Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Definitions of HIA

Many different people and organizations have defined HIA. Each definition is similar, differing through the emphasis given to particular components of the HIA approach. There is no correct definition; this is merely a sample of ways to describe HIA.

Main definition

A combination of procedures, methods and tools by which a policy, programme or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of those effects within the population.

Other definitions

Assessment of the change in health risk reasonably attributable to a project, programme or policy and undertaken for a specific purpose.

Martin Birley. The health impact assessment of development projects. London: HMSO (1995)

A structured method for assessing and improving the health consequences of projects and policies in the non-health sector. It is a multidisciplinary process combining a range of qualitative and quantitative evidence in a decision making framework.

Karen Lock. British Medical Journal, 320, pp. 1395-1398 (2000).