Healthy public policy - is health impact assessment the cornerstone?

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Metcalfe, O.
Higgins, C.
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Institute of Public Health in Ireland
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a process that can help improve the health of communities and reduce health inequalities. It can be used to help understand how a proposal for a new law, policy, programme, or project might affect the health of the whole community. HIA can be used at national, regional or local level before a proposal is implemented. It helps to ensure that new proposals are more inclusive, more equitable, and more sustainable for everyone. For example, it will assess how people with less money, children, older people, or people with a disability might be affected by a new law or policy. HIA can be carried out by a wide range of decision- and policy-makers, from statutory agencies to local councils, community groups, and private companies. There is no legal requirement to conduct a HIA in Ireland or Northern Ireland but using HIA can support better integration of health and health equity into decision-making.
Metcalfe, O. and Higgins, C., 2009. Healthy public policy - is health impact assessment the cornerstone?, Public Health