US: Radiant.Earth has announced its partnership with OpenAQ to bring together a diverse group of individuals in Ghana and Kenya who are deeply concerned about poor air quality in their community and are looking for solutions.
Radiant.Earth will provide OpenAQ with institutional support to organize two workshops focusing on air inequality.
Air pollution, one of the biggest global health threats of our time, kills more people in Africa each year than unsafe water or childhood malnutrition. However, despite the fact that it is a stealthy killer, the development of public policy to address this problem remains complicated. OpenAQ, established specifically to fight air inequality worldwide, approaches this policy problem by opening up air quality data and convening around it a diverse global grassroots community of people from multiple sectors.
“This collaborative community approach is impactful,” says Dr. Christa Hasenkopf, Co-founder of OpenAQ. “To date, we have opened up more than 150 million air quality measurements from 8,174 locations in 64 countries. We worked with community members across the world, who have launched policy-relevant field studies and petitioned their parliaments for action. Members of our community have collaborated on articles for the general media, written a joint science and policy commentary, developed apps and bots, conducted research, and built open-source tools.”
The workshops in Ghana and Kenya will focus on identifying overarching goals and strategies shared among participants to fight air inequality—zeroing in on tangible, attainable, and specific actions that participants can take. The plan is also to connect workshop participants with the larger OpenAQ Community, so as to exchange ‘community wins’ and open-source resources to have a larger impact.
This project is funded in part by The Godley Family Foundation, which backs innovative solutions that address health and environmental issues. “We are pleased to partner with Radiant.Earth, OpenAQ, and local communities in finding creative ways to address the global air inequality problem,” says Frederick Godley, MD, President of the Godley Family Foundation.
“Help from The Godley Family Foundation and Radiant.Earth will allow us to expand the OpenAQ community, and to learn and share with the communities in Ghana and Kenya,” says Dr. Hasenkopf. “We are enormously grateful.”
“Open data are essential to unmasking problems and finding solutions to global challenges,” says Ms. Anne Hale Miglarese, CEO of Radiant.Earth. “We are pleased to support OpenAQ with this project as they work to empower the public to fight air pollution through open data, open-source tools, and cooperation.”
Scheduled to take place in the second quarter of 2018, the OpenAQ workshops in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya are an opportunity for local tech, science, policy, government, media, open data, software, art, and other air inequality-related sectors to interact with each other and the global OpenAQ Community and Platform.