On November 14, 2012 The Asia Foundation released the eighth in a series of public opinion surveys of the Afghan people. These are the broadest and most comprehensive surveys conducted in Afghanistan, and together they provide a barometer of Afghan public opinion over time.
Use this map to learn more about the 2012 survey, or past surveys; explore by region, year, or specific survey questions, or, download the summary data tables for a more complete picture. Survey data from 2006 to 2012 is available here for review and download.
Click anywhere on the screen to gain new insights into Afghanistan and the Afghan people.
The Asia Foundation’s 2012 Survey of the Afghan people, the eighth in a series, attempted to measure how Afghan citizens assess their country’s situation in general. Respondents were asked whether they think things in Afghanistan today are going in the right direction or the wrong direction.
Over half of the respondents (52%) say that things in the country are moving in the right direction, while 31% say things are moving in the wrong direction. A sizable proportion of people (15%) have mixed opinions (i.e. they feel that while some things are moving in the right direction, others are moving in the wrong direction).
Q: What is the biggest problem facing Afghanistan as a whole?*
The Visualizing Afghanistan site provides users with access to summary data tables for six of The Asia Foundation’s most recent annual surveys in Afghanistan – from 2006 to 2012. These data sets have been made available to further enhance understanding and research into the issues confronting Afghanistan and its people, and were made possible through the generous support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The data is provided in accordance with international open data standards, however The Asia Foundation requests that any public use or application of the data available through this site be accompanied with a relevant citation noting the data set and the source.
Afghanistan in 2012 is a face-to-face survey of the general public throughout the country of Afghanistan with a total sample size of 6,290 individuals, ages 18 and over. The questionnaire consists of 89 substantive questions, 19 demographic questions, and 21 management and quality control questions. The fieldwork was conducted between June 17 to July 1, 2012 by trained interviewers and supervisors of the ACSOR-Surveys team. The average length of a successful interview was 45.52 minutes; ranging from 20 minutes to 75 minutes.
The survey included both urban and rural respondents in all provinces of Afghanistan. The Sheharwali (municipal administration in Afghanistan) defines the urban population as those living within municipal limits. By default, the rural population comprises those who are living outside the municipal limits. The rural areas are defined neither in terms of population density or remoteness.
The survey was divided into 8 regions consisting of 34 provinces. The sample was distributed proportional to residential characteristics and administrative divisions of population per province. Within each province districts were selected using the probability proportionate to size method. The probability of the district getting selected for the survey is higher for districts with higher population. Using this method ensures that some of the more populated districts that have a greater say in the views of the province get represented.
Booster samples (total n=290) were distributed proportional to population size in Logar, Panjshir, Laghman, Nooristan, Paktika, Nimruz, Zabul, Bamyan, and Samangan provinces, stratified by urban/rural status. This is done to boost up the samples in the low populated provinces to at least 100 interviews each.
The total margin of error for the sample is +/-5.1 percent at 95 percent confidence level. This error includes a stochastic error of +/-2.4 percent which is a factor of the sample size and sampling design; and a systemic error of +/-2.7 percent which has been added to account for the inaccessibility of certain areas and people in the country.
For more information, please download the full report at the Visualizing Afghanistan site, or at http://www.asiafoundation.org.
The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. With 17 offices throughout Asia, an office in Washington, DC, and its headquarters in San Francisco, the Foundation supports Asian initiatives to improve governance, law, and civil society; women's empowerment; economic reform and development; sustainable development and the environment; and international relations. Drawing on nearly 60 years of experience in Asia, the Foundation collaborates with private and public partners to support leadership and institutional development, exchanges, and policy research.
The 2012 survey is the result of a collaborative effort among several institutions and individuals. It was produced under the overall guidance of The Asia Foundation’s Afghanistan Country Representative Mark Kryzer, Deputy Country Representative Abdullah Ahmadzai and Survey Project Manager Habibullah Haidari. Special thanks to Asia Foundation Program Directors Mohammad Osman Tariq, Fazel Rabi Haqbeen and Palwasha Lena Kakar for their contributions as principal authors of the survey. We also acknowledge the hard work of assistant authors Abdul Ghafor Asheq, Fazel Rabi Wardak and Habibullah Haidari, and staff who helped in the technical work of all chapters including Bezhan Abdali, Lima Kohestani, Khatera Azizpoor, Yar Mohammad Sameem, Khushal Qeam and Abdul Khalil Qaney. ACSOR fielded the survey enumerators. Sudhindra Sharma and Pawan Kumar Sen from Inter Disciplinary Analysts (IDA) provided analytical support and guidance. Nancy Hopkins, an Asia Foundation consultant, served as editor for the survey. Foundation staff from San Francisco and Washington, DC provided critical support as well.
“Visualizing Afghanistan”, The Asia Foundation’s survey data mapping project, was led by John Karr, Director for Digital Media at The Asia Foundation. Jon Jamieson served as the project manager. William Wang supervised the web and information design for the project with co-developer Johan Baversjo.
The Asia Foundation would like to thank the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Department for International Development (FCO/DFID), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and German Foreign Affairs Ministry for making this important research and capacity-building tool possible.