YEAR | 2017
CLIENT - Shell India Markets Pvt. Ltd. , The Rockefeller Foundation
Air Insight: A Hybrid Civic Network for Air Quality Information in India

Okapi has been engaged by Shell India Markets Pvt Ltd. to identify ways to support a sustainable energy transition as India urbanizes. After comprehensive research and stakeholder interaction, we have identified a small set of initiatives that could catalyze policy, private sector, and community efforts toward adoption of lower emission, more efficient, energy sources and use technologies. Air Insight is one of the initiatives. Public awareness about the hazards of air pollution is on the rise, as is willingness to pay for mitigation and avoidance. Political will to act to reduce emissions is also increasing. The information base to direct this momentum toward cost-effective and efficacious action, however is lacking. India’s monitoring network is limited to larger cities, of which only a few have high enough resolution data to provide accurate neighborhood-level readings. Source apportionment – linking air pollution to its sources - is similarly limited and there are contradictions between extant studies. Civil society, citizen scientists, and academics are contributing additional data, but these observations vary in quality and often remain in silos. Our goal is to provide a scalable infrastructure upon which this knowledge base can be built. We aim to build a platform for aggregating and integrating various data streams as well as leveraging developments in data science to help draw out additional insights from the fast-growing population of low-cost sensors. In doing so, we aim to enable citizens, communities and policymakers to make more informed, efficient, innovative decisions to reduce ambient air pollution and avoid exposure. The vision is that such efforts to improve air quality would accelerate India’s transition to a more sustainable energy profile including primary mix, technologies for use, and emissions controls.

Project Brief