Air pollution accountability research: Moving from a chain to a web


Air pollution accountability studies examine the relationship(s) between an intervention, regulation, or event and the resulting downstream impacts, if any, on emissions, exposure, and/or health. The sequence of events has been schematically described as an accountability chain. Here, we update the existing framework to capture real-life complexities and to highlight important factors that fall outside the linear chain. This new “accountability web” is intended to convey the intricacies associated with conducting an accountability study to various audiences, including researchers, policy makers, and stakeholders. We also identify data considerations for planning and completing a robust accountability study, including those relevant to novel and innovative air pollution and exposure data. Finally, we present a series of recommendations for the accountability research community that can serve as a guide for the next generation of accountability studies.

Global Epidemiology