10 September 2012

Michiko Hoshiko: Researching the use of health impact assessment in Japan and Australia

I have been conducting research related to health impact assessment in Japan since 2008 at the Kurume University School of Medicine. As part of this I have been involved in several HIAs, for example our health impact assessment of the transition to a “core city” (core cities are cities of more than 300,000 people that take on greater governmental autonomy and some of the responsibilities of prefectural governments) and a HIA of the redevelopment of a major hospital site. I have also been involved in the development of a HIA screening checklist for use in government.

Following the completion of my PhD I have been able to pursue further research into HIA, through a fellowship based at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. My aims during the fellowship are:

1) Investigate the use of HIA screening checklists I will investigate the use made of the NSW Healthy Urban Development Checklist as a tool for engaging with local government officials around population health issues, comparing it with the checklist I developed at Kurume University in Japan.

2) Investigate the use of health impact assessment in local government I will investigate the use of health impact assessment and related tools to improve the population health impacts of decisions made by local government. In particular I will investigate process and procedural aspects of HIA that are associated with impacts on local government decision-making and implementation.

3) Investigate the use of health impact assessment in urban regeneration projects and major projects I will investigate the role of HIA in influencing the health impacts of urban regeneration projects, and its role in addressing health within major project assessment.

4) Investigate and compare the different barriers and facilitators for HIA’s use in Japan and Australia During my staying in Australia, I will conduct research on the different barriers and facilitators for HIA’s use, particularly on issues such as health service planning, urban sprawl, energy, and disaster response.

I hope to develop at least two academic journal articles on this program of research. If you’d like to find out more about my research or get in touch please email me at hmichi AT med.kurume-u.ac.jp