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
HIAs can be used with many types of policies, plans, and investments spanning sectors and applications. Listed below are policy areas and example decisions for which HIAs have been used.
Is Health Impact Assessment Effective in Bringing Community Perspectives to Public Decision-Making?: Lessons From 4 Case Studies in California
*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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