20 December 2008

Stipends and Bursaries to attend IAIA09 in Ghana

The International Association fro Impact Assessment Conference is being held in Accra, Ghana from 16-22 May, 20009. IAIA runs two programs to assist delegates:

Capacity Building Stipend Program
Applications are now being accepted for the IAIA09 Capacity Building Stipend Program. Applications are due 31 December. This is a great opportunity for impact assessment professionals from developing countries/countries in transition to participate in the 2009 conference and to receive ongoing benefits through IAIA membership. The complete program announcement and application form are available online at http://www.iaia.org/modx/index.php?id=442. Questions? Contact green@iaia.org. Please share this information with anyone you know who may qualify.

President’s Bursary
IAIA is pleased to announce one US$1,000 President’s Bursary for IAIA09. An eligible applicant: 1) has not attended an IAIA conference before, 2) is one whose work (academic, government, or industry) is in line with the conference theme, and 3) has submitted an abstract for IAIA09 by 31 January 2009. To apply send an email to info@iaia.org addressing how you meet the criteria above, and attach a 300-word document describing the paper to be presented at IAIA09 and its relevance to the conference theme (Impact Assessment and Human Well-Being). The application deadline is 31 January 2009. For more information about IAIA09 and to submit an abstract, visit http://www.iaia.org/modx/index.php?id=442.

19 December 2008

Comments Sought on Draft International Finance Corportation HIA Document

The International Finance Corporation has developed draft guidance for undertaking HIAs and is now seeking public comments. The closing date for comments is 15 January 2009.

From the IFC site:

IFC is requesting comments on its draft Introduction of Health Impact Assessment [PDF, 2.4mb]. This new publication presents pragmatic approaches to assess and address potential health impacts of projects on local communities.

Draft: Introduction of Health Impact Assessment

1 December 2008

HIA2008 Conference in Thailand Rescheduled

Ongoing travel difficulties associated with the protests at Bangkok airport have forced conference organisers to reschedule the HIA2008 conference until 22-24 April 2009.

The conference in April still promises to be a great event, with more than 220 participants from 18 countries already registered. The rescheduling also provides an opportunity for new delegates to register - have you thought about attending?

Information and announcements about conference arrangements are available from the HIA2008 conference website. See you in Chiang Mai in April!

25 November 2008

HIA eNews Issue 21: Building capacity for HIA

The latest copy of the Health Impact Assessment eNews is now available for download:

http://www.hiaconnect.edu.au/files/HIA_eNews_21.pdf [PDF 720 Kb]

In this issue:
  • What is Capacity Building?
  • Independent Evaluation of Phase 3 of the New South Wales HIA Project
  • Developing Capacity and Capability for HIA in the North East Region of England
  • Capacity Building and HIA in New Zealand
  • Capacity Building for HIA in European Union New Member States and Pre-Accession Countries
  • Upcoming HIA Training
  • What’s New?
Past issues of the eNews can be downloaded from www.hiaconnect.edu.au/hia_e-news.htm

The HIA eNews is produced by the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE), part of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The NSW HIA Project is funded by NSW Health.

12 November 2008

InfoWatch: New HIA-related reports and articles

WHO (2008)World Health Report 2008: Primary health care - Now more than ever, World Health Organization: Geneva. ISBN 9 7892 4156 3734.

WHO (2008) Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health, Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization: Geneva. ISBN 9 7892 4156 3703.

PHAC & WHO (2008) Health Equity Through Intersectoral Action: An analysis of 18 country case studies, Public Health Agency of Canada and the the World Health Organization: Ottawa. ISBN 9 7806 6248 8279.

Paradies Y, Harris R, Anderson I (2008) The Impact of Racism on Indigenous Health in Australia and Aotearoa: Towards a research agenda: Darwin.

Higgins C, Lavin T, Metcalfe O (2008) Health Impacts of Education: A review, Institute of Public Health in Ireland: Dublin. ISBN 9 7809 5595 9813.

Furnee CA, Groot W, van den Brink HM (2008)The Health Effects of Education: A meta-analysis, European Journal of Public Health, 18(4): 417-421. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckn028

Fell G, Haroon S (2008) Learning from a Rapid Health Impact Assessment of a Proposed Maternity Service Reconfiguration in the English NHS, BMC Public Health, 8(138) doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-138

Curtis S (2008) How Can We Address Health Inequality Through Healthy Public Policy in Europe?, European Urban and Regional Studies, 15(4): 293-305. doi:10.1177/0969776408095106

Brennan Ramirez LK, Baker EA, Metzler M (2008) Promoting Health Equity: A resource to help communities address social determinants of health, Social Determinants of Health Work Group, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services: Atlanta.

12 October 2008

Photos from the 9th International HIA Conference in Liverpool

For those who didn't manage to get to the Liverpool Conference some photos to give you a taste of what it was like. And for those who were there a chance to see if you've been captured on film!


