8 June 2011

References to HIA in Technical Report to the WCSDOH

The WHO has released a draft technical paper for the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health (WCSDOH). It includes some quite limited references to HIA:

Assessing the health and equity impacts of different policy options

If reducing health equities is identified as a high level priority across policy-making, there is the possibility to make use of a range of tools to consider equity impacts of policies of various sectors. Two key approaches are the use of health impact assessment and health equity assessment tools. Gender mainstreaming and human rights situation analysis tools can also contribute.

Health impact assessment draws from the methodologies developed for environmental impact assessment, also now being used for poverty and social impact assessments. Not all health impact assessment methodologies, however, focus on health inequities. Equity-focused health impact assessment is a structured process for assessing the potential health equity impacts of a proposal (positive and negative, intended and unintended) and making recommendations for improving the proposal.

Take a look. I think it underplays the importance of HIA's role and doesn't recognise its status as a more widespread field of practice than some of the other interventions advanced.

The People's Health Movement has a response you may want to endorse.