Weekly Insights and Analysis

In Pictures: Surveying Afghanistan

November 20, 2013

In July 2013, expert survey teams were deployed across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan to gather the opinions of more than 9,000 Afghans, face to face, regarding the most critical issues facing their country. Annually, The Asia Foundation conducts the broadest public opinion poll in Afghanistan. In our ninth Survey of the Afghan People, to be released December 5 in Kabul, a nationally representative sample of Afghan men and women were interviewed by nearly 100 male and female enumerators. These images capture the polling and interviews that took place across the country.

Interviews across Afghanistan for the 2013 Survey of the Afghan People.

A woman is interviewed in Badghis Province as curious children look on. To account for the various political, cultural, and social sensitivities, women interviewers are paired with women, and all field researchers work in their own provinces where they are familiar with local customs and dialects to conduct the interviews.

An enumerator walks to his next survey point in Afghanistan’s Nooristan Province. In rural areas, interviewers are required to start in one of five locations (Northern, Southern, Eastern, or Western edges) of the settlement and perform a random walk, selecting every third house on the right.

A surveyor is greeted by a boy at the door of his family’s home in the predominantly Pashtun eastern province of Paktia. Respondents to the survey were required to be 18 years of age or older.

A man is interviewed at his home in northern Balkh Province.

An Afghan man is interviewed outside in Ghor Province located near the end of the Hindu Kush Mountains.

A man is interviewed in the rural north east province of Takhar.

An enumerator between survey points in Laghman, a multi-ethnic and mostly rural province. For this year’s survey, 14 percent of the respondents were from urban households and 86 percent from rural households.

A uniformed soldier of the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) Special Forces is interviewed in Kabul. In past years, the level of confidence reported by Afghans have in both the ANA and Afghan National Police has been relatively stable and high.

Also in Kabul, a young girl answers the door for a female surveyor to interview a woman in her household.

In Afghanistan, survey fieldwork was conducted by ACSOR-Surveys for The Asia Foundation with independent, third-party monitoring conducted by Sayara Media Group. Field interviewers were observed by supervisors and a third-party validator as part of several quality control procedures employed. Here provincial supervisors are trained in Helmand Province.


Related locations: Afghanistan, Washington DC
Related programs: Survey of the Afghan People


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In Asia is a weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia\’s development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of over 70 renowned experts in over 20 countries, In Asia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

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