What are Health Impact Assessments (HIA)?
Health Impact Assessments are tools used to help inform policy or project decisions that frequently fall outside the health arena, and can cover areas such as energy, economy and the environment. The stakeholder driven process includes six primary elements: screening, scoping, assessment, recommendations, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation. Through these steps, HIAs work to identify potential health outcomes related to a decision or action. Recommendations are then developed to help alleviate those health concerns.
Governments, institutions and communities are increasingly using HIAs as tools to assist in developing policy in the best interest of public health. Using both quantitative and qualitative data, HIAs can arrive at policy recommendations or propose a specific course of action to create the best possible health outcome.
In short, HIAs
- Can determine the potential effects of a proposed policy, plan or decision on the health of a population
- Are systematic processes that engage input from a variety of stakeholders
- Use an array of data sources and analytic methods
- Provide recommendations on managing determined health effects
Recent Health Impact Assessments
Health Impact Assessment of the Shawnee Fossil Plant (2014)
Health Impact Assessment of Coal And Clean Energy Options in Kentucky (2012)