26 March 2010

HIA Job in Oakland, Calfornia

Human Impact Partners (HIP) is looking for a Research Associate to work on Health Impact Assessment (HIA) projects with our growing non-profit organization. This is an opportunity to be at the forefront of community-focused HIA work that is creating systemic change to improve people’s lives.

About HIP
Human Impact Partners’ vision is a world where:
  • health is understood broadly as complete physical, mental and social well-being;
  • health is a primary consideration in public and corporate decision making;
  • health inequities due to race, class, place, or other attributes do not exist;
  • the health of all communities improves;
  • all people have the information, tools and power needed to influence decisions that affect their health; and
  • health is a holistic framework that brings diverse people and organizations to work together.
HIP believes that health should be considered in all decision making. We raise awareness of and collaboratively use innovative data, processes and tools that evaluate health impacts and inequities in order to transform the policies, institutions and places people need to live healthy lives. Through training and mentorship we also build the capacity of impacted communities and their advocates, workers, public agencies, and elected officials to conduct health-based analyses and use them to take action.

Human Impact Partners’ current staff of six conducts Health Impact Assessment (HIA) in the context of land use development, and transportation, incarceration and employment policy. We are expanding into other policy areas as well. Through training and mentoring, we also build the capacity of others to conduct HIA. We are looking to build a diverse staff as we grow. For more details about HIP and about HIA, please visit our webpage at www.humanimpact.org.

Examples of past and current projects:
  • West Oakland Housing, Industrial Lands & Port
  • Humboldt County General Plan Update
  • South Central Los Angeles Redevelopment
  • I-710 Freeway Expansion
  • Port Container Fee legislation
  • Paid Sick Days Legislation in California, at the Federal level, and in other jurisdictions

Human Impact Partners is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

About the Position
The Research Associate will participate in conducting HIAs on a range of policies, plans and projects in collaboration with other HIP staff, community groups, public health agencies and other stakeholders. The primary function of the Research Associate is to support the analysis and reporting phases of HIA, including:
  • Conducting literature reviews;
  • Evaluating the distribution of social, economic, and environmental conditions at the local level;
  • Using quantitative methods to predict how changes in social, economic, and environmental conditions may impact specific health outcomes;
  • Using epidemiological methods and research to evaluate the impact of public policies, programs, and projects on health;
  • Developing research plans, preparing statistics and analyzing data using STATA, SPSS or SAS;
  • Publishing and disseminating findings including report and manuscript preparation and presentation; and
  • Communicating to stakeholders and decision-makers about the importance of considering health in land use planning and policy-making.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a very rapidly growing field, and will require a range of demonstrated skills and abilities, including:
  • understanding and applying the public health literature, epidemiological studies, and quantitative models used to predict impacts;
  • conducting creative research;
  • working with a range of stakeholders including community residents, organizers and advocates, public health and other government agencies, elected officials, academic researchers;
  • experience in quantitative economic, transportation, housing, and policy analysis skills preferred;
  • writing reports;
  • carrying out and coordinating projects with others at HIP.

Salary: negotiable, based on experience
Start date: May/June 2010

The position is full time, but may start on a contract basis and then move to employment with benefits.

  • Completion of a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in epidemiology or statistics, or other field with strong analytical methods;
  • At least 2 years of relevant job experience;
  • Strong quantitative analysis skills and experience with statistical analyses;
  • Experience in quantitative economic, transportation, housing, and policy analysis skills preferred;
  • Strong research and writing skills;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • Good interpersonal qualities.

In addition to English language fluency, mastery of an additional language is highly desirable.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume including three references and a brief writing sample including examples of quantitative analyses by Friday, April 16, 2010 to hr@humanimpact.org

23 March 2010

Understanding US Health Reform (if you don't live in the US)

It's a little bit off-topic but a lot has been made of the US health reforms that were passed in the US House of Representatives yesterday. Though it was an auspicious event it can sometimes be difficult to appreciate the significance of these reforms, particularly if, like me, you're fortunate enough to live in a country with a relatively good universal health system.

Dr Lesley Russell was interviewed on ABC's Life Matters today. She explained the reforms and their significance in terms that are readily comprehensible to people outside the US. She's also recently written on the reforms for Croakey.

You can access the interview [MP3] here. It's worth a listen.

Edit: Dr Russell has posted another piece on Croakey about the reforms.

