Salim Vohra
Review of HIA Use Across Government

consultancy: evaluation, policy making

Putting Health in the Policy Picture:
review of how health impact assessment is carried out by government departments

English Department of Health, 2010

This evaluation, which I led, is the first of its kind internationally to systematically consider how Health Impact Assessment is being used within Impact Assessment, and whether it can affect policy making. It developed an innovative approach to evaluate policy impact assessments.

It was undertaken in England and showed that:
While systematic HIA is seldom done as part of the IA process, some basic level of considering the possible health impacts is relatively widespread.

When health impacts are considered there is a tendency to: focus on negative health impacts at the expense of positive health impacts; focus on a small number of the determinants of health; not consider health inequalities; and not use public health evidence to back up statements.

Twelve recommendations were made to improve the consideration of health in policy-making.