7 March 2012

They're world leaders in health impact assessment. Find out more about HIA in Thailand.

Thailand is a world leader in health impact assessment. I've learned a lot from colleagues in the National Health Commission Office and the Healthy Public Policy Foundation over the eight years that we've worked together. They have a sophisticated and nuanced approach to HIA that recognises that there's more than one way to undertake HIA and that HIA is rarely an end in itself.

As I've spoken to colleagues elsewhere I've been dismayed about how little they've engaged with the work that's happened in Thailand. Often this is due to language barriers (few people read Thai outside Thailand), assumptions that little can be learned outside western countries (this is flat-out wrong), or a view that Thailand is a "special case" (it is, but we can still learn from its unique circumstances).

Ignorance is no longer an excuse however! The National Health Commission Office for Thailand has put together an excellent series of English language publications on their experiences with HIA. I urge you to take a look. The books and reports chronicle the details and experiences of HIA in Thailand. There's a lot to learn from these publications.

The NHCO website also includes publications on healthy public policy, Thailand's incredible and inspirational system of Health Assemblies, and their National Health Act.