Views of Health Promotion Online
Dialogues in Progress
Global Working Group
on Health Impact Assessment
Health Impact Assessment (HIA):
a tool for public decision-making towards healthy, sustainable and equitable choices
Document also available in French
Health Impact Assessment has evolved in the last decade as a methodology and a process through which to predict the effects (positive, negative, intended/unintended) of proposed policies or practices on the health of communities and/or populations. It results in recommendations for changes in the policies or practices to strengthen the positive effects on health and to reduce unfair inequalities in the distribution of these.
Health Impact Assessment offers a practical, evidence-based methodology to engage sectors (including the health sector) in predicting the likely impact of policies and practices on the health of populations, and a process throughwhich to engage them in deciding on changes that will increase the health impact and reduce unjust, unfair inequalities in its distribution.
To support the development of Health Impact Assessment as a technology and a process to assist the health and other sectors, and communities to influence public policy to create social, economic and environmental conditions for health and health equity within and between populations.
To facilitate the development of, and communicate, theory, policy and practice-derived evidence of the design, application and effectiveness of health impact assessment at international and national levels;
To develop an evidence base for appropriate methodologies to use in the identification step (data collection) of HIAs;
To enable discussion, debate and shared learning among the researchers, practitioners, policy makers and communities engaged in health (and other forms of) impact assessment in order to develop a research/practice/policy agenda for advancing HIA;
To encourage collaboration among researchers, practitioners, policy makers and communities to build the theory and evidence base informing the practice of health impact assessment;
To collaborate with policy makers, researchers, practitioners, and communities to ensure that health impact assessment (and related, relevant forms of impact assessment) contribute to reducing (and eliminating) inequities in health;
To contribute to actions within the health and other sectors to ensure that health impact assessment plays a positive role in ensuring that the directions taken by globalisation and other 21st century forces such as climate change have positive population health outcomes, including closing the equity gap.
To oversee the implementation of an action plan leading up to the 20th World Conference in Health Promotion and Education in 2010.
To establish and maintain an ongoing dialogue among major agencies (including WHO/UNDP, World Bank etc.) engaged in health (and other forms of) impact assessment regarding the current evidence base for and future directions of health impact assessment and its relationship to reducing inequities in the health of populations and between populations,and to promoting the health of populations;
To communicate through the web with researchers, practitioners, policy makers and communities about the uses, conduct, and evaluation of HIA in a variety of policy and practice settings across the world;
To encourage collaboration and debate among sectors and agencies that play a role in framing and shaping the directions and applications of HIA (and other, related forms of impact assessment), in the world;
To identify some priority areas for development such as refining and developing a 'method'tool kit, or evaluating the effectiveness of HIAs, or tracking what happens to HIA recommendations - what are the key factors that influence their dissemination, uptake and implementation, for example, are the recommendations from advocacy HIAs more likely to be taken up than those of mandated HIAs or vice versa?
To encourage and facilitate the publication of papers, chapters and books that contribute to the research and practice-derived evidence base for HIA, with particular emphasis on equityfocused HIA;
To provide forums for discussion, debate and shared learning among researchers,practitioners, communities and policy makers about the design, conduct and outcomes of the application of HIA in a variety of settings and in relation to a variety of policies/programs;
To explore the feasibility of global collaboration to build a knowledgeable, skilled workforce capable of conducting and evaluating the impact of HIA on public policy and,ultimately, the distribution of the social determinants of health;
To prioritise access and inclusion through operationalising these activities in at least the three IUHPE languages.
Associate Professor Marilyn Wise (Chair)
Mr Ben Harris-Roxas
Mr Patrick Harris
Ms Elizabeth Harris
Dr Jane Lloyd
Dr Ben Cave
Dr Martin Birley
Dr Lea Den Broeder
Mr Owen Metcalfe
Dr Decharat Sukkumnoed
Dr Louise St Pierre
Professor Vivian Lin, VP for Scientific Affairs, ex-officio
The Centre for Health Equity Research Training and Evaluation, part of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at the University of New South Wales, Australia.
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