Tackling Air Pollution

Introduction
Motivation

Air pollution needs to be addressed because the pollutants spread from place to place rapidly. The air pollutants may cause multiple health issues causing health problems on different levels. The issue needs to be addressed by discussing the importance of policymakers and different stakeholders' roles. The study emphasises the importance of health policies in maintaining individuals' health by working on different levels to promote health (APSGU, 2021).

Scope

The Clean Air Strategy 2019 has been effective for maintaining health sustainability by promoting a clean air framework. The strategy is effectively applied in the UK dealing with the hazardous emissions leading to health issues maintaining the sustainable developmental goals.

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Objectives

To develop a policy that enables to have a clean air to reduce the public health impacts.

Methodology

The methodology for designing the policy used the outcome method as carried out by setting a framework by following Health in All approach. The needs and requirements of the HiA were established, and a plan identifying further support and processes needed to cater. The approach allows the strategy to be designed by identifying the context and implementation plans by considering the feasibility. The data were identified and analysed for plan designing; afterwards, monitoring and evaluation was carried out. The evidence was collected using a mixed method, from government structures, current policies, and country context. Additionally, funding and accountability were considered before strategy implementation (Apps.who.int, 2021).

Background
Epidemiological Statistics

The estimated cost of health impacts has increased up to £8 to 20 billion within ten years. The epidemiological statistics reveal that long-term exposure to air pollution has caused 28,000 to 36,000 deaths in the UK. Public Health England has reported 50,900 cases of coronary heart diseases and 16,500 cases of strokes. Additionally, 9,300 cases of asthma and 4,200 cases of lung cancer have been reported caused by air pollution.

The strategy was designed when WHO addressed the major air pollution issues in 2015; for this purpose, the WHA68.8 resolution was adopted. In 2016, a blueprint to enhance the public response towards air pollution and its adverse effects was designed in the 69th assembly of World Health. It also helped increase the work capacity by introducing improvement on national, regional, local, and global levels (Ambient air pollution: Policy and progress, 2021).

Definitions
Policy process, analysis and evaluation.

The policy process are the stages that are involved in the conceptualization stages. They commonly involve; emergence of problems, setting of agendas, policy options consideration, decision-making, implementation and evaluation.

Policy analysis is the examination of the options available for the implementation stages available for specific goals. It involves 5 stages which are effectiveness which determines how well it works, efficiency which involve determines what it will entail, ethical considerations which determine whether the policy is morally or ethically sound and the consequences that may arise, evaluation of alternatives which involved comparison of available approaches and lastly, establishing of recommendations that will lead to positive changes.

Policy evaluation is used in measuring the changes that have been caused on the environment. Policy evaluation involves 10 stages classified into three groups. Planning level which involves; clarification of the policy, engagement of stakeholders, assessment of resources and evaluability, determination of evaluation questions, determination of methods and procedures, and development of evaluation plan. The implementation level involves; collection of data, processing of data and analysis of results. Utilization level involves, interpretation and dissemination of results and application of findings

Health in All Policy

Health in All Policies is an approach to generate health promotion policies by working on the decision that needs to be taken to reduce health-related issues, according to Apps. Who. Int (2021), Health In All Policies is a policy approach that is operated following the main concepts: legitimacy, accountability, transparency, and access to information. The health concept in all policies includes sustainability and collaboration among various stakeholders and service users on a broad level to gain maximum effect (Apps. Who. Int, 2021).

Additionally, it works on the stakeholders' accountability to check the health policies' performance level in that that help in reduction of cases of pollution (Apps.who.int, 2021). The Health In All Policy has been working for three years in the bid to ensure the quality of environmental conservation is improved. The focus is to induce more sense of responsibility towards human beings' health and wellbeing on national and international levels. The goal is to establish partnerships and enable health promotion on a wider scale through having a clean environment (Apps.who.int, 2021). The health in all policy can be mitigated in health and wellbeing policies if the key components of the environmental conservation approaches are addressed, focused and followed by the stakeholders and the public (Health in all policies: a manual for local government, 2016).

