4 June 2013

Cross-country analysis of the institutionalization of HIA




Cross-country analysis of the institutionalization of Health Impact Assessment.
Discussion Paper Series 8 (Policy & Practice). Geneva, World Health Organization, 2013
Available online PDF [45p.] at:http://bit.ly/18yCf5y

This report presents the findings of a cross-country study that describes and compares the institutionalization of HIA in nine (mainly middle- and high-income) countries and the European Union. It aims to provide greater insight to the enabling and limiting factors of HIA implementation and institutionalization and concludes with recommendations to increase and improve HIA practice.

The key factors enabling institutionalization of HIA were legislation; political willingness; involvement of research communities; awareness of the inadequacy of Environmental Impact Assessment or other assessments in considering health; capacity and resources; availability of international committal documents and tools; and public participation.

Challenges to institutionalization and systematic implementation included lack of clarity around methodology and procedures; narrow definitions of health; lack of awareness of relevance to other sectors; and insufficient funding and tools.

Based on their experiences, key informants proposed these core recommendations: embed HIA in national normative systems; clarify definition and operationalization of HIA and develop guidelines and methodological criteria; strengthen and build capacity for HIA practice; and improve cooperation between sectors….”