29 January 2014

EPA Review of HIAs in the U.S

THE US EPA has published their review of HIAs in the U.S. Definitely worth reading:

Rhodus J, Fulk F, Autrey B, O’Shea S, Roth A: A Review of Health Impact Assessments in the U.S.: Current State-of-Science, Best Practices, and Areas for Improvement. In. Cincinnati: Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 2013.


A systematic review was conducted of health impact assessments (HIAs) from the U.S. to obtain a clear picture of how HIAs are being implemented nationally and to identify potential areas for improving the HIA community of practice. The review was focused on HIAs from the four sectors that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program has identified as target areas for empowering communities to move toward more sustainable states. These four sectors are Transportation, Housing/Buildings/ Infrastructure, Land Use, and Waste Management/Site Revitalization. The review systematically documented organizations involved in conducting the HIAs; funding sources; the types of community-level decisions being made; data, tools, and models used; self-identified data needs; methods of stakeholder engagement; pathways and endpoints; characterization of impacts; decision-making outcomes and recommendations; monitoring and follow-up measures; prioritization methods employed; HIA defensibility and effectiveness; attainment of the Minimum Elements of HIA; areas for improvement; and identification of best practices. The results of the HIA reviews were synthesized to identify the state of the HIA practice in the U.S., best practices in HIAs, and areas in the overall HIA process that could benefit from enhanced guidance, strategies, and methods for conducting community-based risk assessments and HIAs. While HIAs have helped to raise awareness and bring health into decisions outside traditional health-related fields, the effectiveness of HIAs in bringing health-related changes to pending decisions in the U.S. varies greatly. The review found that there are considerable disparities in the quality and rigor of HIAs being conducted. This, combined with the lack of monitoring, health impact management, and other follow-up in the HIAs could be limiting the overall utilization and effectiveness of this tool in the U.S.


A review was conducted of 81 Health Impact Asessments (HIAs) from the U.S. to obtain a clear picture of how HIAs are being implemented nationally and to identify potential areas for improving the HIA community of practice. Improving HIAs across the US will lead to better informed decisions at the community level and ultimately to improvement in public health and the environment.

23 January 2014

Two online HIA courses from the Canadian National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy

The Canadian National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy is offering two online HIA courses in English and French:

Online Continuing Education Course – HIA Step by Step

A 12-hour online continuing education course on health impact assessment (HIA) of public policies will be offered by the NCCHPP starting in October 2013.
This online course will focus on the five steps of HIA and will take place over 4 weeks. It will allow you to become familiar with the HIA process applied to public policies, recognize its fundamentals, and think about the favourable conditions for successful HIA implementation.  
Next courses:
In English: March 3 to 28, 2014
In French: May 26 to June 20, 2014

Online University Course – Introduction to Health Impact Assessment

The Université de Montréal is offering a 45-hour online university course on health impact assessment (HIA) of public policies. This course has been developed by the NCCHPP in collaboration with Dr. Richard Massé, associate professor at the Department of social and preventive medicine at the Université de Montréal, and other partners.  
This course, launched in February 2013, aims to help participants to develop and improve their competencies for leading an HIA process relating to public policies, and to do this with partners from different sectors.  
The course takes place over the period of 6 weeks, for 1 graduate-level university credit.
Please note: This course is offered by the Université de Montréal, a francophone university. While the content of the HIA course and the online platform are entirely in English, all administrative tasks regarding this course must be done in French. This includes course registration and payment, retrieving grades and certificates, and asking for technical and administrative assistance.  
Next courses: March 19 to April 30, 2014 in French and May 1 to June 12, 2014 in English. 
More on their website

22 January 2014

IAIA14 Training Course: Health Impact Assessment of Industrial Projects

A really interesting and engaging two-day training program on HIA of industrial projects is being offered as part of IAIA15 in Chile. Find out more about the course and book early to avoid missing out.

You can find out more on the training program on the conference website.