Online Program

Promoting Equity through the Practice of Health Impact Assessment

Wednesday, November 6, 2013: 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Addressing health inequities requires a more fair and just distribution of the social, economic, environmental, and political opportunities that yield good health outcomes. This requires ensuring that vulnerable populations play active and leading roles in public decision making that impacts their lives, as well as targeting resources to those communities that have the poorest health outcomes. While many health practitioners and advocates seek to achieve health equity, the tools they have at their disposal to do so are limited. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is an important tool for health equity. It helps communities, public officials, advocates and researchers to understand the health implications of proposed policies, plans, or projects. Equity is a core value of HIA and many practitioners have used HIA to advance equity in decision-making processes. Yet, as HIA becomes more commonly used, there is a risk that the focus on equity will diminish without explicit attention, care, and guidance regarding its role in HIA practice. This session will focus on a report scheduled for release in March 2013 that will provides just this guidance. The report demonstrates: 1) how HIA practitioners and equity advocates can ensure that the practice of HIA maintains a strong focus on promoting equity; and 2) how HIA can be used as a tool to support equitable decision-making processes and outcomes. It describes the centrality of equity in HIA implementation in order to advance just and fair outcomes, and presents a set of principles for guidance in HIA practice. The primer also provides specific strategies for implementing each principle, identifies key challenges to this work, as well as suggestions for overcoming the challenges. Examples, including two detailed case studies, are incorporated to ground the document in real-life experiences. Our goal is to support health practitioners in achieving health equity through HIA. Panelists will describe the newly identified principles of equity in HIA, describe case examples of strategies to implement these principles in HIAs in diverse communities and policy arenas. After presentations the panelists will engage the audience in a discussion on opportunities and challenges to including equity within health practice.
Session Objectives: Explain the imperative for the robust inclusion of equity within the practice of health impact assessment. Describe at least six principles for the inclusion of equity into the practice of health impact assessment. Identify at least four strategies for implementing the principles of equity within a Health Impact Assessment. Name two to four challenges for the implementation of equity within HIA.

Promoting equity through the practice of health impact assessment I   

Victor Rubin, PhD, Jonathan Heller, PhD and Ngozi T. Oleru, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Endorsed by: Law, Medical Care, Black Caucus of Health Workers, Chiropractic Health Care

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)