Sal & Sam's 9th International HIA Conference, Liverpool, 2008 photosetSal & Sam's 9th International HIA Conference, Liverpool, 2008 photoset

17 September 2008

The European Union and Health Impact Assessments: Are they an unrecognised statutory obligation?

A paper looking at the use of health impact assessment (HIA) in the European Union has been published by the UK National Heart Forum. The paper examines whether HIA should be considered mandatory in the same way as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

Although the EU Treaty includes responsibilities relating to both health and the environment, legal directives passed by the European Commission have made EIAs and SEAs mandatory for Member States, but not health impact assessments.

This paper analyses the position of HIAs, SEAs and EIAs and sets out an agenda for policy development and advocacy, to ensure that health impacts are assessed as regularly and thoroughly as environmental impacts.

Report: September 2008
Author/Editor: Rebecca Salay and Paul Lincoln
Produced by: National Heart Forum
Download PDF (127 Kb)

8 September 2008

Health impact assessment: assessing the effectiveness of policies in population health

Evaluación de impacto en salud: valorando la efectividad de las políticas en la salud de las poblaciones

María Sandín-Vázquez (1) y Antonio Sarría-Santamera (1,2)

Revista Española de Salud Pública vol.82 no.3 Madrid May/June 2008



La Evaluación de Impacto en Salud es una metodología integral propuesta por la OMS para determinar el impacto sobre la salud de los proyectos, propuestas de políticas y estrategias que originalmente no traten específicamente de la salud, pero que tengan un efecto en la misma. El objetivo de este trabajo es realizar una aproximación a cómo se elaboran las EIS así como valorar su utilidad en Salud Pública. La Evaluación de Impacto en Salud es un proceso multidisciplinar que combina evidencias cualitativas y cuantitativas en un marco de toma de decisiones y está basada en un modelo de salud que incluye los determinantes económicos, políticos, sociales, psicológicos y ambientales de la salud. Es decir, las intervenciones con un impacto real en la salud de las poblaciones deben tener un enfoque global y ser de nivel estructural, con medidas de Salud Pública decididas a nivel político, por lo que los responsables de poner en marcha esas medidas deben implicarse en el proceso de toma de decisiones y en la posterior evaluación de su efectividad. Para poder realizar Evaluación de Impacto en Salud, es necesario facilitar la integración entre los datos existentes para realizar el diagnóstico inicial y poder investigar a posteriori los efectos de las medidas políticas llevadas a cabo. De esta manera será posible monitorizar los efectos sobre la salud que tengan las acciones identificadas en la Evaluación de Impacto en Salud, maximizando sus potenciales efectos positivos y evitando los posibles efectos adversos.

Palabras clave: Evaluación de impacto en salud. Salud Pública.


Health Impact Assessment is a comprehensive methodology proposed by the World Health Organization to determine the impact on health of projects, policies and strategies that are no originally specifically health-related but that could have on effect on health. This work aims to review the methodological approaches to Health Impact Assessment, and determine its value in Public Health. Health Impact Assessment is a multidisciplinary process that combines both qualitative and quantitative evidence in a decision-making frame. It is based on a model of health that includes the economic, political, social, psychological, and environmental determinants of health. If interventions with a real impact on the populations health require a comprehensive and structural approach, with Public Health measures taken at political level, those responsible for implementing such measures have to engage in the decision-making process and in the assessment of its effectiveness. To conduct Health Impact Assessment it is necessary to facilitate the integration of the existing data in order to perform the initial diagnosis and be able to investigate the late effects of the policy measures implemented. This way it will be possible to systematically monitor the effects on health of the actions which derive from Health Impact Assessment, thus maximizing potential positive effects on health and preventing the potential adverse effects.

Click here to go to original article in Spanish

Click here for English translation
(some minor errors in translation e.g. HIA is abbreviated as EIS)

5 September 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday for Int HIA Blog!

Looking back over the archive of posts I found that Ben H-R had written the first post on the 1st September 2005!

That means this blog has been running for 3 years and we have notched up 112 posts since that time. Not bad going but I think over the next three years it would be great to reach at least 1 post a week (52 posts a year 156 posts over 3 years) and hopefully 2 posts a week (I can dream, can't I!).

It'd also be great to have more comment. Unfortunately, it takes time to reflect and write up insights, ideas and experiences (Another thing for the to do  list or is that wish list).

We haven't had a huge lot of comments which is a shame but I hope that our readers out there enjoy what we are blogging about and bringing to their notice.

Ben and I have been aiming to get other people to contribute to the blog but it's been difficult to make the time to contact people. That's one more thing on my HIA blog to do list. So if you are interested in contributing then get in touch with Ben (Harris-Roxas, click his name on the right-hand side) and we'd love to have you on as an occasional or regular contributor.

