Salim Vohra
Health Impact Assessment Q & A for developers

publication: article

Health Impact Assessment Q & A

Regenerate, 2006

Many people are familiar with environmental impact assessment (EIA) - the process by which information about the ecological effects of major projects is gathered and evaluated. Health impact assessment (HIA) is much less well known. However, developers and planners are increasingly using HIA to gauge the impact of a proposal on community health - it can be a vital tool in getting local communities on side.

What is HIA?
HIA tends to focus on aspects of a project that can indirectly affect health. These include:

  • Availability, access to and quality of housing
  • Employment opportunities
  • Education and training
  • Transport networks
  • Amenities, recreation and green space
  • Maintenance and enhancement of social capital and cohesion

HIA has developed from EIA and the movement to promote "healthy" public policy. It is not mandatory, but aims to influence policy and decision-making.