Evaluating Health Impact Assessments in New Zealand

Evaluating Health Impact Assessments in New Zealan...
05 Aug 2010
pdf
Evaluating Health Impact Assessments in New Zealan...
05 Aug 2010
doc

Are Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) worthwhile? Answering this question involves evaluating HIAs, and the purpose of this paper is to provide guidance on the evaluation of HIAs in New Zealand.

It brings together a diverse range of national and international views to provide a starting point for those undertaking HIA evaluation. In particular, the paper builds on the two New Zealand guides to conducting HIAs (Public Health Advisory Committee 2005; Ministry of Health 2007), which emphasise evaluation as the fourth stage of HIA.The paper looks at the types of evaluation of HIA and discusses the evaluation tools available. The focus here is on policy-level HIA, in keeping with the current focus in New Zealand. However, evaluations of project-level HIA are also referred to, because this is the focus of much of the international literature.

Purpose

Health impact assessment (HIA) is a systematic way of identifying and predicting the potential health impacts of a proposed or draft policy, strategy, plan, project or programme (a ‘proposal’). It offers a mix of methods and tools by which to judge a proposal’s anticipated effects on the health of a population and the distribution of those effects within a population. HIA has been widely used overseas, especially in the United Kingdom (UK), Europe and Canada, and is increasingly being used in New Zealand, with initial application mostly in urban planning. There are commonly four stages to HIA: screening scoping appraisal and reporting evaluation.

Are HIAs worthwhile? Answering this question involves evaluating HIAs, and the purpose of this paper is to provide guidance on the evaluation of HIAs in New Zealand. It brings together a diverse range of national and international views to provide a starting point for those undertaking HIA evaluation. In particular, the paper builds on the two New Zealand guides to conducting HIAs (Public Health Advisory Committee 2005; Ministry of Health 2007), which emphasise evaluation as the fourth stage of HIA. The focus here is on policy-level HIA, in keeping with the current focus in New Zealand. However, evaluations of project-level HIA are also referred to becausethis is the focus of much of the international literature.

Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018