Last but not least I want to thank Ben for having the idea for creating a HIA blog (inspired!) and for allowing me to contribute over these last few years.

Thank you Ben and thank you HIA Blog, here's to many more years of HIA blogging and blogs!!!

1 September 2008

Short Video Demo - how to change email and forum preferences at the HIA Gateway

The HIA Gateway Forum is pretty intuitive but some elements are not so easy to spot.

I therefore created a video demonstration showing how to register for the HIA Gateway and seoperatel;y for the HIA Gateway Forum. I've had some good feedback on the value of a video demo and thought it was worth highlighting on the blog.

The video shows how to register (which buttons on APHO and HIA pages to click) but is more focused on what to do after logging on to join the forum and to change email notification settings.

The video demo can be found at http://blip.tv/file/1043450/

18 August 2008

Report on the State of Public Health in Canada

Canada's first annual report on the state of public health has just been published Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. David Butler-Jones.

The report summarises the key determinants of health that underlies the health and wellbeing of Canadians: income, employment, environment, housing, education, nutrition, access to medical services and individual lifestyles.

It also outlines key Canadian and international initiatives aimed at reducing inequalities. Interestingly HIA is mentioned in relation to Quebec’s Public Health Act (Article 54).

The report described this as:

"A unique approach to public health in the province of Quebec has other provinces and, indeed, other countries, taking notice. By requiring other government departments to consult with the Minister of Health and Social Services in regard to decisions or actions that could impact public health – a broader, more comprehensive and inclusive approach to public health strategies and interventions has been taken.420 The consulting component of this ‘whole of government’ approach came into law with the adoption of Article 54 in Quebec’s Public Health Act in 2001. It states that new measures provided for in an Act or regulation in all provincial ministries be assessed to determine significant impacts of proposed actions on the health of populations. A health impact assessment (HIA) process is currently used to carry out these determinations, an approach that is fairly new to Canada outside of Quebec but more common in some European countries. At the national level, Canada’s National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy is currently studying HIA in relation to Article 54 and public policy, and will disseminate its findings to the public health community."

The report can be found at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/2008/cpho-aspc/pdf/cpho-report-eng.pdf

11 August 2008

HIA Gateway Re-opening Conference

A really interesting, insightful and successful conference was held in Birmingham on 25th June 2008 to formally re-open and re-launch the HIA Gateway site.

The programme included a range of presentations which can be found at the HIA Gateway site.

Click here to see the conference programme and presentations.

The presentation were:

Why the UK Department of Health supports the HIA gateway

What's in the gateway?

Recent and Future Website Developments

Networks and exchange of ideas among HIA people

HIA in a World of Social Suffering

The contribution of the commercial sector / quality control

Health Impact Assessment in London

Capacity for HIA

To see some pictures from the conference click here. Looking forward to all the other HIA conferences this year.

7 August 2008

Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act 2008 HIA

On July 30, 2008, Human Impact Partners and researchers at the San Francisco Department of Public Health jointly released the study - a Health Impact Assessment - of proposed legislation that would guarantee all workers in the state at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked (also termed the Paid Sick Days HIA).

The legislation, the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act of 2008 (AB 2716), has passed in the State Assembly and is currently being considered by the State Senate. It appears be one of the first such studies of a state-level labor policy.

A Health Impact Assessment of the California Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act of 2008 finds that "substantial evidence indicates that the law would have significant positive public health impacts for workers and for all Californians." The study further documents evidence showing that guaranteed paid sick days for all workers would help:
  • Reduce the spread of flu;
  • Protect the public from diseases carried by sick workers in restaurants and in nursing homes;
  • Enable workers to stay home when they need to care for a sick dependent; and
  • Prevent hunger and homelessness among low-income workers with severe illnesses.
The study also finds that workers with the greatest needs for paid sick days, such as those whose children have asthma or other chronic diseases or are low-wage workers, are those that frequently do not have the benefit.

There was extensive press coverage of the HIA and the proposed law, in print and radio media, include major California newpapers and on NPR. The HIA has contributed to framing of the paid sick days laws as health policy.

To access the summary or the full report, visit: http://humanimpact.org/PSD/

Courtesy of Rajiv Bhatia

4 August 2008

Joining HIA email lists - UK & Ireland, USA and Asia Pacific

I just had a request from someone about how to join the HIA email lists (I've had a few requests over the last year or so) and thought it would make a useful post.

For the UK and Ireland HIA network, go to http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?SUBED1=hianet&A=1

For the Asia Pacific HIA network, send an email to majordomo@explode.unsw.edu.au with "subscribe hia-seao" as the body of the email.

For the USA HIA network, send an email to sympa@lists.onenw.org with “subscribe hia-usa” in the subject line (see also http://www.feetfirst.info/phbe/HIA-USA-listserv ).

You should get a confirmation message that you will need to click a link in to confirm your subscription (this may take a day or so as sometimes a moderator reviews it before accepting.