Health policies are important in maintaining quality and wellbeing; therefore, the government and policymakers are willing to formulate public frameworks. The diseases need to be controlled; therefore, health issues need to be addressed and solved. The health policies are responsible for managing the well-being of the population (Bowman et al. 2012, p. 847)

Body of Essay
Clean Air Act of 1956

The Clean Air Act was formulated to eliminate smog due to the issues of 1952. The main focus was to eliminate coal-burning in domestic and industrial sectors. The scientific developments took place encouraging electricity, oil, and natural gas usage. Although the smog emissions causing air pollution were witnessed in 1962, the act effectively improved air quality (Great Smog of London | Facts, Pollution, Solution, & History, 2021).

The Clean Air Strategy 2019

The Clean Air Strategy studies the different compounds that increase air pollution, risking the health of individuals. The strategy aims to reduce the acid rain risks in the 1970s and 1980s, to reduce damage. The dust blowing from one place to another may cause several air pollution issues causing multiple health issues. Additionally, volcanoes play an important part in creating fumes and smoke that affect air causing environmental pollution affecting public health (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2021).

Evaluation of the Clean Air Strategy 2019

Several policies and strategies have been designed, focusing on air quality improvement. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 focused on industrial emission control, and Clean Air Act 1993 focused on smoke control, suggesting that the policies focused on specific goals related to specific sectors. The long-term PM exposures and related health issues were identified by scientific developments leading to Air Quality Strategy in 1997, which is considered responsible for developing the Environment Act 1995. In 1996, the EU formulated a more strategic approach focusing on PM, lead and nitrogen oxide, and sulphur dioxide reduction, adopted in 1999. A revised Air Quality Strategy was introduced in 2008 based on further developments. By 2014, several implementation strategies planned to reduce vehicle-based emissions, causing air pollution; however, vehicles' nitrogen oxide emissions have not been reduced much in the last two decades.

Analysis of the policy
Walt and Gilson's (1994) Health Policy Analysis Triangle

The analysis process formulated by Walt and Gilson involves a multi-disciplinary approach, including institutions, ideas, and interests. A simplified approach for policy analysis includes studying certain policy elements, such as the content, context, actors, and policy process. The Health Policy Analysis Triangle places actors as the central elements of the process and states the analysis process an interactive process, including socio-economic and cultural aspects (O'Brien et al., 2020, p.100016).

The Triangle of Health Policy

The triangle of health policies provides an effective framework for the policymakers to determine the ingredients required to set a strategy or a policy. Politics plays an important role in designing a health strategy. The implementation is also dependent on the different institutional bodies that play their roles to achieve the outcome. The triangle needs to focus on actors, processes, and the context in which the strategy is designed and implemented (Shawar, 2014, p. 203).

Content of the Clean Air Strategy 2019:

The strategy aims to reduce air pollution by working on factors affecting environmental damage, such as vehicle-based emissions. The focus is to eliminate and reduce toxic air pollutant emission influencing health. The strategy aims to work on the by-products mostly generated by transport, energy production, chemicals used in industries. The strategy also plans to reduce environmental hazards caused by domestic level and farming.

Vision:

The health and wellbeing of individuals are dependent on many factors, and the central vision of the Clean Air Strategy is to promote clean air and enable wellbeing. The Clean Air Strategy emerged initially when Octavia Hill used urban parks to better air quality. The strategy attempts to enable a healthy working and living environment for people. An additional programme, namely A Green Future, has been included in the strategy, which is a 25-year plan. The UK government designed the plan that focuses on natural heritage protection, clean air and water, promoting healthy growth, and efficient use of resources (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2021).

Objectives

The government plans to provide recommendations and reduce the clean air challenges by considering the current scenario for building positive outcomes. The government plans to bring improvement by the collaboration of different strategies. According to Defra UK Plan, roadside gaseous emissions will be reduced by tackling nitrogen dioxide causing by transportation, according to Defra UK Plan. The interventions also include reducing public health risks by working through the National Institute of Health Research. Meanwhile, the plan focuses on indoor activities causing poor health conditions by poor air quality, in collaboration with Defra, Public health England, and the Local Government Association (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2021).

Context

Transport in the UK has caused several health issues by prioritising rapid urban transit. The policy has influenced transport by maintaining efficiency standards. The influences have been observed on the domestic level resulting in kerosene shift away. The Clean Air Strategy has helped replace traditional fuel to stoves for improving energy efficiency. The commercial buildings have been impacted by the strategy of improving coke ovens for reducing black carbon emission. Additionally, the cities have been more compact by encouraging walking and cycling and creating green spaces for maintaining air quality and wellbeing in the UK. The combustion technologies are used following strict emission control for maintaining health standard in the UK (Ambient air pollution: Policy and progress, 2021).

