What is HIA?
Health Impact Assessment is a systematic process that combines scientific data, health expertise and public input to identify the potential—and often overlooked—health effects of a proposed policy, plan, program, or project. HIA provides practical recommendations for federal, state and local legislators, public agencies and other decision makers on ways to minimize risks and capitalize on opportunities to improve health and build safe, thriving communities.
What are the steps of HIA?
Screening: Determine whether a proposed project, plan, or policy is likely to have health effects and whether the HIA will provide useful information.
Scoping: Establish the scope of health effects to be included in the HIA, the populations affected, the sources of data and the methods to be used.
Assessment: Describe the baseline health of people and groups affected by implementing the plan, and then assesses the potential health impacts.
Recommendations: Suggest plan design alternatives that can improve health or provide practical, specific actions that promote health and avoid, minimize or reduce adverse health outcomes.
Reporting: Present HIA findings and make recommendations to decision makers and stakeholders.
Monitoring and Evaluation: Monitor the implementation of HIA recommendations and conduct process, impact and outcome evaluations of the HIA.
What are the benefits of conducting HIA?
- Considers health from a broad perspective that takes into account social, economic and environmental influences;
- Ensures that health and health disparities are considered in decision-making;
- Considers how certain impacts may affect vulnerable populations in various ways; and
- Engages community members and stakeholders to help build unanimity.
Resources and Tools
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Places - Health Impact Assessment
- Georgia Health Policy Center – Health Impact Assessment
- Georgia Tech Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD)
- Health Impact Project
- Human Impact Partners (HIP)
- National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) – Health Impact Assessment
- Promoting Equity through the Practice of Health Impact Assessment
- The Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessments (SOPHIA)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
OASIS is a suite of interactive tools used to access the DPH's standardized health data repository currently populated with Vital Statistics, Georgia Comprehensive Cancer Registry, Hospital Discharge, Emergency Room Visit, Arboviral Surveillance, STD, and Population data. Additionally, OASIS provides the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey results.
Neighborhood Observation Checklist
DPH staff developed the Neighborhood Observation Checklist to help communities being redeveloped identify conditions that may affect public health during redevelopment, and evaluate the health impacts of redevelopment on neighborhood residents.
About the HIA Program
Community design and transportation are parts of the built environment that can have significant roles in shaping health outcomes. Providing public health insight to decision makers during community design and transportation planning can lead to improvements that encourage healthy behaviors and improve quality of life.
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a way for DPH to educate policymakers, regulators, planners, community members and other decision-makers and interested stakeholders on the relationships between health and the built environment. HIA provides practical recommendations for decision-makers on ways to capitalize on opportunities to improve health and build safe, thriving communities. In additions, HIA can help decision-makers avoid adverse health consequences and costs, and reduce environmental injustices by improving the relationships between affected, vulnerable groups and the policy, plan, program, or project.
For more information about HIAs conducted by DPH, please contact (404) 657-6534.