Effectiveness of Air Quality Public Education Programs
Research Idea Scope
TERI Database Administrator Notes: Not recommended at present time by 2009 Air Quality Subcommittee.
- Millions of dollars are spent annually on air quality (mobile source-related) public education programs
- Objectives are to:
- Inform public of air pollution problems, effects, causes, and actions to reduce emissions
- Educate audiences on choices/actions to take to reduce emissions
- Motivate individuals, organizations agencies to act
- Ultimately reduce target emissions
- Program types:
- Provide materials for regional/local programs to use (e.g., It All Adds Up To Cleaner Air)
- Long term focus on continuing choices, behaviors (e.g., Drive Clean Across Texas)
- Time period focused on season (e.g., annual ozone season programs, North Texas Clean Air Coalitions’ Commute Solutions Season)
- Day focused action alerts (e.g., ozone action days, North Central Texas Council of Government’s Ozone Season Lunch Bag Program)
- Effectiveness: largely unknown because very little resources are available for in depth follow-up surveys and analysis. Same with cost-effectiveness.
Assess effectiveness of the four types of programs to assess value of these expenditures and try to correlate results found at the following levels of examination:
- Understanding/penetration (i.e., attitude survey)
- Travel choices/behavioral changes (i.e., before-after household or workplace survey)
- Actual change in motor vehicle travel (i.e., measure trips at or travel associated with target sites or areas)
- An indication of effectiveness of public education in causing travel behavior changes that lead to emission reductions
- Actual costs of air quality public education programs; also cost-effectiveness
- Quantification of results and the associated costs
- Isolate effects of public education campaign
- Isolate actual results and correlate to reported (e.g., attitude survey) results
- Inventory cross-section of air quality public education programs, their objectives, target audiences, costs, and expected or potential actual emissions reductions based on activity changes.
- Assess strengths and weaknesses of program approaches, including target results, focus, etc.
- Identify most effective (likely) program types and approaches
- Select a limited number/cross-section of the most effective program types for before-after or retrospective surveys, traffic count comparisons, or other applicable types of surveys. Include questions that ask a respondent to quantify the contributions of various causal effects in making the behavioral change (e.g., use multiple response questions allocating weights to factors that led to the respondent’s behavioral change)
- Design, conduct, and analyze surveys
- Analyze causal factors (including public education programs) that lead to travel behavior changes that resulted in emissions reductions
- Assess actual costs of air quality public education programs (both direct costs and soft match or donated services) based on information gathered from surveys; also assess cost-effectiveness to the extent possible.
- Evaluate results and develop conclusions and recommendations
- Prepare final report
Urgency and Payoff
TRB Research Needs Database, ADC20, Transportation and Air Quality