20 March 2010

Is Health Recognized in the EU's Policy Process? An analysis of the European Commission's impact assessments

There's an interesting article in the most recent issue of the European Journal of Public Health on Is Health Recognized in the EU's Policy Process? An analysis of the European Commission's impact assessments. Abstract:
The European Commission has an Impact Assessment (IA) procedure that aims to inform decision-makers of the all important impacts that decisions may have. This article studies how health is considered in the IA procedure and how it is reflected in the reports: what aspects, whose and simply in what context health is mentioned in the IA reports.

Half of the Commissions IAs from 2006 were studied. The analysis was text based and informed by content analysis. In total, 48 reports by 17 DGs were analysed.

Five DGs (29%) and 10 reports (21%) made no reference to human health, public health or health systems. Five DGs were clearly considering health impacts more often than others; DG EMPL, SANCO, AGRI, ELARG and ENV. Health systems/services were most often and human health next most common referred to (39% and 29% of all, respectively). Health impacts were usually referred to in the sections on the definition of problems and the analysis of impacts. Seldom were they reported on in the sections on policy options, comparing options, or in the monitoring and evaluation sections.

The results partly support concerns about the potential neglect of health impacts. The results also suggest that health is not considered an important factor when discussing alternative policy choices, and neither does it seem to be an important objective. There is a clear need for further exploration on ways in which health could be more appropriately considered when impacts of other policies are considered by the various DGs.
I'll leave it to you to figure out the implications of the study, but it would seem to suggest that getting health meaningfully considered in policy development requires more that a simple mandate, a common theme in the the development of HIA internationally.

You can access the abstract here, a subscription is required to access the full article.

19 March 2010

Conference - Livelihood and Health Impacts of the Climate Change, Khon Kaen Thailand

"IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE HAS NO BOUNDARIES – Livelihood and Health of Rural Communities are the Most Hardest Hit"

International Conference & Workshop on

“Livelihood and Health Impacts of the Climate Change: Community Adaptation Strategies”

24-25 August 2010

At Pullman Raja Orchid Hotel, Khon Kaen Thailand


17 March 2010

Asia Pacific HIA Email List has 560 Subscribers: Are you one of them?

The Asia Pacific Health Impact Assessment Email List now has 560 subscribers from 27 countries. Are you one of them?

For more information on the list and details on how to join go to:


The listserv averages one email a week, though there are more during busier times.

15 March 2010

HIA2010 Third Asia Pacific HIA Conference - 17-19 November, Dunedin, New Zealand

We are pleased to make the first formal announcement for the 3rd Asia and Pacific HIA Conference, to be held at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, from 17th -19th November 2010.

The primary host is the Health, Equity and Wellbeing Impact Assessment Research Unit in the University, in association with a number of other groups. Conference management is being supported by the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) and the conference website will be available through the IAIA website.

Please see the announcement for more details. We will send a second announcement, with specific dates for registration, abstract submission, etc. in April. The conference website will go live in a week or so.

Richard Morgan, Louise Signal, Rob Quigley.

Edit 20 March: The conference website is now live

Health Impact Assessment of the Northern Territory Emergency Response: New advocacy HIA released in Australia

A health impact assessment of the Australian Government's Northern Territory Emergency Response was launched on Friday at Old Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. The HIA was conducted by the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association (AIDA) with the support of CHETRE and the Fred Hollows Foundation.

The Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), also know as 'The Intervention', is a major policy response by the Australian federal government to concerns about Aboriginal health and welfare in Australia's Northern Territory. The NTER includes a number of far-reaching measures, including:
  • Suspending parts of the Racial Discrimination Act.
  • Introducing income management for support payment recipients by restricting expenditure to certain shops and linking it to children's school attendance.
  • Child health checks.
  • Appointing managers of all government business and acquiring land title in prescribed communities.
  • Some increases in policing and on-ground clean up.
  • Alcohol and pornography restrictions on Aboriginal land.
  • Abolishing the CDEP.
The HIA found that:
...the intended health outcomes of the NTER (improved
health and wellbeing, and ultimately, life expectancy) are unlikely to be fully achieved through the NTER measures. It is predicted that it will leave a negative legacy on the psychological and social wellbeing, on the spirituality and cultural integrity of the prescribed communities. However, it may be possible to minimise or mitigate these negative impacts if the Australian and NT governments commit to and invest in taking the steps necessary to work in respectful partnership with the Aboriginal leaders and organisations responsible for the governance of the prescribed communities in the NT. (p. ix)
This is an important HIA on the most significant Aboriginal health and welfare policy in a generation. The measures included in the NTER also have broader significance, with the Government now seeking to extend income management to income support recipients in other areas. I urge you all to read the report.

