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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Barriers and opportunities to incorporate scientific evidence into air quality management in Mexico: A stakeholders’ perspective

Muñoz-Pizza, Dalia M.; Villada-Canela, Mariana; Rivera-Castaneda, Patricia; Osornio-Vargas, Alvaro; Martinez Cruz, Adan; Texcalac-Sangrador, José Luis


Air pollution is among the most pressing environmental issues worldwide. Unfortunately, an effective reduction in air pollution remains elusive, and so does the incorporation of scientific evidence into air quality policies. This paper takes seven Mexican cities as study cases to document barriers and opportunities to incorporate scientific evidence into air quality policies. Supported by the Grounded Theory approach, we conduct and analyze interviews to decision-makers, researchers, and representatives of non-governmental organizations involved in programs aiming to improve air quality in Mexico. Findings from this study illustrate differences across cities in the technical capacity to produce evidence, and document barriers shared to incorporate evidence into air quality management – including institutional capacity, interest groups, legal frameworks, and limited knowledge transfer. Opportunities that increase integration of evidence into air quality policies include follow-up programs, guaranteed research funding, contextualizing the topics to be investigated as a public problem, and assigning a crucial role to research so that formal and informal links among decision-makers and scientists are formed and strengthened.


evidence-based policy; air quality management; stakeholders’ perspective; Mexico

Published in

Environmental Science and Policy
2022, volume: 129, pages: 87-95

Authors' information

Muñoz-Pizza, Dalia M.
Autonomous University of Baja California
Villada-Canela, Mariana
Universidad Autonoma de Baja California
Rivera-Castaneda, Patricia
Colegio Frontera Norte
Osornio-Vargas, Alvaro
University of Alberta
Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas A.C. (CIDE)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics
Texcalac-Sangrador, José Luis
Instituto Nacional De Salud Pública

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

UKÄ Subject classification

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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