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HIA is an issue located at the interface of science, Public Health practice, and policy-making. It has experienced several waves of development in the past few decades. There is an emerging „culture“ of HIA, more developed in some European countries and less developed in others; this includes:

  • growing numbers of HIA practitioners and researchers
  • a number of HIA projects, incl. those co-funded by EC
  • increasingly sophisticated tool(kit)s
  • a growing body of publicly accessible assessment documents, HIA guidelines, monographs, other HIA-related literature
  • HIA training programs
  • Several gateways / blogs / newsletters, etc.

All this together reflects a current surge of interest (including inside EUPHA) as well as of methodological diversification and sophistication. HIA is now discussed in numerous meetings, incl. dedicated international HIA conferences organized by varying institutions. Some professional associations (notably IAIA) touch upon the issue. So far, however, a home for continuous HIA discussion in the European Public Health community does not exist.

From this background, it seems appropriate to establish a section within EUPHA dedicated to HIA with the overall goal to provide a „home base“ for continuous discussion on HIA and to contribute to a comprehensive evaluation of HIA, in the interest of promoting health and preventing disease.

Specific objectives include the following:

  • In cooperation with HIA gateways, research projects, practitioners, and institutions active in the field: fostering information exchange on existing HIA reports, guidelines, procedures, methods, tool(kit)s, trainings, evaluations, etc.
  • Leading a critical-constructive discussion on both the health potentials and the challenges related to HIA, incl. considerations from the scientific, policy, and practice arena
  • Connecting European level HIA discussion with existing strands both „within“ (national / regional / local level) as well as „outside“ (worldwide HIA developments)
  • Facilitating the preparation of HIA-related grant proposals, including research, R&D, graduate education, collaborative and exchange programs, etc.

In addition to the „broad picture“, there are subtopics of special interest, e.g.:

  • Evaluation of „practice value“ of HIA
  • Integration of results from various (EC co-funded; ongoing or completed) HIA projects
  • Interrelationships of different health-related impact assessments (e.g., EIA/SEA, Soc IA, Sust IA, EC-type IA, etc.), potential conflicts between them, and the pro’s and con’s of integrated assessments
  • Health impact quantification
  • Legal implementation of HIA

The section will consider implementing activities such as:

  • Workshops
  • Communications, e.g. flyer, web entry, e-Newsletter
  • Fostering Wikipedia entries on HIA in all European languages
  • Position papers and publications

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