Actors

The strategy is based in the UK and designed after Brexit. The strategy stakeholders are industries, business, government and local bodies, farming unions, local people, and health practitioners. The main concept for Clean Air Strategy 2019 is to maintain the individuals' health and wellbeing by reducing pollution. For this purpose, the strategy focuses on reducing air pollution in the UK. The UK government has designed a strategy to work on multiple aspects of pollution and maintain an individual's wellbeing. The UK government's government to emit the effects of air pollution by 2020 and 2030 (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2021).

According to the Air Quality News UK, air-quality emission results and studies are reported as UK-specific and global sources to discuss pollution issues (Air Quality News, 2021). Global action is one charity organisation that focuses on air quality following different strategies such as Clean Air Day (Global Action Plan, 2021). World Health Organisation has formulated sustainable Development Goals to reduce morbidity caused by health issues. Additionally, the UNECE Convention sets targets to reduce emissions that impact health on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) (Ambient air pollution: Policy and progress, 2021).

The Clean Air Strategy works with different stakeholders, including health practitioners, since they are the ones who can alarm the public on the issues regarding health and betterment. Daily Air Quality Index is one of the health organisations working in collaboration with the strategy.

Policy process

The strategies need to be designed considering multiple air pollutants for promoting health benefits to achieve a maximum outcome. The Clean Air Strategy operates by considering the multiple factors affecting air pollution; however, the strategy lacks knowledge regarding populations and air pollution exposure. Additionally, the policymakers must understand the results caused by different air pollutants other than the mentioned ones giving the same outcomes. The Clean Air strategy plan's outcomes are highly dependent on the resources and the stakeholders (Mauderly et al., 2010, p.1).

Evaluation

For the results to be effective you will determine the impact of the strategy employed on the public before deciding whether the policy works. It will be analysed based on how compatible it is with various aspects of public health Impact evaluation approach will be used as it is the method that will determine the level of sustainability the policy. Risks and preventive actions of the method will be considered as they will play an important role of determining whether the policy will be effective. Through evaluation it will be easy to understand health pre-determinants and there impacts on social well-being.

The Clean Air Strategy attempts to monitor the plans' performance and effectiveness by monitoring the natural habitats and the effects of air pollution on the progress as outcome evaluation and formative evaluation. Additionally, the planning system will enhance mitigation and assessment for determining outcome evaluation. The government of the UK plans to design national and international interventions for evidence-based maintenance. The inventories to identify and evaluate air pollutants will be measured according to international guidelines; this will help informative evaluation, impact evaluation determining the strategy's achievement. It also helps policymakers to determine the outcome (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2021). The Clean Air Strategy has included national air quality monitoring inventory for regular feedback. The monitoring websites are updated regularly for providing accurate statistics and data (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2021).

When considering the policy outcomes, it is important to note that there are 170 monitoring websites that he been developed. The policy enables those involved in different activities to analyse the quality of air in different locations which enables the players to achieve long-term goals through process evaluation, summative evaluation, and outcome evaluation. The policy since it allows all this evaluation to take place it provides a dynamic and clear approach that otherwise could lead to better results. The policy has results that are similar to that of the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) where specific websites have been dedicated in providing information air quality and also, determining whether it has the required standards. The policy allows datafiles to be developed and downloaded when needed. Through this people will be in a position of knowing how different locations fair about the quality of air and the impact it has on their health.

The policy has enabled experts develop a short-term air quality forecast. Due to the way that evaluation process takes place, it enables the UK-air to monitor the performance and effectiveness and the long-term impact it will have on health promotion, public health, or public interventions (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2021). Since the policy has transferring and replicability of the strategies used in clean air the resources and incentives the is used on the general population reduces the effects that otherwise could have made it more expensive.

