Online Program

Results of a national evaluation of community participation in Health Impact Assessments: Outcomes in civic agency and public policy

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Kim Gilhuly, MPH, Human Impact Partners, Northampton, MA
Holly Avey, PhD, Human Impact Partners, Oakland, CA
Diana Charbonneau, MA, Center for Community Health and Evaluation, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA
Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) are a research and public engagement tool used to increase the awareness of health and equity in public policy and planning decisions. International standards of HIA include democracy, transparency, equity, ethical use of evidence, and comprehensive consideration of health. One of the best ways to achieve these standards is to authentically engage impacted community members in the HIA process in order to also incorporate their lived experience, preferences, and power into the policy or plan decision-making processes.

A two-year evaluation conducted by a collaboration between a recognized leader in the field of HIA and an evaluation firm assessed the level of community participation in health impact assessment (HIA) nationally as measured by an adaptive scale culled from the Spectrum of Participation from the International Association of Public Participation. The evaluation also solicited the barriers to authentic community participation, ways to address these barriers, the extent to which HIAs build civic agency with community members, and what impact meaningful community participation has on HIA success. This presentation will share findings and recommendations from the evaluation, as well as feature case examples of HIAs that have done exemplary community engagement.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify the successes and challenges in the field of health impact assessment with authentically engaging communities in policies and programs that impact equitable health outcomes. Name the major barriers to authentic community engagement and ways HIA practitioners have met these challenges. Discuss specific examples of exemplary community engagement in HIA, successes attained because of the community participation, and the tools used to achieve participation.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Human Impact Partners was the first organization to nationally use health impact assessment (HIA) as a tool to increase the use of health and equity in public decisions. I have an MPH from the University of California at Berkeley and have conducted or provided technical assistance for more than 40 HIAs or Health in All Policies (HiAP) projects across the country in collaboration with public health departments, advocates, community organizations, academics, planners, and others.
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.