methods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Initiative to Educate Afghan Women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summer internships for US-trained Afghan women </li></ul></ul><ul><li>D3 Funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside training for senior staff </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. What Do Public Optimism Levels Effect? <ul><li>Nation-building </li></ul><ul><li>Reconstruction projects </li></ul><ul><li>Counter-insurgency </li></ul><ul><li>Int’l Diplomacy </li></ul><ul><li>Crime </li></ul>
    17. 17. Summary <ul><li>Older Afghans have lost more optimism than younger Afghans </li></ul><ul><li>Pashtuns and Tajiks show similar optimism rates except during events that impact one ethnicity more than the other </li></ul><ul><li>South Central and Northern Afghanistan have lost more optimism than other regions </li></ul>
    18. 18. Methodology <ul><li>Monthly surveys conducted by the Afghan Center for Social and Opinion Research (ACSOR-Surveys) since 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>n size of 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Nationally representative, ages 18+ </li></ul><ul><li>All 34 provinces of Afghanistan </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-stage random stratification </li></ul>
    19. 19. Younger vs. Older Afghans <ul><li>Aug ‘05 – Optimism rates high among all age groups; highest among Afghans ages 40-49 and 50+ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Afghans 40-49 most likely to believe they are living better than their parents were living </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Afghans 50+ most likely to believe that their children will live better than they are currently living </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>Feb ’08 – Afghans 40-49 have become the least optimistic, followed by those 50+ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Those 40-49 are the least likely to report themselves as living “better” than their parents were living or their children as likely to live better than themselves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Those 18-29 and 30-39 are the most optimistic when asked either question </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Young Afghans have also lost optimism, but less of it than older Afghans </li></ul>Younger vs. Older Afghans
    21. 21. Changes in Optimism Rates by Age Group 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% Will Live Better Than Parents Aug ‘05 Will Live Better Than Parents Feb ‘08 Children Will Live Better Aug ‘05 Children Will Live Better Feb ‘08 18-29 years old 30-39 years old 40-49 years old 50+ years old
    22. 22. Two Regions Experiencing High Declines in Optimism <ul><li>High levels of optimism in both regions in August 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>South Central – optimism down 21% when comparing their current life to that of their parents; down 29% when asked about the lives of their children </li></ul><ul><li>Northern – optimism down 20% when comparing their current life to that of their parents; down 15% when asked about the lives of their children </li></ul>
    23. 23. Regions of Afghanistan
    24. 24. “ Do You Think You Are Living Better or Worse Than Your Parents Were Living When They Were Your Age?”
    25. 25. “ Do You Think That Your Children Will Live Better or Worse Than You Are Living?”
    26. 26. Pashtuns vs. Tajiks <ul><li>Little difference in overall rates from August 2005 to April 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in ethnicity linked to events in the country </li></ul><ul><ul><li>April 2006 – Operation Achilles targets Helmand province and southern Afghanistan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>September 2006 – Operation Medusa targets districts in Kandahar, Helmand, and southern Afghanistan </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Operation Achilles <ul><li>“ Do You Think You Are Living Better or Worse Than Your Parents Were Living When They Were Your Age?” </li></ul>
    28. 28. Operation Medusa <ul><li>“ Do You Think That Your Children Will Live Better </li></ul><ul><li>or Worse Than You Are Living?” </li></ul>
    29. 29. D3 Survey of Women In Muslim Countries (WIMC) <ul><li>Designed to empower women to speak of the effects of gender rights and issues on their daily lives in context of CEDAW </li></ul><ul><li>Standard set of questions across 22 countries </li></ul><ul><li>Provides a comprehensive look at rights-related awareness, attitudes and behaviors of adult women in most countries of the Muslim world </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative effort with D3 Systems’ clients </li></ul>
    30. 30. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Afghanistan Have Highest Disenrollment By 5 th Grade
    31. 31. Income Leads In Poor Countries (10%+) <ul><li>Egypt: money (51%), health (30%) </li></ul><ul><li>Iraq: money (23%), security (18%), health (17%), house (17%), education (14%) </li></ul><ul><li>Pakistan: money (32%), education (22%), health (22%), house (13%) </li></ul><ul><li>Bangladesh: money (44%), education (26%), smaller family (11%) </li></ul><ul><li>Afghanistan: money (34%), education (26%), health (19%), house (13%) </li></ul>
    32. 32. Not As Interested In Starting A Business <ul><li>Over 55% in all but Afghanistan (32%), Iraq (11%) and Iran (18%) </li></ul><ul><li>Variability not correlated with GDP or unemployment, likely cultural constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Many possible motives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Escape constraints on control of wealth and property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave traditional family roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extra income </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. WIMC Women Vote <ul><li>70% of all the women of the WIMC self-reported that they also voted in the last election or referendum. </li></ul><ul><li>This level of engagement is consistent across all countries except Afghanistan (53%) and Pakistan (42%). Saudi Arabia is excluded from these figures. </li></ul><ul><li>Media consumption of voters follow populations as a whole </li></ul>

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