The launch coincided with the opening of the AIDA's new offices in Old Parliament House, a location of considerable historical significance. Some of the photos I took at the launch are available on flickr.

Media Coverage of the HIA Report

10 March 2010

Public Health Desktop and Health Knowledge Websites

From the ever-resourceful Salim Vohra:
Some of you may have already heard of these. I have looked through and registered on both sites and they are very useful both from a HIA and a broader public health perspective.

Public Health Desktop www.ic.nhs.uk (anyone can register, generates a public health or other speciality feed like Google Reader/Netvibes etc)

Part of the work of The Information Centre (for health and social care). The feed I like the most aside from those pointing out datasets is the health news RSS 'Behind the Headlines'. The news articles are framed with these seven themes: the story, where did the story come from, what kind of research was this, what did the research involve, what were the basic results, how did the researchers interpret the results, conclusion (discussion of the quality of the research and the implications of the findings if any). An example is a recent piece about windfarms 'Wind turbine sound 'needs research''

Health Knowledge www.healthknowledge.org.uk (anyone can register - registration allows access to additional Faculty of Public Health exam resources and tutor notes for the slides and workbooks on the site)

Developed by PHAST (Public Health Action Support Team) and Department of Health. This site has a developing free Public Health Textbook and a set of interactive e-learning and interactive learning modules as well as some teaching resources on HIA and wider public health issues. There is an additional separate login procedure for the interactive learning modules (the site recommends using the same login for the main website and the interactive modules).

An example I found a really nice diagram in a presentation on Wider Determinants of Health and Wellbeing that I'll borrow for my teaching work (Slide 26, a person with the wider determinants like hair around their head walking along and being affected by the environment, psycho-social and biological influences and time to lead to health outcomes at http://www.healthknowledge.org.uk/teaching/index_healthbiz.asp )

5 March 2010

Health Impact Assessment Round-Up 5 March 2010

This is a collection of HIA-related links, news and events that have recently caught the eyes of the HIA & Healthy Public Policy Team at the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE) over the past month.

Do you have any news or resources you'd like to share? Email us

Health Impact Assessment

  • International Council on Mining and Metals Guidance on Health Impact Assessment http://j.mp/bpY7X1
  • Putting Health in the Policy Picture: A review of how health impact assessment is carried out by English Government departments [Summary Report] http://j.mp/93e69v
  • California to Examine Health Impacts of Landmark Cap-and-Trade Program [Press Release] http://j.mp/9vuxzt
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Integrating Health Impact Assessment into Environmental Impact Assessment [Human Impact Partners PDF] http://j.mp/a0FGBd
  • La participation du public dans l’évaluation d’impact sur la santé (EIS/HIA): pourquoi et comment? [PDF, in French] http://j.mp/cKQDfw
  • Causal Diagram: Health risks associated with transportation [HIA Gateway] http://j.mp/bpQjB2
  • Creative Potential:Mental Well-Being Impact Assessment of the Liverpool 2008 European Capital Of Culture Program [Journal Article] http://j.mp/bOuvy0
  • WHO Internships on Health Equity, 2010-2011 including HIA http://j.mp/c5EJhI
  • Some HIAs completed in New Zealand last year have been posted online [NZ HIASU] http://j.mp/cCzlVf
  • HIA for Healthy Development: The Thai Mab Ta Phut case [Bangkok Post] http://j.mp/9eQQJP
  • US Health Impact Project closed its first funding round on 26 Feb due to "extraordinary response" http://j.mp/9NZWs6
  • Equality impact assessment for the Nationall Sexual Health Policy [UK Department of Health] http://j.mp/aX86Od
  • Evidence Health Impact Assessment Works [HIA Connect] http://bit.ly/ct7he

