Gathering existing data

Although the list below is not exhaustive, it provides a starting point for possible sources of country specific data:

• National Statistics Agencies

• Sectoral experts, stakeholder organisations

• Other national experts

• IPCC Emission Factor Database

• Other international experts

• International organisations publishing statistics e.g., United Nations, Eurostat or the International Energy Agency, OECD and the IMF (which maintains international activity as well as economic data)

• Reference libraries (National Libraries)

• Scientific and technical articles in environmental books, journals and reports.

• Universities

• Web search for organisations & specialists

• National Inventory Reports from Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Screening of available data

It is best to start data collection activities with an initial screening of available data sources. This will be an iterative process where details of data that are available are built up. This screening process may be slow and require questioning until a final judgement can be made about the usefulness of a data set for the inventory.

3 Methods for characterising sampling distributions for the mean are described by Cullen and Frey (1999), Frey and Rhodes (1996), and Frey and Burmaster (1999).

The purpose for which data were originally collected may be an important indicator of reliability. Regulatory authorities and official statistical bodies have a responsibility to take representative samples and accurate measurements, and so they often adopt agreed standards. Often official statistics (because they have a more elaborate review process) take a long time to become available but preliminary data may be available at an earlier stage. These preliminary data can be used provided that their validity is documented and can be checked against the data quality objectives set by the quality management system described in Chapter 6.

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