Health impact assessments

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a formal research process that uses a range of methods and tools to assess a policy, plan or project for its impact on the health and wellbeing of a community.

As a forward looking approach, HIA is best applied in the early stages of policy or planning. HIA can be used to help policy makers and planners address public health requirements of legislation and policy, to incorporate evidence into policy-making, or help consider Treaty of Waitangi implications. 

The four key steps of HIA are as follows:

  • Screening – identifies whether HIA is required by asking what you need to know in relation to a particular policy, plan or project.
  • Scoping – identifies the key issues (determinants of health) that need to be considered to define and shape the HIA according to available resources and capacity; a working group is established and key themes for investigation are identified.
  • Appraisal and reporting – identifies and explores the potential benefits and risks to health and wellbeing, with wide-ranging stakeholder input.
  • Evaluation – both process and impact evaluation can be used to assess the effectiveness of the HIA process and provide information that can be useful for future HIA’s.

HIA process

Health Impact Assessments

Completed HIAs

Population Health has been involved in a number of HIAs. These include: