Online Program

Challenges of community partnership in HIA: A qualitative comparison of experiences from community organizers and HIA conductors

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Laura Blue, MPH Student, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice, Chicago, IL
Joanna Tess, MPH Student, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice, Chicago, IL
background: Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is an increasingly common tool used to determine the impact a policy change will have on the health of a community.  Though HIA is founded in democracy and equity, effective community engagement is challenging for those who conduct HIA.  The present work explores the experiences of conductors of HIA as well as of the primary community partners as they relate to engagement in a HIA in two Latino neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois.

methods: Our analysis is based on secondary data from an external HIA evaluation.  Data includes a total of 18 in-depth interviews with both the HIA conductors and their community partners in three interview waves over the span of 10 months.  The data were analyzed using grounded theory to draw out salient themes from their experiences of the HIA process.

results: Our preliminary findings indicate that engagement and partnership are extremely difficult goals to undertake, particularly in the inherent context of inequality between the institution conducting the HIA and the community partners.  

conclusions: Ideally, partnerships for a HIA should rely on preexisting relationships with relevant stakeholders.  In the absence of preexisting relationships, candid discussions around power and positionality before the HIA begins are necessary to build trust and cohesion. Early conversations regarding goals for the partnership need to include considerations of capacity, funds, and communication expectations for all project partners.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Describe the complicated experience of engagement from the perspective of both community partners and practitioners of HIA. Discuss issues around the importance of early communication regarding expectations and capacity among partners in an HIA

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

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a graduate research student working on this project since it's conception. I have been involved in all aspects of the project from constructing evaluation instruments to data analysis. The work presented on this poster is from my graduate capstone and that of the second author, Joanna Tess.
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.