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Host Government Project Proposal


RTI International is supporting the U.S. Department of State Air Quality Capacity Building Fellowship project, including the recruitment of Air Quality Fellows.


The project’s goal is to enhance developing country capacity in air quality management through placement of U.S. air quality experts with national and subnational governments, to provide technical assistance in taking tangible steps to improve air quality and reduce associated economic, environmental, and health impacts. As understanding and awareness of the health and environmental impacts of air pollution has increased, governments have become increasingly interested in taking actions to tackle air pollution. Many governments may benefit from additional technical capacity to address air quality issues, and Air Quality Fellows will assist eligible governments in achieving long-term air quality improvement goals (for example, national or subnational implementation of internationally-agreed air quality priorities such as those encouraged through resolutions on air quality adopted at the first and third United Nations Environment Assemblies).

Program Description

Beginning in 2019, Air Quality Fellows will be selected and matched with national and subnational host governments in 12 to 18-month engagements where they will work together to achieve specific air quality goals articulated in approved project work plans. Based on current funding levels, it is expected that multiple Air Quality Fellows will be placed with host governments from 2019 through 2021, on a staggered schedule. The Air Quality Fellows will provide technical support through a combination of short-term in-country visits, and additional remote support throughout the fellowship period. Air Quality Fellows will work with the host governments to develop a project work plan to implement activities that help their host government meet its air quality goals and commitments. RTI will provide logistics and technical support for the Fellows in reviewing and implementing their work plans and completion of final reports. Success of the program will be measured based on approved performance indicators that are specific, measurable, reasonable/feasible, and achievable in the prescribed timeframe. A final report will document all work performed, assess outcomes relative to goals, and include a summary of lessons learned.


 Regular technical discussions between the Fellow and Host country technical staff will take place. Fellows and host countries will be encouraged to highlight and publish their work and the impacts on air quality achieved.

Eligibility and Priority Technical Areas

Host countries that may propose a project and request support from an Air Quality Fellows include: Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uganda, and Vietnam.


 Priority Technical areas where Air Quality Fellows are expected to provide technical support to host governments include development, deployment, or improvement of:


  • Air quality monitoring networks
  • Emissions inventories
  • Air quality modeling and forecasting
  • Air quality planning
  • Ambient air quality standards
  • Regulations for specific industrial sectors, mobile sources, and area sources
  • Air pollution control systems and emissions monitoring systems
  • Permits and permitting systems
  • Compliance and enforcement of air quality regulations
  • Data management and quality assurance


Priority pollutants to be addressed and reduced include fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone precursors (NOx, VOCs, CO).

Host Country Commitment and Support

Each Fellow is expected to spend approximately 4 weeks in the host country (e.g., two separate 2-week trips over 18 months). In addition to the in-country site visits, Fellows are also expected to provide ongoing remote support and advice at an estimated level of 12-20 hours per month.


The host government is expected to:


  • Identify the in-country Primary Point of Contact who will work with the Air Quality Fellow.
  • Identify key Technical Staff who will work with the Air Quality Fellow in developing the work plan and completing the work plan goals.
  • Identify and help connect the Air Quality Fellow with key in-country stakeholder groups.
  • Provide timely review and approval of the work plan.
  • Provide office space for the Air Quality Fellow, work space for meetings, and local transportation support during Air Quality Fellow visits (up to 2-week periods). Note: Air Quality Fellows will stay at hotels but will be expected to work closely with host organization staff during their in-country visits.
  • Provide translation and interpretation services as needed.
  • Identify and provide copies of background documents and data needed to support the work plan goals.
  • Help organize site visits and meetings with local managers and stakeholders, as needed for work plan implementation.
  • Provide venues and issue invitations for workshops and training sessions that are held in-country.
  • Provide timely review and approval of the final report.
  • Collaborate with U.S. Embassy staff and Department of State staff as needed.

Selection Criteria

Successful host project proposals will include:


  • A statement of need that clearly articulates the specific air quality goals to be achieved with support from an Air Quality Capacity Building Fellow.
  • Goals that are technically feasible, measurable, and achievable in a 12- to 18-month timeframe.
  • Goals that are linked to current or upcoming air quality plans, regulations, or laws.
  • Goals that are supported by high-ranking officials.


An interdisciplinary panel of RTI air quality experts and representatives from the U.S. Department of State will review and evaluate submissions of host government project proposals against the Evaluation Criteria. Another major consideration in the evaluation process is a strong match between the Air Quality Fellows applicants’ demonstrated experience and expertise and specific air quality needs of the host governments.

Application Process

Interested host governments are asked to complete the attached form highlighting their project proposal and submit:


  • Completed project proposal form.
  • Letter of support from a high-ranking government official.


Submit Project ProposalsThe project is accepting Host Country proposals on a continuing basis.   Project Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to:

Attention: Ms. Karen Schaffner, Project Director, RTI International


Next Steps:


  • The individual listed as the primary point of contact will be notified by email that the project proposal was received.
  • RTI will reach out by email to clarify any aspects of the project proposal, as needed.
  • Following evaluation of the project proposal, the primary point of contact will be notified of acceptance of their proposal for the current Fellowship period and that a match was made with an Air Quality Fellows.
  • All Host country project proposals will continue to be considered.  Project proposals that are not matched initially will be reviewed with and compared to the technical skills of each air quality expert that applies to the program, so a match could be forthcoming at any time.


Questions - More Information

Should you have any questions or concerns, please send an email to, Attention: Ms. Karen Schaffner, RTI International.

 Karen Schaffner, Project Director