30 May 2012

Around the World in 80+ min with HIA in the Energy Sector - Session I, Discussion

 

What is the role of public participation in the HIA process?

HIA is a good tool to allow public to participate in any project, we have to make it more inclusive.


One of the issues is whether the informational findings of the HIA are public and shared, they need to be disclosed and made accessible and hence it's difficult for the public to get involved in making projects accountable. Public participation on health policies is also more difficult and complex.

 

Is the any guideline document for screening projects to decide whether a HIA should be done?


There are existing screening tool in HIA guidance such as the ICMM guide and IAIA publications.

 

Struggled with the reasons why health impact assessment isn't part of social impact assessment but the Ghana example showed clearly why HIA is different from SIA.

 

There a various levels of HIA - 1st order, 2nd order and 3rd order assessments. It is often confusing how wide ranging HIA is.

This is because there are environmental and social determinants, overlap with EIA on the environmental determinants and overlap with SIA on the social determinants.

As an SIA practitioner I grown to recognise the value of HIA, environment is not simply about natural systems the are social and cultural aspects.

 

3 issues seem to come out:

  • Where and how to get HIA into regulation, at the right point in decision making process, often within EIA regulation but scope and clarity of what needs to assessed is a challenge.
  • Can we look to industry and development banks to advocate on behalf of HIA. can we enhance the disclosure of the findings of HIA to enable public to be empowered.
  • Public opposition is a key issue and that HIA can enhance trust and reduce concern in the planning and edition making process.
  • Challenges to assessing health impacts of policy.