A key contribution of the study is in its methodology. The study is based on 5 different sources of information or surveys. Four of these five surveys are original work done by the study team so that they generate original and new data for our analysis as well as for future research work. In addition to the World Bank Enterprise Survey, which is a common source of information for researchers world-wide, the following four surveys are original work carried out by the study team using the same methodology across all five countries:
- In the qualitative survey we interviewed about 300 enterprises, both formal and informa using a questionnaire prepared by Professor John Sutton of LSE. We went to the floor factories, we visited the show rooms, we went to see private sectors, bankers, Government officials.
- The quantitative survey was carried out by Professors Marcel Falfchamps and Simon Quinn of Oxford University and covers about 1400 enterprises on the same countries, covering all 5 subsectors.
- The comparative value chain and feasibility analysis was carried out by the a Consulting Firm, GDS of Reston, VA, based on in-depth interviews with about 300 formal medium enterprises, again on all five countries in the five subsectors.
- Finally, the Kaizen study, carried out by our colleagues at GRIPS (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Japan) covers about 550 SMEs in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Vietnam.
All of these data and analyses are available on line for other researchers.