The data collection process is often the most important part of performing an MFA. You can get data from many different sources, and the effort and time it requires is different for every MFA. The consistency and quality of official statistics may be lacking and make it difficult to use these as sources for your MFA. You may also find that the data you need is actually reported in the right format for the right area and time period that you require, so data collection could consist of just downloading spreadsheets from one single source.
Here are some ideas to get you started. At some point we would like to set up a more extensive list with details for each country and each different scale of study, but for now this list can give you an idea of where to look (by the way: if you would like to help out adding content like this, be sure to be in touch!).
If your MFA is done on an urban scale, then national statistics are often not detailed enough to provide you with the required information. Studies on an urban level have been done throughout the world, but there is no single solution for data collection. Instead, you will see that different studies use different approaches to get the data, depending on the city and the available data. Some ideas include the following:
To get an idea of what kinds of sources were used by other authors, review the Material Flow Analysis on City of Hamburg, which provides a list of data sources for each flow in the appendixes.Start Now!