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Case Examples > Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Expanding Capacity to Carry Out HIAs

Purpose

To support capacity-building and strategic planning efforts to establish a project as a resource for underserved communities in the Bay Area interested in conducting Health Impact Assessments in order to identify and mitigate adverse health impacts of specific policies or projects.

Lead Organization

Human Impact Partners

Rajiv Bhatia, Associate Director of Research
Jonathan Heller, Project Director
3020 Buena Vista Way, Berkeley, CA 94708
Phone (510) 684-1794

Goals

  1. Create a strategic plan to guide HIP through its start up period.
  2. Complete HIAs on built environment projects or policies in the San Francisco Bay Area region.
  3. Write up case studies of HIA projects on the built environment.
  4. Increase capacity of community based organizations and public health departments to conduct HIAs and use results in advocacy efforts.

Major Activities

  1. Development of strategic and financial plans
  2. Development and translation of outreach and marketing materials
  3. Ongoing outreach
  4. Health impact assessments of San Francisco Bay Area built environment projects
  5. Development of case studies

The field of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is well established outside of the United States and the practice is gaining acceptance within the US. The current pace of growth and development in the Bay Area provides an important opportunity to use HIA constructively and proactively to reduce health disparities. However, the development of tools and expertise to insert health considerations in built environment decisions has been slow to develop, in spite of the increased demand from a broad range of actors. Even more critically, there is no institutional mechanism to ensure built environment projects or policies consider the impacts on human health. Human Impact Partners (HIP) was created in the summer of 2006 as a non-governmental and non-academic organization focused on developing HIAs as a rigorous tool to impact the built environment. In order for the utilization of HIAs to achieve wider significance, and ultimately to become institutionalized, HIP’s founders determined that greater experience and capacity with this tool will be necessary among a broad audience (including CBOs, public health departments, developers, city planning departments, and city development/redevelopment departments).

project partners