HIAs in Decision Making

Health impact assessment is a powerful tool for centering community health and well-being in public decision-making, as well as advancing evidence-informed public policy and a Health in All Policies approach. HIAs help decision-makers craft smarter policies that protect health, facilitate collaboration, engage stakeholders and the public, and integrate health concerns into policy decisions.

HIA occurs within a decision-making process. For example, when a local or state government is considering adopting a particular policy or investing in new infrastructure, the HIA arms decision-makers and stakeholders with evidence around how the policy or project will affect community health and provides recommendations for improving health and/or minimizing negative health impacts. In this respect, HIAs promote better-informed decisions, and when acted upon, produce better health and well-being outcomes.

Benefits of HIAs in Decision Making

  • Readily adapts to a variety of contexts and sectors
  • Infuses public health data and evidence into public decision-making
  • Fosters multi-solving solutions and cross-sector collaboration
  • Builds community support and reduces opposition to a proposed project or policy
  • Builds civic muscle and belonging through engaging the community
  • Improves transparency and accountability in decision-making

Featured Resources

*Adapted from The Pew Charitable Trust, Is Health Impact Assessment Effective in Bringing Community Perspectives to Public Decision-Making?, The Pew Charitable Trust, Health Impact Assessment: Bringing Public Health Data to Decision Making, and The Pew Charitable Trust, Health Impact Assessment Legislation in the States

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