Current Global Health Impact Assessment Practice

Mirko Winkler led a team that undertook a survey of 122 HIA practitioners across 29 countries . The findings highlight that:

  • HIA is being used worldwide
  • Capacity is concentrated at the beginner and intermediate levels, though a higher proportion of respondents from Europe reported having more than ten years of HIA experience
  • there is a need for more advanced capacity building and training offerings internationally
  • strengthening the policies and legal frameworks under which HIAs are undertaken remains relevant.
Origin countries of respondents; and the number of respondents per region with corresponding years of HIA practice experience
Regions where HIA assignments were conducted; and fields of HIA application
Types of health assessments conducted; and decision-maker on type of health assessment to conduct

Twenty-four percent of respondents were from the Asia Pacific, and practices across our region are reflected in the overall results.

Health Impact Assessment: A practical guide that I wrote with Patrick Harris, Elizabeth Harris, and Lynn Kemp was identified as the fifth most-used HIA guidance internationally, after WHO guides, Martin Birley’s book on HIA , and the IAIA Best Practice Principles .

In general respondents were split on whether HIA’s use is continuing to increase or has stagnated, a debate that has relevance across the Asia Pacific region. Of particular important to our region, the paper emphasises that:

Finally, there is an increasing recognition of the role that biodiversity and ecosystem services play in the relationship “healthy planet, healthy people”, and the role that impact assessments play. In an outlook for the future, and additionally to providing a framework for safeguarding health in sustainable development, HIA has the potential to be contributory to the operationalisation of “planetary health”.

Source:

References

Harris, P., B. Harris-Roxas, E. Harris, and L. Kemp. “Health Impact Assessment: A Practical Guide.” Sydney: UNSW Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity and NSW Health, 2007.
Martin Birley. Health Impact Assessment: Principles and Practice. London: Routledge, 2011.
Quigley, R., L. den Broeder, P Furu, A Bond, B Cave, and R Bos. “Health Impact Assessment International Best Practice Principles.” Fargo, North Dakota: International Association for Impact Assessment, 2006.
Winkler, Mirko S., Peter Furu, Francesca Viliani, Ben Cave, Mark Divall, Geetha Ramesh, Ben Harris-Roxas, and Astrid M. Knoblauch. “Current Global Health Impact Assessment Practice.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 9 (April 25, 2020): 2988. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17092988.