Health Impact Assessment Resources
HIA & Public Policy Development
Legal Review Concerning the Use of Health Impact Assessments in Non-Health Sectors [PDF - 2.09 MB]
This report examines the legal foundations that support incorporating health considerations into policy and programmatic decisions made in non-health fields. The findings are intended to aid public health professionals and others who seek to ensure that such decisions are made with health in mind.
Health Impact Assessment Fact Sheet
This Health Impact Partners fact sheet describes the HIA process and discusses potential costs to conduct an HIA.
- Health Impact Assessment: A Tool for Promoting Health in All Policies
This May 2011 issue brief by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gives background on the HIA process with real-life examples, and how HIA fits into a broader strategy to achieve health in all policies.
General Information and Clearinghouses
Health Impact Project
A collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, this national initiative promotes the use of HIAs as a decision-making tool for policymakers. The Web site includes a list of all HIAs known to be completed or in progress in the United States.
Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment (SOPHIA)
This organization serves the needs of HIA practitioners in North America and worldwide. Developed by a working group from the 2010 HIA in the Americas Workshop, SOPHIA aims to provide leadership and promote excellence in the practice of HIA.
Human Impact Partners
A nonprofit project of the Tides Center, Human Impact Partners aims to raise awareness of and promote the collaborative use of innovative data, processes, and tools that evaluate health impacts and inequities in order to transform the policies, institutions, and places people need to live healthy lives.
World Health Organization Health Impact Assessment
This site provides general information about HIA. It provides tools and methods to complete HIAs, examples of completed HIAs, discussion of the role of HIA in decision-making, and information about the evidence base that can be used for HIAs.
Health Impact Assessment Gateway
This site, created by the Health Development Agency in England, includes general information on HIA, networking, upcoming training and conferences, resources available to complete HIAs, and completed HIAs.
Design for Health
This site is a collaborative project between the University of Minnesota, Cornell University, and the University of Colorado. The project serves to bridge the gap between the emerging research base on community design and healthy living and the everyday realities of local government planning. The site includes three HIA tools targeting planners by focusing specifically on health issues related to urban and comprehensive planning, and it provides other resources.
UC Berkeley Health Impact Group (UCBHIG)
The group is a non-partisan and independent collective whose mission is to promote the field of HIA through advocacy, education, research, and community outreach. UCBHIG’s work focuses largely on the development of qualitative and quantitative tools.
The UCLA Health Impact Assessment Clearinghouse Learning and Information Center
This site is designed to collect and spread information on HIA in the United States. The site has summaries of HIAs conducted in the United States. It provides reviews of common pathways examined by HIAs, HIA-related news, and information about HIA methods and tools. The site also aims to assess the feasibility of doing an HIA. It develops prototype HIAs that demonstrate methodologies and by doing so enables the HIA to contribute to more informed decision-making about public policies affecting health in the United States.
San Francisco Bay Area Health Impact Assessment Collaborative
This collaborative is a group of academic, government, and non-profit HIA practitioners who have joined together to be more effective in conducting an HIA. The collaborative does so by engaging stakeholders in partnerships, by providing training, and by helping to develop policy. The site provides evidence-based tools, HIA frequently asked questions (FAQs), a discussion board, and training and mentorship opportunities.
Planning for Healthy Places with Health Impact Assessments
This free six-hour online course explains the value of conducting an HIA and the steps involved in conducting one. The course, developed by the American Planning Association and the National Association of County & City Health Officials, was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
U.S. Universities Offering HIA Courses and Faculty Contacts with E-mail Addresses
- Georgia Institute of Technology—firstname.lastname@example.org
- Indiana University—email@example.com
- Johns Hopkins University—firstname.lastname@example.org
- Portland State University—email@example.com
- University of California Berkeley—firstname.lastname@example.org
- University of Pennsylvania—email@example.com
- University of Virginia—firstname.lastname@example.org
- University of Washington—email@example.com
- University of Wisconsin—firstname.lastname@example.org
Methodology, Tools, and Evidence for Practice
Tracking Data for Health Impact Assessments
CDC's National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network includes data about community design elements, asthma, outdoor air quality, socioeconomic indicators, and more. The Web link gives information on how to use Tracking Network data in an HIA.
Parks and Trails Health Impact Assessment Toolkit
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) can help identify how a park can most effectively improve health. An HIA can help implement practices to assure that everyone— regardless of age, ethnicity or race or income or ability—can enjoy parks and trails frequently, easily, and safely.
Transportation Health Impact Assessment Toolkit
The Transportation HIA Toolkit provides a framework for public health departments, city planners, project managers, and other stakeholders to conduct HIAs on proposed transportation projects, plans, and policies
Bhatia R. Health impact assessment: a guide for practice [PDF - 6.5 MB]
This guide describes the key tasks and activities for an HIA as well as the issues and challenges that arise in the course of practice.
