256500 Evaluation of Health Impact Assessment Training and Capacity-building in the United States

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Joseph Schuchter, MCP, MPH , School of Public Health, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Edmund Y. W. Seto, PhD , School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Candace Rutt, PhD , Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
To date, a variety of activities have been used to develop Health Impact Assessment (HIA) capacity. In the U.S., over 500 people were trained in 22 courses run by the CDC since 2006. An additional 500 people have been trained by organizations such as the San Francisco Department of Health and Human Impact Partners, as well at least a half dozen universities sponsoring graduate-level courses. Few of these HIA trainings have been evaluated to assess long-term outcomes. Meanwhile, many new practitioners are continuing to enter the field of HIA. We conducted nearly 50 semi-structured interviews among a sample of HIA trainees and practitioners throughout the U.S.. The interviews probed on the trainee's background, pre-training motivation and propensity, the effectiveness of the training, and post-training transfer and workplace implementation. Results show a great diversity among the trainees, ranging from inexperienced but interested to seasoned professionals and area experts. Some work in progressive, well-resourced organizations, while most others do not. Trainees often have a very real issue for which they plan to use HIA. Though the majority of trainees work in public health, an increasing number come from other agencies such as planning and transportation. Though not always immediately applicable, in general trainees used the knowledge and skills acquired to disseminate the HIA framework to colleagues and partners. Moving forward, trainees and practitioners need assistance with quantitative methods, project management, writing and framing recommendations, and evaluating HIA effectiveness. Further such evaluation of capacity-building is needed, given the rapid growth of this field.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the scope of HIA training activity to date Identify current training needs Describe the best practices in training a variety of HIA practitioners

Keywords: Training, Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have master's degrees in both city planning and public health, and am currently pursuing my doctorate in public health. My dissertation is focused on evaluating the field of Health Impact Assessment. I have taken a graduate-level HIA course, have conducted and HIA, and am collaborating with other experts in the field of HIA through various working groups. I am currently a co-investigator on a CDC-sponsored grant to evaluate HIA training and practice.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.