Creating a Micro-Level Dataset on Innovation in Nigeria

This project aims to harmonize and make public two innovation surveys of Nigeria from 2007 and 2011 in order to fill a gap in existing African data, and to create a comprehensive picture and research tool for Nigerian industry. 

Innovation is widely accepted as an important ingredient for growth and development, particularly coming from small and medium-sized enterprises. However, the conditions under which such enterprises in developing countries innovate and constraints they face are scarcely understood due to poor data collection. In sub-Saharan Africa, this dearth of data is especially pronounced, as local data collection agencies routinely gather data but fail to make it public or standardized. The aim of this project is to create a harmonized, standard data set based on two industrial innovation surveys carried out in 2007 and 2011 in Nigeria.

The Nigerian surveys are rich in the sense that they include both formal and informal sectors, as well as a large proportion of small and medium-sized firms. However, the datasets are not consistent with each other in terms of variable names and definitions; they do not define a clear management structure to preserve data integrity; and the data is not yet publicly available. The researcher will combine the survey data with additional secondary data to create a complete and consistent picture of the industrial innovation environment in Nigeria.

The comprehensive dataset will serve as a useful tool for researchers who seek to rigorously analyse innovation in African enterprises. Additionally, the data will aim to fill the void in our understanding of the stimulants and deterrents to innovation in sub-Saharan Africa, providing a basis for evidence-based policymaking on the subject.