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Recommendation

The policymakers should involve the stakeholders while designing evaluation plans. The evaluation should be directed towards each stakeholder to achieve a complete assessment report. While designing the Clean Air Strategy's evaluation plan, each stakeholder's intervention methods should be considered. The health policies are required to consider the health risks that a policy can reduce. The strategy should focus on health as the priority and design the intervention methods by analysing the population's health factors. The policymakers should recruit only the professionals who understand the concepts. The policymakers should analyse the steps that are designed as preventive measures. While designing the intervention and evaluation, different disciplines should be mitigated. The clean air strategy should consider the team's capacity building and the programme, and all the stakeholders. The financial reforms and resources should be considered for future interventions (Smith, Tang, and Nutbeam, 2006, p. 340). The Clean Air Strategy should focus more on effectiveness and evaluation. The steps for providing long-term effects should be included.

Conclusion

The Clean air strategy is formulated to improve the health and wellbeing of the population. The strategy can be modified by improving intervention methods. The strategies designed to reduce air pollution mostly face challenges because of industrial challenges. The strict regulations should be adopted and followed for better outcomes by involving more actors. The community and local bodies should be trained and provided with enough knowledge regarding environmental pollution on overall health. According to Carnell et al. (2019, p.074001), little evidence has been recorded regarding the long-term effects of improvement in environmental improvement. Fixed meteorological year should be used, and concentrations of the hazardous gases should be controlled to promote better health.

References

Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. (2021) Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/770715/clean-air-strategy-2019.pdf

Air Quality News - The UK's air quality and emissions news and information site (2021). Available at: https://airqualitynews.com/ (Accessed: 26 March 2021).

Ambient air pollution: Policy and progress (2021) Available at: https://www.who.int/airpollution/ambient/policy-governance/en/ (Accessed: 26 March 2021).

Ambient air pollution: Policy and progress (2021) Available at: https://www.who.int/airpollution/ambient/policy-governance/en/ (Accessed: 26 March 2021).

Bowman, S., Unwin, N., Critchley, J., Capewell, S., Husseini, A., Maziak, W., Zaman, S., Romdhane, H.B., Fouad, F., Phillimore, P. and Unal, B., (2012) Use of evidence to support healthy public policy: a policy effectiveness-feasibility loop. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 90, pp.847-853.

Carnell, E., Vieno, M., Vardoulakis, S., Beck, R., Heaviside, C., Tomlinson, S., Dragosits, U., Heal, M.R. and Reis, S., (2019) Modelling public health improvements as a result of air pollution control policies in the UK over four decades—1970 to 2010. Environmental Research Letters, 14(7), p.074001.

Evaluation of health promotion, public health or public policy interventions (2010) Available at: https://www.healthknowledge.org.uk/public-health-textbook/disease-causation-diagnostic/2h-principles-health-promotion/health-promotion-evaluation

Global Action Plan: an environmental change charity, working for a green and thriving planet (2021) Available at: https://www.globalactionplan.org.uk/ (Accessed: 26 March 2021).

Government launches ambitious Clean Air Strategy - Global Good Awards (2019) Available at: https://globalgoodawards.co.uk/clean-air-strategy/ (Accessed: 26 March 2021).

Great Smog of London | Facts, Pollution, Solution, & History (2021) Available at: https://www.britannica.com/event/Great-Smog-of-London (Accessed: 26 March 2021).

Health in all policies: a manual for local government (2016) Available at: https://www.local.gov.uk/health-all-policies-manual-local-government

Mauderly, J.L., Burnett, R.T., Castillejos, M., Özkaynak, H., Samet, J.M., Stieb, D.M., Vedal,S.and Wyzga, R.E., (2010) Is the air pollution health research community prepared to support a multipollutant air quality management framework?. Inhalation toxicology, 22(sup1), pp.1-19.

New Clean Air Strategy has been launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove (2021) Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-clean-air-strategy-to-be-launched-by-environment-secretary-michael-gove (Accessed: 26 March 2021).

O'Brien, G.L., Sinnott, S.J., Walshe, V., Mulcahy, M. and Byrne, S., (2020) Health Policy Triangle Framework: Narrative Review of the Recent Literature. Health Policy OPEN, p.100016.

Shawar, Y. (2014) "Ingredients for good health policy-making: incorporating power and politics into the mix", International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 2(4), pp. 203-204. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2014.45.

Smith, B.J., Tang, K.C. and Nutbeam, D., (2006) WHO health promotion glossary: new terms. Health promotion international, 21(4), pp.340-345.


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