Why Conduct HIA?

A person's profile in a city development

Do you need HIA?
HIA is best utilized when a specific decision is being made. It serves to inform decision makers on the potential health impacts of the policy, plan, or project. Additional screening tools can be found at the UCLA HIA Clearinghouse Learning & Information Center

Why Conduct HIA? 
HIA has a multitude of benefits beyond informing decision makers with a rigorous, data-driven assessment of health-related impacts. For Harris County Public Health,  HIA process helps accomplish a number of goals:

  • Develops a deep understanding of health issues from local knowledge and expert opinions
  • Establishes networks and pathways to better mobilize stakeholders (e.g., community-based organizations and local government) and community members around collective actions to address common barriers to healthy communities
  • Effects change with upstream health issues (social determinants of health) in order to impact long-term population health outcomes

Health and Equity 
HIAs help identify existing health inequities and provide communities that are more adversely effected by those inequities with an opportunity to voice their concerns and become a part of the decision making process. 
For more information on how HIAs promote health equity, see NACCHO’s report 

Health Impact Assessments:
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a process that helps evaluate the potential health impacts of a proposed project, plan, or policy before it is approved, built, or implemented. HIA aims to inform decision makers about the potential health impacts of a decision and provide recommendations to increase positive health outcomes and minimize adverse health outcomes. The process is particularly useful in non-health sector decisions, such as transportation and land use.1

Health in All Policies:
Health in All Policies (HiAP) is a collaborative approach to improving population health by incorporating health considerations into decision-making across sectors and policy areas. The goal of HiAP is to ensure that all decision-makers are informed about the health consequences of various policy options during the policy development process.2


References
  1. Adapted from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, September 19). Health Impact Assessment. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/hia.htm
  2. Adapted from: Public Health Institute. (2013). Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Government. Retrieved from http://www.phi.org/resources/?resource=hiapguide