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.
Figure 1 below is a high level overview of the types of HIAs. Comprehensive HIAs require the most resources, time and funding and can be scaled down if needed.
Figure 1: High level overview of the types of HIAs.
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, the 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
HIAs follow a six-step process depicted in the Figure 2 below. For more in-depth information about the six-steps and how to conduct an HIA see the Health Impact Toolkit.