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Small Models for Big Problems
New Generation Tools To Assit In Making Informed Air Quality Management Decisions

Urban air pollution is an increasing problem in cities in the developing world. There is weak institutional capacity to address the issue in an integrated manner. There is usually little in the way of an organized knowledge base or development or application of analytical tools that may help support decision making in this regard. Most available tools are complex and data-intensive and there is a need for a new generation of simple interactive tools that can be used in cities in the developing world recognizing their information and institutional challenges. There is also a need to rapidly scale-up the use of analytical tools for not only the rapidly expanding megacities but also secondary cities that are developing significant urban air pollution problems. Modern information technology advances and increasing presence and networking in developing world cities offers a tremendous opportunity to develop simple tools to help city managers, regulators, the regulated, academia, citizen groups to develop a coordinated knowledge base and analytical approaches to develop a shared stakeholder vision for the issues and options in integrated air quality management for a city.

This model was developed to illustrate an integrated analytical approach to air quality management to facilitate a learning event workshop on analytical tools on air quality management at the Better Air Quality Workshop in Agra in December, 2004. In discussions at the workshop and in many subsequent sessions, there was considerable excitement among participants in trying to develop and apply such simple, interactive and integrative tools for developing country cities. This feedback was also the inspiration to set up this list-serve to tap into a potentially large, interested global community to facilitate knowledge sharing of creative ideas, public-domain development and customized city applications of such integrated frameworks. Specifically, it would be useful to get your feedback on whether you know of similar simple, integrated tools in the public domain, potential for its use, and what you think could be future development directions.

We are sharing a prototype of a Simple Interactive Model (SIM) developed in Microsoft Excel, its manual and a background paper on simple interactive database and modeling here:


SIM Background PaperSIM Background Paper
[.pdf, 1906Kb]

20 pp.



Simple Interactive Model (SIM)Simple Interactive Model (SIM)
[.zip, 579.7Kb]


Environmental Health ModelsEnvironmental Health Models
[.ppt, 11177.9Kb]

12 pp.



SIM-ManualSIM-Manual
[.pdf, 1414.9Kb]


SIM-air-v2.0SIM-air-v2.0
[.xls, 1044.9Kb]


SIM Training Side Event BAQ 2004SIM Training Side Event BAQ 2004
[.pdf, 4752.8Kb]


SIM Training Side Event BAQ 2006SIM Training Side Event BAQ 2006
[.pdf, 5194.5Kb]


Guttikunda SIM-air Dec 15th 2006 BAQGuttikunda SIM-air Dec 15th 2006 BAQ
[.pdf, 2092.6Kb]

The list serve [SIM-AIR] will provide an e-platform to share experiences and facilitate knowledge sharing on such simple tools for integrated air quality management.

The forum will be used to discuss and share information on:

  • Nature of problems in modeling urban air quality management for cities in the developing world
  • Types of tools for air quality management decision-support (tools that are simple, interactive, visual, accessible/public-domain, capable of integrated analysis of economic and environmental implications of various types of policy, economic, institutional and technical management options using appropriate simulation, optimization and sensitivity analyses methodologies)
  • Experience with practical use of such tools in building knowledge bases and decision support systems for air quality management in the developing world
  • Related issues of model and data access and institutional capacity building
  • Use of such tools to improve environmental assessments, better design air quality interventions and improve awareness
  • Future modeling directions and updates

We hope the discussion list will be a handy tool for the staff, researchers, and practitioners interested in air quality, management options analysis, and decision making. We encourage you to share it with other people interested in these topics and related efforts of individuals, organizations and governments to preserve and protect the clean air.

We also want to invite you and other interested parties to contribute your work to this mailing list for possible inclusion as reference papers on the Website and for consideration as chapters in the upcoming newsletters.

To join the discussion forum and mailing list, send an email to "[email protected]"

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Tel: +1 (202) 458-0859 / Fax: +1 (202) 676-0977/8 / E-Mail: [email protected]