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Research article2022Peer reviewed

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

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
    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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