Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a process that evaluates the potential effects of a policy, plan, project, or program on the health of a population and the distribution of those effects, especially among vulnerable or disadvantaged groups. It uses quantitative, qualitative, and participatory methods to produce recommendations for decision-makers and stakeholders, with the aim of maximising positive health outcomes and minimising negative health impacts . HIA can be applied in various sectors, such as transportation, land use, climate change, and environmental protection, and can engage with the public affected by the proposal .
The HIA process typically involves several stages: screening (identifying plan, project, or policy decisions for which an HIA would be useful), scoping (planning the HIA and identifying what health risks and benefits to consider), assessment (identifying affected populations and quantifying health impacts of the decision), recommendations (providing suggestions and recommendations for actions that promote positive health effects and minimize negative health effects), reporting (producing a report that summarizes the findings of the HIA), and monitoring and evaluation (tracking the implementation of recommendations and assessing their effectiveness) .
HIA is a tool to promote sustainable and healthy communities by balancing environmental, social, and economic factors . It provides decision-makers with comprehensive information about the consequences on the health of interventions, policies, and projects. HIA has been used for example in clean energy options, master plans, planning for green spaces, transportation and urban growth projects, zoning for walkability .