You can of course join one, two or all three!

30 July 2008

What's the impact on health? Experts explore issues in using health impact assessments to find out

A short summary of the 2004 workshop in the US funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has just been published and it outlines the key recommendations from the workshop.

Key recommendations of the workshop included:
  • Conduct pilot tests of existing health impact assessment tools, ranging from simple checklists to complex collaborative processes. Pilot tests should be designed to provide information on:
    • The usefulness of health impact assessment methods in US settings.
    • The availability of needed health impact data.
    • The acceptability of the process to local decision-makers.
  • Develop a database of health impacts of common projects and policies. Such a searchable database should contain:
    • An inventory of tools for conducting health impact assessments.
    • Guidelines for choosing tools used in health impact assessments.
    • Systematic reviews of health impacts for a range of policies and projects.
    • Links to completed health impact assessments on numerous topics.
    • Lists of experts in the field of health impact assessment.
  • Develop resources for the use of health impact assessment, which may vary according to scope of the project, depth of analysis, time available and processes employed.
  • Build workforce capacity to conduct health impact assessments, including:
    • Health impact assessment professionals, whose training curriculum should include skills to:
      • Understand the health impact assessment process.
      • Identify stakeholders.
      • Analyze policies.
      • Identify and quantify health impacts.
      • Communicate results.
      • Understand land use and transportation planning.
    • Planners and decision-makers, who would be more likely to request and use health impact assessment processes if trained to understand their value. Health impact assessment training for this group should be interdisciplinary, problem-based and not overly technical.
  • Evaluate health impact assessments. Such assessment have the potential to:
    • Advance the field.
    • Demonstrate value.
    • Document influence on decisions.
    • Improve quality.
    • Facilitate training.
    • Enhance institutional relationships.
    • Raise awareness of health impacts for decision-makers.
    • Examine adherence of processes to underlying values.

    Three types of health impact assessment evaluations would apply, depending on the needs:
    • Process evaluations examining how the health impact assessment was planned and implemented.
    • Impact evaluations assessing the effect of the health impact assessment on the decision-making process.
    • Outcome evaluations comparing the health outcomes after implementation with those predicted by the health impact assessment.

External link: http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?catid=17&id=32231

28 July 2008

Use of HIA in the US - 27 case studies 1999-2007

This article documents the growing use in the United States of health impact assessment (HIA) methods to help planners and others consider the health consequences of their decisions.

It used multiple search strategies to identify 27 HIAs that were completed in the U.S. during 1999 –2007 and key characteristics of each HIA were abstracted from published and unpublished sources.

  • The areas examined in these HIAs ranged from policies about living wages and after-school programs to projects about power plants and public transit.
  • Most HIAs were funded by local health departments, foundations, or federal agencies.
  • Concerns about health disparities were especially important in HIAs on housing, urban redevelopment, home energy subsidies, and wage policy.
  • The use of quantitative and nonquantitative methods varied among HIAs.
  • Most HIAs presented recommendations for policy or project changes to improve health. Impacts of the HIAs were infrequently documented.
These completed HIAs are useful for helping conduct future HIAs and for training public health officials and others about HIAs. More work is needed to document the impact of HIAs and thereby increase their value in decision-making processes.

The article can be found at the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/publications/AJPM_HIAcasestudies_March2008.pdf

26 July 2008

HIA in Progress: Hume Power Station (Australian Capital Territory)

A health impact assessment is being carried out on a proposed power plant to be built near Hume in the Australian Capital Territory. The 28MW power plant will provide electricity for a major data centre hub being built by a consortium that includes ActewAGL, Technical Real Estate and CB Richard Ellis.

The proposal has been contentious, with substantial local opposition and has even led to a vote of no confidence in the ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope. Opponents are concerned about the proximity of the power station to residential areas in Macarthur and Tuggeranong, particularly in relation to potential impacts on air quality.

You can find out more about the HIA in the videos (inclduing videos of the consultation forum and technical workshop), media stories and links below.

Update 10 August 2008
ABC Online is reporting that the ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher, has disbanded the health impact assessment steering committee and that an environmental impact study that includes an investigation of health effects will be undertaken instead. Further reports and commentary on the decision here, here and here.

Update 17 November 2008
The environmental impact assessment on the data centre has now been released.


