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Evaluation of CIFF’s work on improving air quality in China

Itad has started work on an evaluation of two CIFF-funded programmes in China which aim to accelerate the adoption of new climate-smart norms in cities.


Itad has started work on an evaluation of two CIFF-funded programmes in the People’s Republic of China which aim to accelerate the adoption of new climate-smart norms in China’s cities and energy systems.


To achieve this, CIFF works with two China-based implementing partners – the World Resources Institute and Energy Foundation China – who are providing technical assistance for Chinese cities to:

  1. Develop robust air quality action plans, including key co-control measures to reduce both air pollution and Greenhouse Gas emissions
  2. Improve enforcement to increase the likelihood of greater implementation
  3. Develop a low emission/congestion charging zone (Beijing)

Itad is undertaking an evaluation of CIFF’s support for co-control work in China in June 2016 and will draw lessons from the two programmes for others working in the field.

Our approach

The theory-based evaluation is being carried out by a core team of four international and national consultants, led by one of Itad’s China-based associates, between June 2016 and August 2017. In the inception phase of the evaluation, we are developing a detailed Theory of Change (ToC) using data from project documentation and policy reviews, as well as information from interviews with CIFF and the two implementing partners. The second phase uses the ToC to guide further data collection.

Our approach is structured around three data collection modules:

  1. Technical appraisal
  2. Developmental evaluation
  3. Policy dissemination module.

The first module will focus on the technical efficacy of city actions and resulting impacts. The developmental evaluation will clarify drivers of city programme implementation, how the programme allows cities to achieve policy goals, and how institutional context is likely to affect outcomes. The final module will track the policy impact of the pilots, including replication and drivers of replication.

With three of the core team members based in China, we’re able to better understand the context, map local actors, identify key stakeholders and conduct interviews with relevant stakeholders related to the project, in city governments, and in the research and policy community.


Contact Jon Cooper ( if you would like to discuss this project.


Image © Beijing’s Morning. Photo Credit: Faungg’s Photos (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Team members