San Francisco Department of Public Health. Health Impact Assessment Page
This page describes tools that are available or in development: Air Quality Measurement and Modeling; Bicycle Environmental Quality Index; Healthy Development Measurement Tool; Neighborhood Completeness Indicator; Pedestrian Environmental Quality Index; San Francisco Noise Model; and Vehicle-Pedestrian Injury Collision Model.
Minimum Elements and Practice Standards for Health Impact Assessment (Version 2, November 2010)
The documents at this site attempt to answer the question “What are the essential elements of an HIA?” Overall, the hope is to translate the values underlying HIA, along with key lessons from HIA practice, into specific standards for practice for each phase of the HIA process.
HIA & Environmental Impact Assessment
Bhatia R, Wernham A. Integrating human health into environmental impact assessment: An unrealized opportunity for environmental health and justice . Environmental Health Perspectives. 2008;116(8):991–1000.
This paper reviews the purpose and procedures of an environmental impact assessment (EIA), existing regulatory requirements for health effects analysis, and potential barriers to and opportunities for improving integration of human health concerns within the EIA process.
HIA Papers Co-Authored by Healthy Community Design Initiative Staff
Dannenberg A, Wernham A. Health Impact Assessment in the USA. Chapter 23 in: Kemm, John, editor. Health Impact Assessment: Past achievement, current understanding, and future progress. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Establishing the practice of health impact assessment in the United States [PDF - 612 KB]. J Environ Health 2012;75(1):32-33.
The commentary urges health professionals to forge a relationship with their community planners by encouraging the use of Health Impact Assessment.
Hebert KA, Wendel AM, Kennedy SK, Dannenberg AL. Health impact assessment: a comparison of 45 local, national, and international guidelines. Environmental Impact Assessment Review. 2012;34:74–82.
This article provides a comparison of health impact assessment (HIA) guidelines from around the world and on multiple geographic scales. Commonalities and differences within HIA guides are identified for the purpose of discussing consensus guidelines and informing guideline development. The practice of HIA has grown over the last two decades, with a concurrent growth of HIA guides.
Ross CL, Leone de Nie K, Dannenberg AL, Beck LF, Marcus MJ, Barringer J. Health impact assessment of the Atlanta BeltLine [PDF - 1.74 MB]. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2012; 42(3):203–213.
The Atlanta Beltline Health Impact Assessment is one of the first HIAs to tie specific assessment findings to specific recommendations and to identifiable impacts from those recommendations. The lessons learned from this project may help others engaged in similar efforts.
Collins J, Koplan JP. Health impact assessment: a step toward health in all policies [PDF - 126 KB]. JAMA. 2009;302(3):315–317.
With significant contributions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Community Design Initiative staff person Andrew Dannenberg, the commentary highlights the many ways HIAs can be used to examine the effects that a policy, program, or project may have on the health of a population.
Dannenberg, et al. Use of Health Impact Assessment in the U.S. 27 Case Studies, 1999–2007 [PDF - 390 KB]. Am J Prev Med 2008;34(3):241–256.
CDC scientists examined 27 HIAs that were completed in the United States between 1999 and 2007. Key characteristics of each HIA were abstracted from published and unpublished sources.
Dannenberg AL, Bhatia R, Cole BL, et al. Growing the field of health impact assessment in the United States: an agenda for research and practice. Am J Public Health. 2006;96(2):262–270.
At an October 2004 workshop, domestic and international experts explored issues associated with advancing the use of HIA methods by local health departments, planning commissions, and other decision-makers in the United States. Workshop participants recommended conducting pilot tests of existing HIA tools, developing a database of health impacts of common projects and policies, developing resources for HIA use, building workforce capacity to conduct HIAs, and evaluating HIAs. HIA methods can influence decision-makers to adjust policies and projects to maximize benefits and minimize harm to the public’s health.
Rutt CD, Pratt M, Dannenberg AL, Cole BL. Connecting public health and planning professionals: health impact assessment. Places. 2005;17(1):86–87.
The commentary discusses HIA as a promising new approach to include health factors in complex policy decisions and the challenges of implementing HIAs in the United States.
The list documents the rapid growth of the academic base related to HIA in the United States since 2001.
Recent Major HIA Conferences
Inaugural National Health Impact Assessment Meeting, Washington DC, April 3–4, 2012
Co-funded by CDC’s Healthy Community Design Initiative, this was the first major meeting in the United States to introduce public health professionals and others new to HIA to the appropriate applications, methods, and challenges involved in the HIA process.
12th HIA International Conference, Quebec City, August 29–31, 2012
Held for the first time in North America, this annual conference brought together experts, stakeholders, and practitioners from around the globe to advance knowledge and encourage the sharing of experiences. The conference explored new avenues to strengthen HIA practices and, more broadly, to taking into account health in all policies.