Population Health & Primary Care

  • CHETRE & National Heart Foundation Report: Influencing Healthy Planning and Policy Development in Local Government [Summary Report PDF] http://j.mp/dnSRhy
  • Campbell & Cochrane Equity Methods Group Equity Checklist for Incorporating Equity in a Review [PDF] http://j.mp/c9dfin
  • Series of articles: SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) [Open Access] http://j.mp/ah4UA7
  • Drivers of Inequality in Millennium Development Goal Progress: A Statistical Analysis [Journal Article, PLoS Medicine] http://j.mp/dAVAyV
  • Annual epidemiological report on communicable diseases in Europe 2008 [PDF] http://j.mp/9n78Is
  • The Right to Property and the Right to Health [ABC Radio National, MP3 and streaming audio] http://j.mp/c5dlgw
  • "Public health evaluation in the 21st century: time to see the wood as well as the trees" [Journal Article, Journal of Public Health] http://j.mp/d6tLB6
  • Complex interventions to improve the health of people with limited literacy: a systematic review [DARE] http://j.mp/9viHFX
  • Public Health Management of Disasters: The Pocket Guide [PDF] http://j.mp/bacFJL
  • Social determinants of health and the role of local government [Report, I&DeA UK] http://j.mp/cGjf9A
  • Mental health inequalities: measuring what counts [Seminar Report, Sainsbury Centre UK] http://j.mp/9vWRmY
  • Influencing public behaviour to improve health and wellbeing [Report PDF, UK] http://j.mp/cCjF9p
  • Cost-effectiveness of interventions to promote physical activity: a modelling study [NHS EED] http://j.mp/bmJybz
  • Just-as-good Medicine: Less expensive, lower-quality innovations abound in every economic sector, except medicine [American Scientist] http://j.mp/9lsq6j
  • English National Library for Public Health March newsletter http://j.mp/9InGhp
  • Former Canadian health minister and Commission on the Social Determinants of Health member Monique Begin on the social determinants of health in Canada [Star Phoenix Newspaper] http://j.mp/cx3eiQ
  • Ban on take-away outlets within 400m of schools to combat obesity: sensible policy? [The Guardian, Newspaper Article] http://j.mp/9Jmy7z
  • The Guardian's review of 'The Spirit Level' http://j.mp/bHVkrE More positive than last year's one in the London Review of Books http://j.mp/crpin8
Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England Post 2010: The Marmot Review

The Marmot Review was released on 11 February. These links look at the report and its implications.
  • Fair Society, Healthy Lives: The Marmot Review Final Report [Report] http://j.mp/9wlcBhd
  • Presentations from the conference to launch the Marmot Review, 12 Feb 2010 [video and audio] http://j.mp/9zfpj5
  • Politics of Health Group's response to the implementation of the Marmot's Review's recommendations [BMJ] http://j.mp/9skSve
  • Fair and healthy society, by Tammy Boyce [Public Finance] http://j.mp/dbSzc3
And what it means for Australia:
  • Why we need an Australian Health and Equity Commission: Fran Baum from Flinders University [Croakey] http://j.mp/auIhnF
  • Tackling health inequity? It’s about changing the dynamics of political power, by CHETRE's Marilyn Wise [Croakey] http://j.mp/cIHZw3
  • A fairer Australia will also help our health: the Smith Family’s Elaine Henry [Croakey] http://j.mp/c9JR2r
  • Will today’s health ministers meeting tackle health inequalities? by Ben Harris-Roxas from CHETRE [Croakey] http://j.mp/bli0KA
Australian Health System Reforms

The Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced sweeping reforms to the Australian health system and the way it's funded on 3 March 2010. These links look at what's proposed.
  • A National Health and Hospitals Network for Australia's Future [Policy PDF] http://j.mp/9FzTrX
  • Prime Minister's 'Better Health, Better Hospitals' speech [Transcript, The Australian] http://j.mp/cLkOGi
  • Q&A from the Australian Prime Minister's speech to launch the health reforms [Transcript, PM's website] http://j.mp/bpauhk
  • So what does it all mean for primary health care? CPHCE's Professor Mark Harris says the detail may hold angels as well as devils [Croakey] http://j.mp/cSxd1W
  • The PM’s health announcements:a promising start by Ian McAuley, Centre for Policy Development Fellow [Croakey] http://j.mp/caz5xL
  • The Feds are Coming to a Hospital Near by Stephen Leeder from the University of Sydney [ABC Unleashed] You http://j.mp/907bV1
  • Rudd ready for combat over health reforms [ABC's The Drum] http://j.mp/axcFqv
  • So what is Rudd actually trying to achieve in health? CHETRE's Ben Harris-Roxas on the questions raised by the announcement [Croakey] http://j.mp/akouKa
  • For Rudd, it’s all about hospitals, hospitals, hospitals…[Croakey] http://j.mp/d0Cf4u
  • A Cure to End the Health Blame Game [New Matilda Cartoon] http://j.mp/cSnT0i
Conferences & Events
  • Fifth EU Ministerial Conference on environment and health, Parma, Italy, 10-12 March 2010 http://j.mp/aAWHej Keep an eye out for media reports, includes a side event on "Protecting and improving human health through
    Strategic Environmental Assessment. It’s here – its being done – can we do it better?" http://j.mp/cKGVwl
  • Conference: Equality and inequality in health: Measuring and commissioning for equity, London, 11 March 2010 http://j.mp/9pOtSz
  • Canadian NCCHPP workshop on "Deliberating to Inform Decision-making" in Montréal, 12 March http://j.mp/aVuHBW
  • Canadian Conference on Global Health 2010: The Call for Abstracts for Papers and Posters, due 29 March http://j.mp/dq1CLE
  • Prevention and health inequalities : Cost-effective and evidence-based solutions, London, 30 March 2010 http://j.mp/cN3Y57
  • What is Evidence-Informed Decision Making? Five Day Workshop in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 10-14 May http://j.mp/aJX9bq
  • Sustainability Assessment Symposium: Towards Strategic Assessment for Sustainability, Perth 25-26 May 2010 http://j.mp/cBGsA5
  • Double IAIA Symposia Climate Change & Impact Assessment. Aalborg, Denmark 25-26 Oct http://j.mp/9HvtyJ Washington DC USA 15-16 Nov http://j.mp/b8fJxA
  • HIA2010 3rd IAIA Asia Pacific HIA Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand, 17-19 November 2010 http://j.mp/ciV6GJ
  • One-day course in Planning for Non-Planners - 29 March, 28 June & 29 November 2010, UWS Urban Research Centre, Sydney http://j.mp/d6QDxs
  • Three Day HIA Training, Liverpool UK 14-18 June 2010 http://j.mp/cD86FF
  • One day training course on HIA, Birmingham UK, 14 July 2010 http://j.mp/cS3n3x
  • Three day HIA training course, 5th-7th October 2010, Gregynog, Waleshttp://j.mp/aMXJmk
  • International Association for Public Participation http://j.mp/a2VSuP Training throughout Australia, more than 20 sessions throughout 2010.
Other Items of Interest
  • Good Foundations: Towards a low carbon, high well-being built environment [NEF Report] http://j.mp/9J3fs5
  • Adapting to climate change in Australia: Australian Government Department of Climate Change position paper http://j.mp/cSH1Iz
  • Should Policy Makers Listen to the Experts or to the Public on Crime and Imprisonment? [New Matilda] http://j.mp/a0cBR0
  • Higher Food Prices in Sub-Saharan Africa: Poverty Impact and Policy Responses [Journal Article, WBRO] http://j.mp/cNRSG0
  • Study of the Evaluation of Environmental Impact Assessment in Selected West Asian Countries [Report PDF] http://j.mp/dlHCbC
  • Food Security and Peak Oil: A Message to Local Citizens and Leadership [Blog Post, The Oil Drum] http://j.mp/9A7gfL
  • The Story of Human Rights [Video] http://j.mp/bMPuyT
  • Is the US EPA crowdsourcing environmental protection? http://j.mp/a1KV4D
  • Changing mindsets about natural resource management vital to combating climate change [Newspaper Article, Guyana] http://j.mp/d2baFl
  • Global Integrity Report finds no significant progress [Website] http://j.mp/bTFp96
  • Build giant parks over freeways to connect divided neighborhoods [The Architect's Newspaper] http://j.mp/cE5iD6
  • List of good environmental blogs [Society for Environmental Journalists] http://j.mp/d4NFny
  • The Victorian Transport Accident Commission’s video montage of 20 years of advertising campaigns [Video, Warning - heavy-going] http://j.mp/9LVCBh
  • What we know about climate change? Attempts to debunk climate change denialism [Video] http://j.mp/aTmvf3
  • The case for emergency preparedness and why it's not heard http://j.mp/9NyYee
  • Naomi Klein on climate debt [Video, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives] http://j.mp/bFGJys
  • Compelling infographic/visualisation of the impact of the Haiti earthquake http://j.mp/9gynS7 The information may be inaccurate now as it was created 4 weeks ago
  • Social Media and Public Health: Should we drink the Kool-Aid? http://j.mp/btfNwR
  • U.N. Says Emissions Vows Not Enough to Avoid a Rise of 2 Degrees Celcius [Society for Environmental Journalists] http://j.mp/dBpuuE
  • CDC Social Media Tools Guidelines & Best Practices [US CDC] http://j.mp/coEbvV
  • Story on potential water toxicity from Eucalyptus nitens grown by forestry industry in Tasmania [ABC Australian Story] http://j.mp/bMRoFP
  • Communicating Science In A Post-Newspaper Era [NPR] http://j.mp/d9fEjI

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