Canberrans for Powerstation Relocation Protest
25 June 2008

Power Station Health Impact Assessment Community Forum
16 July 2008

Power Station Health Impact Assessment Technical Workshop Part 1
22 July 2008

Power Station Health Impact Assessment Technical Workshop Part 2
22 July 2008

Media Stories
May 16 - Power station consultation flawed: Foskey (ABC Online)
May 25 - Details of power station unveiled (ABC Online)
June 17 - Health committee to examine impact of power station (ABC Online)
June 17 - Stanhope faces no confidence motion (ABC Online)
June 25 - Stanhope survives Tuggeranong station no confidence motion (ABC Online)
July 2 - 600 weigh into gas power plant argument (Cenberra Times)
July 3 - Power station health report due next month (ABC Online)
July 3 - Gas power station steering committee named (Canberra Times)
July 14 - Residents maintain power station opposition (ABC Online Video)
Jul 14 - Campaign against Tuggeranong power station stepped up (ABC Online)
July 17 - Regaining Trust (ACT Greens)
July 17 - Probe into power station health impacts (Canberra Times)
Jul 17 - ACT Govt 'committed' to public health on power station (ABC Online)
July 26 - Stanhope fends off no confidence motion (ABC Online Video)

Preliminary Assessment
Canberrans for Power Station Relocation

23 July 2008

US Environmental Protection Agency Report on the Health Impacts of Climate Change in the USA

The US EPA has recently published its final report on the human health impacts of climate change in the USA entitled, "Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.6: Analyses and Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems".

This report focuses on impacts of global climate change, especially impacts on three broad dimensions of the human condition: human health, human settlements, and human welfare.

Climate change, interacting with changes in land use and demographics, will affect important human dimensions in the United States, especially those related to human health, settlements and welfare.

The challenges presented by population growth, an aging population, migration patterns, and urban and coastal development will be compounded by changes in temperature, precipitation, and extreme climate-related events. Climate change will affect where people choose to live, work, and play.

Among likely climate changes are:
  • changes in the intensity and frequency of rainfall,
  • more frequent heat waves, less frequent cold waves,
  • more persistent and extreme drought conditions and associated water shortages,
  • changes in minimum and maximum temperatures,
  • potential increases in the intensity and frequency of extreme tropical storms,
  • measurable sea-level rise and increases in the occurrence of coastal and riverine flooding.

In response to these anticipated changes, the United States may develop and deploy strategies for mitigating greenhouse gases and for adapting to unavoidable individual and collective impacts of climate change.

The report can be downloaded from


14 July 2008

ORISE Fellowship - USA

Application are invited for this fellowship which has a strong element of HIA.

It's at the CDC so if you're interested in broadening your horizons and spending some time doing HIA and public health work in the USA then this fellowship could be for you.

Title of Position: Physical Activity (PA) Fellow

This is a one-year position with possible future opportunities for longer-term full time employment.


The Physical Activity (PA) Fellow will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO), Physical Activity and Health Branch on a variety of projects related to physical activity.


  • Participates as a member of various project teams working on projects focused on how the built environment is related to various health outcomes, with an emphasis on physical activity.
  • Analyze data from the Neighborhood Parks and Active Living study, a multi year study which examined physical activity in 12 parks in Atlanta.
  • Write manuscripts and reports as needed
  • Conduct Health Impact Assessments (HIA), commonly defined as “a combination of procedures, methods, and tools by which a policy, program, or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of those effects within the population.”
  • Apply HIA to various projects and policies.
  • Serve as a key member of the interdisciplinary HIA team learning and working on numerous aspects of performing a HIA.
  • Develop partnerships and communicate effectively with non-traditional public health partners.
  • Work closely with the primary supervisor in collaborating with external partners to help advance the field of HIA in the U.S.

Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of data collection techniques and measurement tools.
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret, synthesize and translate qualitative and quantitative research data.
  • Demonstrated ability to write manuscripts and reports.


  • Master’s degree, or equivalent in public health or relevant field and 2 years of related experience and completion of related coursework.
  • Experience interpreting and translating research results.
  • Experience writing about health related and/or nutrition, physical activity, or weight related topics.
  • Ability to work tactfully and respectfully with a wide variety of individuals, including subject experts, internal and external partners.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to effectively organize a variety of complex tasks and complete them in a timely way.
  • Knowledge of nutrition, physical activity, and/or weight maintenance and weight loss a plus.

Salary dependent on qualifications. Interested applicants are requested to submit a resume and cover letter to Candace Rutt, Ph.D. at - crutt(a)cdc.org - by August 29, 2008.

Good luck!

10 July 2008

Good for Kids. Good for Life Equity Focused HIA Wins Minister's Award for Aboriginal Health

The Hunter New England Area Health Service's work on HIA has been recognised by receiving the 2008 New South Wales Health Minister's Award for Aboriginal Health. The Good for Kids, Good for Life Equity Focused Health Impact Assessment looked at potential health equity impacts of a $7.5 million childhood obesity prevention program, with specific reference to impact on Aboriginal children.

Minister Paul Lynch, NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, presented the Award on behalf of the NSW Minister for Health. "This project brings together a variety of agencies, community groups and industry to provide practical information... to make it easier for Aboriginal children to be active and eat well," Mr Lynch said.

The HIA was undertaken as part of NSW HIA Project with the support of the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE).

