Developing Needs-Oriented Air Quality Management Training Courses


19 September 2014, BEIJING—The Training Needs Assessment and Course Developers Workshop was held on June 16-19, 2014 in Beijing by Clean Air Asia. The objective of the workshop was to develop the guidelines of training courses that would help address the needs for capacity building on air quality management in China based on stakeholders’ training needs assessment (TNA). Fifteen participants attended the workshop, including Mr. Sven Callebaut who is the training course development expert for this workshop, representatives from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, local NGOs, media, and academia as well as Clean Air Asia staff.

The workshop is one of the activities under the capacity building component of the Integrated Program for Better Air Quality (IBAQ). IBAQ, which is being implemented by Clean Air Asia, aims to improve air quality and contribute to more livable and healthy cities in Asia. In order to effectively support capacity building in Asia, the Train-X Methodology is adopted by Clean Air Asia. Train-X emphasizes on developing solutions to local problems and follows an interactive process of analyzing training needs, developing of training modules, and evaluating training’s held. Figure 1 Below describes the flow of the Train-X methodology.

Figure 1. The Train-X Methodology
Results of the Training Needs Assessment Survey

Prior to the workshop, Clean Air Asia China Office conducted a training needs assessment survey. A range of approaches were used, including face-to-face interviews, focused group discussions, phone interviews, and online questionnaire surveys whose participants include provincial and city environmental protection agencies, NGOs. and media.

The questionnaire used in the survey is based on the six component areas of the Guidance Framework of Better Air Quality in Asian Cities (Guidance Framework) under the IBAQ. The Guidance Framework is being developed to help decision makers address key issues in urban air quality management in Asia. It is also made to help countries and cities in Asia to develop and implement local road maps/action plans for improving air quality. The Guidance Framework incorporates the six key areas of air quality management, which are the following:

  • Area 1: Ambient air quality standards and monitoring systems.
  • Area 2: Emissions inventories and source apportionment.
  • Area 3: Health and other impacts.
  • Area 4: Communicating air quality, health and co-benefits.
  • Area 5: Clean air action plans, policies and measures.
  • Area 6: Governance, including compliance and enforcement, budgeting and financing and institutional frameworks.

Clean Air Asia China’s Air Quality Specialist Dr. Wan Wei, presented the survey results at the workshop:

  • Preferred Priority Area of Study of Respondents. 42% respondents from Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs) and Environmental Protection Departments (EPDs) regarded the Area 5 as their primary focus. Area 2 comes second in the list of preferences at 33%, with Area 1 (15%) coming third in the ranking. NGOs and media respondents showed different results. 89% of respondents listed the Area 6 as the most concerned area, followed by Area 1 (53%) and Area 3 (47%).
  • Preferred Training Areas of Survey of Respondents. Feedback from EPDs/EPBs showed that Area 5 (67%) was the most critical training need for the government sector. Area 2 (33%) and Area 1 (21%) were also thought to be the priority needs. Non-government stakeholders considered Area 5, Area 3, and Area 6 (in that order of priority) were all considered as primary training needs.Divided into two groups–government representatives and non-government representatives–the participants of the workshop identified the most critical training needs of government sector and non-government sector based on the TNA findings. Moving forward with these results, the IBAQ program preliminarily planned to develop courses on the following four potential topics:
  • Effective control measures of VOC emission sources
  • Evaluation of abatement effectiveness of air pollution control measures
  • Health and other impacts of air pollutants
  • Capacity building for the NGOs that proactively participate in the AQM field
  • In the process of explanation of the Train X methodology in detail in the following 3 days, the course outlines of the four topics were drafted as per the methodology, which will be the guidance for the development of training courses in 2014-2015. The corresponding training materials are expected to be developed in 2 years.