New clean air and water labs to bring together researchers, policymakers to find climate solutions

Africa, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and South Asia are on the front lines of global air and water crises. In India, about 75% of households did not have drinking water on premises in 2018. In MENA, nearly 90% of children live in areas facing high or extreme water stress. Across Africa, almost 400 million people lack access to safe drinking water. To target impactful solutions where people's basic necessities are severely undermined by poor water and air quality, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is launching a network of Air and Water Labs, with support from Community Jameel, to generate evidence-based solutions aimed at increasing access to clean air and water.

Led by J-PAL’s Africa, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and South Asia regional offices, the labs will partner with government agencies to bring together researchers and policymakers in areas where impactful clean air and water solutions are most urgently needed. The launch of the labs also expands the work of J-PAL’s King Climate Action Initiative, building on the foundational support of King Philanthropies, which significantly expanded J-PAL’s work at the nexus of climate change and poverty alleviation worldwide. Together, they aim to improve clean air and water access by informing the scaling of evidence-based policies and decisions of city, state, and national governments that serve nearly 260 million people combined.

Each lab will have a research and scaling fund that will prioritise funding co-generated pilot studies, randomised evaluations, and scaling projects with lab partners in government.

MIT News