The Minister's Award is the second HIA-related award for Hunter New England Area HEalth Service this year after they received the UNSW Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity's Health Impact Assessment Award in May.

About the Program
Good for Kids, Good for Life is Australia's largest ever population-based childhood obesity prevention trial. It brings together a variety of agencies, community groups and industry to provide practical information, as well as new programs and systems, to make it easier for children to be active and eat well. Good for Kids program undertook an equity-focused Health Impact Assessment (HIA) in order to improve the equity with which the program was delivered to Aboriginal children and non-Aboriginal children and ensure that its implementation did not exacerbate existing inequalities. The HIA produced over 80 recommendations. These recommendations were made to ensure Good for Kids strategies did not directly or indirectly exclude Aboriginal children and communities by failing to acknowledge and plan for differences in how health eating and physical activity is understood and approached in Aboriginal communities.

About the Award
The Minister's Award for Aboriginal Health is presented to the NSW Health Area Health Service or organisation that demonstrates the most outstanding commitment to improving Aboriginal health across a range of indices including excellence in program delivery, strengthening access to primary care, improved access to mainstream health services for Aboriginal people and collaborative partnership arrangement with Aboriginal people.

A full list of the 2008 New South Wales Aboriginal Health Award winners can be found on the NSW Health website. More information on equity focused HIA can be found on HIA Connect.

27 June 2008

First HIA workshop for the Americas

We are excited to announce that the first-ever HIA Americas workshop will take place September 24-26, 2008 in the San Francisco Bay area.

This workshop will focus on the evolution/progress of HIA in North and South America. It is intended as a forum for current HIA practitioners to discuss regional issues of relevance. (We hope to stage a larger conference next year that can accommodate others who may be interested, such as those involved in EIA or SIA, community advocacy, etc.)

The workshop is being organized by Marla Orenstein and Murray Lee of Habitat Health Impact Assessment; Jonathan Heller of Human Impact Partners; Rajiv Bhatia and Lili Farhang of the San Francisco Department of Public Health; and Aaron Wernham of the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council.

For more information, please visit habitatcorp.com/whats_new/conference.html or e-mail conference@habitatcorp.com

25 June 2008

Developing public sociology through health impact assessment

Eva Elliott, Gareth Williams (2008)
Sociology of Health & Illness


The renewed interest in ‘public sociology’ has sparked debate and discussion about forms of sociological work and their relationship to the State and civil society. Medical sociologists are accustomed to engaging with a range of publics and audiences inside and outside universities and are in a position to make an informed contribution to this debate. This paper describes how some of the debates about sociological work are played out through a ‘health impact assessment’ of a proposed housing renewal in a former coal mining community. We explore the dynamics of the health impact assessment process and relate it to wider debates, current in the social sciences, on the ‘new knowledge spaces’ within which contentious public issues are now being discussed, and the nature of different forms of expertise. The role of the ‘public sociologist’ in mediating the relationships between the accounts and interpretations of lay participants and the published ‘evidence’ is described as a process of mutual learning between publics, professionals and social scientists. It is argued that the continued existence and development of any meaningful ‘professional sociology’ requires an openness to a ‘public sociology’ which recognises and responds to new spaces of knowledge production.

Health impact assessment of global climate change: expanding on comparative risk assessment approaches for policy making

Jonathan Patz, Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Holly Gibbs, and Rosalie Woodruff
Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 29: 27-39 (Volume publication date April 2008) 


Climate change is projected to have adverse impacts on public health. Cobenefits may be possible from more upstream mitigation of greenhouse gases causing climate change. To help measure such cobenefits alongside averted disease-specific risks, a health impact assessment (HIA) framework can more comprehensively serve as a decision support tool. HIA also considers health equity, clearly part of the climate change problem. New choices for energy must be made carefully considering such effects as additional pressure on the world's forests through large-scale expansion of soybean and oil palm plantations, leading to forest clearing, biodiversity loss and disease emergence, expulsion of subsistence farmers, and potential increases in food prices and emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Investigators must consider the full range of policy options, supported by more comprehensive, flexible, and transparent assessment methods.

17 June 2008

Climate change heat and cold impacts likely to vary by country and context

Canadian Medicine, the blog of the Editor of the National Review of Medicine, reports a study which estimates that climate change impacts are likely to lead to a rise in deaths in Quebec during the summer which will not be counterbalanced by fewer lives lost during the predicted warmer winters.

The study, by a team of Laval University researchers reported last month in the International Journal of Health Geographics, predicted that by 2080 there would be 8-15% more deaths during hotter summers i.e. 540 extra deaths compared to their 1981-1999 baseline.

