13-16 May 2013, Φ Calgary Alberta (CAN): IAIA13

33rd Annual Conference of the International Association for ImpactAssessment (IAIA): Impact Assessment – The next generation. 13-16 May 2013, Calgary Stampede Centre, Calgary, Alberta, CAN, http://conferences.iaia.org/2013/

Final program: http://conferences.iaia.org/2013/pdf/documents/Finalpro_13%20web.pdf

Theme Forum 6.1, Integrating health in impact assessments: Opportunities not to be missed (Health I)

14 May, 9:00-10:30, Chair(s): Francesca Viliani, Rainer Fehr, Marco Martuzzi. Sponsored by IAIA Section: Health

Short: In order to make the most of IA, and to prevent “IA fatigue,” we discuss with experts and practitioners from different IA threads (EIA, SIA, SEA, SA and HIA) the interrelation of various IA forms with health, tools and experiences to be shared and pros and cons of IAs integration.

Extended: The topic of this theme forum “integrating health in impact assessments” is the essence itself of the conference and it is relevant for an international audience as speakers and experience presented originate from different threads of Impact Assessment traditions: EIA, HIA, SEA, SIA and Sustainability Assessment. These IAs share common areas of concern like balancing economic considerations with environmental, social and health impacts. Given its broad and cross-cutting nature, the health dimension is especially challenging. Many IAs often touch upon this issue, or treat it in detail. Given the potential of all IAs, besides HIA, to promote and protect human health, further discussion on the interaction of different forms of IAs, and on strategies for the inclusion of human health in IA, is needed. Objectives include preventing duplication of efforts, preventing “impact assessment fatigue” among stakeholders and policy-makers, and the opportunity for mutual learning- considering the overlap among IA forms.

The aim of the theme forum is to describe the relation between health issues and their respective IA; tools and experiences that can be shared across IAs; how much integration is advisable, and what it might look like. This will serve as basis for the development of recommendations on the way forward…


  • Rainer Fehr, Monica O’Mullane, Gabriel Guliš: Integrating HIA with other IAs
  • Heikki Kalle, Charlotta Faith-Ell, Martin Lund-Iversen: Health in EIA in the Nordic and Baltic countries
  • Thomas Fischer: The consideration of health in SEA
  • Maria Partidario Rosarioe: Strengthening health in SEA – where is the gap?
  • Frank Vanclay, Lea den Broeder: Health in social impact assessment
  • Alan Bond, Jenny Pope: Health in sustainability assessment.

Presentation in Theme Forum 6.1

Monica O’Mullane, Gabriel Guliš, Rainer Fehr (presenting): Integrating Health Impact Assessment (HIA) with other IAs

While the adequate inclusion of human health is an issue for several different types of impact assessments, also a tradition of dedicated HIAs has emerged. HIA is the focus of this presentation, which will discuss the key features of the HIA “culture”, including tools, information gateways, and examples. It outlines commonalities and differences of HIA with other IA types, and subsequently discusses strengths and weaknesses associated with both stand-alone HIA and improving the inclusion of health within other IAs. The focus of this presentation will be on the ways in which HIA can contribute, and indeed enhance, other IAs, for example, its experience with the social determinants of health, the examination of concrete health impacts, and the way in which HIA can be conducted at a strategic or policy level. The existing ties that HIA has with other IAs will be discussed, with consideration made between the practitioner perspective and the experiences at a policy level and non-health sectors. In turn also the presentation will discuss the features and experiences of other IAs, which can be relevant for HIA, such as regarding the standardisation of tools, implementation mechanisms and capacity building models. Further issues to be explored include the debate around the quality assurance of HIA and how to bridge the research and practice gap. Recommendation for the further development of HIA within the family of IAs will be made, in order to enhance health promotion and protection.

Summary: This presentation discusses health impact assessment (HIA) as an important member within the IA ‘family,’ focusing on the commonalities and differences between HIA and the IAs.

Presentation in Theme Forum 6.2 The science and art of international HIA practice: Reflecting the range of HIA practitioners (Health II).

14 May, 11:00-12:30, Chair(s): Francesca Viliani, Lea den Broeder, Marla Orenstein, Ben Cave. Sponsored by IAIA Section: Health

Rainer Fehr, Gabriel Gulis, Marco Martuzzi, Walter Ricciardi, Dineke Zeegers Paget: European experiences with “health” in Impact Assessments

The European Public Health Association (EUPHA) has identified Impact Assessments (IAs) as a strategic approach to protect and promote human health, either within existing forms of IAs, or in the form of dedicated Health Impact Assessments (HIA).

EUPHA is a scientific umbrella organisation for public health, including 42 national associations and bringing together around 12’000 public health experts. Within EUPHA, a section on HIA was formed in order to foster the discussion on health-related opportunities within IAs, including the status of health inclusion in IAs; the merits of integrated assessments; and the quantification of health impacts. The section cooperates with IAIA and the World Health Organization (WHO).

While the health potential of IAs is increasingly acknowledged in European countries, the status of health inclusion as well as of implementing dedicated HIAs varies widely. Several countries, including during their European Union presidencies, have pushed for the issue. The European Commission funded a series of projects (e.g. EPHIA, PHASE, HIA effectiveness), some of them specializing on health impact quantification (e.g. INTARESE, HEIMTSA, RAPID).

With Public Health being oriented towards “Health in all policies” and an attitude of foresight, the inclusion of health in IAs is much in line with current positions. To exploit the full potential, however, is not a trivial task. To deal adequately with the full range of physical and social health determinants requires systematic cooperation of IA specialists with health specialists. Integrated assessment, as practiced by the European Commission, poses additional challenges.

Summary: The European Public Health Association has identified Impact Assessments as a strategic approach to protect and promote human health. European developments are observed and discussed, incl. integrated assessments, projects, quantification.