Before getting started it is helpful to get a general overview on what kind of data and information is needed in order to compile a SFD. Below is a short list of things to consider. As explained in the SFD Components section, a SFD consists of a diagram showing the pathways of all excreta generated, a report  on the service delivery context and a record of all data sources.

Data collection

A good method to get a first overview on the sanitation sector in the chosen city is to skim through reports from different stakeholders such as the city administration (e.g. yearly status report, investment overview), the utility (e.g. report to the city administration), NGOs (e.g. project reports) or the national government (e.g. census data, comparison of city performance). More information can be found on page A-5 of Part A: Methodology for data collection of the manual.

Stakeholder Engagement

Engaging with stakeholders is key for the success of any city study. Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) are necessary as a means of gaining acceptance and support during a study, as well as to better understand the local context and can be conducted remotely through mail or in person. Information gained through literature review can often be confirmed or updated. In urban sanitation and faecal sludge management (FSM) a wide range of stakeholders exists and it is important to know which stakeholders to engage with at each stage of the study. See page B-12 of Part B: Stakeholder Engagement Document of the manual for a list of possible stakeholders to interview.

Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with community representatives allow you to gather qualitative data that will complement, validate, or perhaps challenge data collected from a literature review, interviews and observations. Questions should focus on emptying and transportation services and how they affect communities, adapted to account for the local realities. Page B-14 of Part B: Stakeholder Engagement Document of the manual gives a more detailed idea of how FGDs can be facilitated.