The study team argues that this is because Quebecers are acclimatised to the cold winters - through good thermal building regulations and cheap fuel among other things - they are less likely to die in the current cold winters unlike in Europe where studies have shown that hotter summers and milder winters while leading to more deaths in the summer would lead to fewer deaths in the mild winters and fewer deaths overall (as Euopeans living in more temperate regiosn are less acclimatised to cold winters). The study also used a slightly different methodology than the European studies which may also account for some/all of the difference found and the authors argue that there modelling is more accurate and has taken account of seasonal variation unlike some previous studies.

This Canadian study, and other studies in the USA with similar results, shows that local context in terms of social, cultural, environmental and economic factors as well as individual and societal behavioural change are likely to influence adaptation to the effects climate change and the potential positive and negative health impacts.

We therefore need to use contextualise general research on climate change impacts by taking into account social and behavioural factors to provide the best predictions of likely effects.


The potential impact of climate change on annual and seasonal mortality for three cities in Québec, Canada
Bernard Doyon, Diane Bélanger and Pierre Gosselin
Published: 22 May 2008
International Journal of Health Geographics 2008, 7:23 doi:10.1186/1476-072X-7-23
Biomed Central (Open Access Journal)


4 June 2008

HIA Position in Liverpool, UK

Research Fellow (Health Impact Assessment)
£34,793 - £44,074 pa

IMPACT - International Health Impact Assessment Consortium, University of Liverpool

Location: Liverpool City Centre

Ref: R-567809/WWW

Closing date: 27 June 2008

You will work on health impact assessment consultancy projects
commissioned from IMPACT Plus and on our successful education and training programmes. You will have a higher degree in a relevant health, environmental or social science and advanced skills and experience in quantitative research methods. Experience of impact assessment and of project management, budgeting and training, as well as high level research and communication skills are essential. The post is available until 31 December 2009 with the possibility of extension.

Further details at:

16 April 2008

Canadian Senate Mulls HIA Requirement

By Marla Orenstein, Habitat Health Impact Consulting

The Canadian Senate Subcommittee on Population Health has released an interim report on its study of the determinants of health. The purpose of the interim report is to outline the major issues facing the development of population health policy in Canada; to present policy options to improve overall health status and reduce health disparities; and to launch a public debate on the role of the federal government in population health policy.

One of the policy options considered in the report is establishing a federal requirement for the application of HIA to all new public policy proposals. This requirement - if implemented - would bring Canada in line with Sweden and New Zealand, where HIA has become an integral government process.

The report forms the basis for public hearings and consultations that will be held across Canada. Public input is being sought through June 30, 2008. Specific questions relevant to HIA that the subcommittee has raised include: Should the federal government establish a mechanism to allow for or require the application of HIA to all new public policy proposals? Would new legislation be required to do so? Is it realistic to envision HIA as a routine component of all new federal policies and programs? If HIA were to be introduced as a component of federal population health policy, what should be the role and responsibilities of Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and central agencies such as Finance Canada and the Treasury Board?

Do you have strong opinions about these issues? Even if you are not in Canada, I urge you to respond directly to the committee at SOC-AFF-SOC@sen.parl.gc.ca

Promoting Healthy Public Policy: New Zealand Health Impact Assessment Practitioners' Workshop

Promoting Healthy Public Policy
Health Impact Assessment Practitioners' Workshop
9 June 2008, Christchurch Convention Centre, 9.30am - 4.30pm

This event is being organised by the Health Impact Assessment Support Unit in collaboration with Christchurch Community Public Health to further develop the Unit's Learning by Doing approach: creating capacity and building an evidence base on HIA in New Zealand.

The outcomes for the event are to develop a learning network for HIA, share current work from around the country and increase collaborative working on HIA.

It should be attended by HIA practitioners, local, regional and central government people involved in policy making and those who want to improve their knowledge and understanding of HIA.

Deadline for registration is Friday 16 May 2008. More information from http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/hiasupportunit-newsandevents

8 April 2008

World Health Day: The Health Impacts of Climate Change

Hurricanes destroy banana plantations in Honduras Severe droughts in Mali Flooding in Uganda
Hurricanes destroy banana plantations in Honduras,
Severe droughts in Mali;
Flooding in Uganda
The theme of this year's World Health Day is protecting health from climate change. As you're all aware climate change represents a major challenge to public health in general and health impact assessment in particular, both in terms of adaptation and mitigation.

Coinciding with the 2008 World Health Day, China has announced that it is starting a program looking at the health impacts of climate change in conjunction with the World Health Organization and funded by the Spanish government.

World Health Day 2008 PSA

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan's World Health Day Message

Image Credits: Details at www.who.int/world-health-day/media/photo_gallery/en/index.html

7 April 2008

Sydney: The Other City

For those in Sydney

Sydney: The Other City
Building a Sustainable Western Sydney by 2030

Tuesday, 29th and Wednesday 30th April, 2008
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, 597 High Street, Penrith

Book time in your diaries now for this major two-day conference which will put the spotlight on Sydney's "Other City", Western Sydney.

Managing Western Sydney's growth is the major challenge to all levels of government as well as the community and private sectors if we are to build a region that is economically, socially, culturally and environmentally sustainable. A wide range of speakers including the Hon. Anthony Albanese MP, Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Prof. Peter Newman, Curtin University, Prof. Phil O'Neill, University of Western Sydney and Prof. Bill Randolph, University of NSW will address the regional sustainability challenge in series of presentations, panels and workshops. Other confirmed speakers include the Hon. Barbara Perry, NSW Minister for Western Sydney and the Hon. Paul Lynch MP, NSW Minister for Local Government.

I hope you can join our speakers as well as representaives of all three levels of Government and other key organisations to help in planning funding and building a sustainable future for Western Sydney.

Further information and registration details will be distributed shortly. In the meantime, please contact WSROC on 02 9671 4333 or esme@wsroc.com.au if you have any questions.

Clr Tony Hay
Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd
PO Box 63
Blacktown NSW 2148
Ph: +61 2 9671 4333
Fax: +61 2 9621 7741
Web: www.wsroc.com.au

22 March 2008

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day, a United Nations initiative that grew out of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. Water looms as a major global issue in coming years, as this digram of population and water availability shows:

Source: Water for Life, UN Water: New York, 2005.

As you can see there are major disparities in the distribution of population and water availability around the globe. This is most glaringly the case in Asia, which has 60% of the world's population but only has 36% of global water resources.

Already a number of HIAs that have been conducted in NSW have highlighted the importance of water and water supply in protecting and promoting population health. Water is already a critical resource and it will only become more so in the future. It is incumbent on us as HIA practitioners to become familiar with the health impacts of changes to water availability.

Interesting Links

19 March 2008

IAIA Health Quarterly March 2008

From Ben Cave, Co-Chair of the International Association for Impact Assessment Health Section

The latest issue of the IAIA HIA Quarterly is available for download from the IAIA website [PDF 380 Kb].

This issue includes the following articles:
  • Ben Cave reports on a meeting between the World Health Organization, the
  • International Finance Corporation and the World Bank;
  • Maria João Heitor writes about a European meeting in Portugal looking at
  • Health, and Health Systems, Impact Assessment;
  • Mathias Wismar and Kelly Ernst write about a new publication on the
  • effectiveness of HIA;
  • Ben Harris-Roxas reports on the South East Asia and Oceania HIA Conference;
  • Teresa Lavin and the HIA team at the Institute of Public Health in Ireland
  • team describe the 8th International HIA conference held in Dublin;
  • Dianne Katscherian describes the forthcoming session on climate change and
  • health at IAIA08; and
  • there is a round up of new publications and websites and forthcoming events.
We will soon issue a call for contributions to the next Quarterly via HIA listservs.

New South Wales HIA eNews Issue 19: HIA2007 Conference Special Issue

The latest copy of the New South Wales Health Impact Assessment Project eNews is available for download [PDF 960Kb].

In this issue:
  • HIA2007 South East Asia and Oceania HIA Conference
  • Health Impact Assessment: A Practical Guide
  • Thailand: Recent Experiences
  • Participate in the HIA2008 Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • NSW Developmental HIA Sites : Coffs Harbour and Oran Park/Turner Road HIAs
  • HIA Training 27-29 February 2008
  • NZ HIA Support Unit : Building capacity for HIA in New Zealand
  • To HIA or Not to HIA?
  • Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment A Toolkit from the UK
  • What’s New? HIA Publications and Events
Past issues of the eNews can be downloaded from www.hiaconnect.edu.au/hia_e-news.htm

The New South Wales HIA eNews is produced by the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at the University of New South Wales, Australia as part of the NSW HIA Project funded by NSW Health.

31 January 2008

Health Impact Assessment: A practical guide

The UNSW Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation and NSW Health have published a guide to undertaking health impact assessments. Health Impact Assessment: A practical guide is informed by the experiences of more than twenty health impacts assessments that have been undertaken or supported through the New South Wales Health Impact Assessment Project over the past four years. The guide aims to provide people a practical understanding of HIA, its process, concepts and theories.

A PDF version can be downloaded from http://www.hiaconnect.edu.au/files/Health_Impact_Assessment_A_Practical_Guide.pdf

For a print copy of the guide and/or more information about HIA please phone +61 2 9612 0762 or email s.m.green@unsw.edu.au.

An online version of the guide, with additional materials, links to further resources, and online exercises, is being developed and will be released in 2008 on HIA Connect.

Part One: Overview of Key Concepts
What is HIA?
Why undertake HIA?
What do we mean by ‘health’?
How is health created?
What are health impacts?
HIA is prospective
Broad participation

Part Two: The Steps in HIA
1. Screening
2. Scoping
3. Identification
4. Assessment
5. Decision-making and recommendations
6. Evaluation and follow-up