Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Health Impact Assessments as part of Strategic Environment Assessments

Resource/Evaluation type

Overview paper

Subject area




This briefing for policy-makers summarizes the main aspects of HIA and the benefits of linking HIA to SEA. It argues that, although health is formally a component of environmental assessments, it often is not addressed adequately, is not integrated into the process, and health expertise is sometimes not even requested during appraisals.
The briefing shows that, as a consequence, hidden costs are transferred from other sectors onto people’s health and onto national health systems.
Implementing HIA as part of SEA is presented as a practical way to: reduce the burden of ill health; coordinate action across sectors; achieve health equity; eliminate hidden costs likely to be transfered to the health-care sector; address the health consequences of non-health policies that were overlooked during planning; and investigate the potential for reallocating resources freed by the use of an integrated approach to policy development.

More information

Owner contact details

WHO European Centre for Environment and Health
Via Francesco Crispi 10
00187 Rome
E-mail: ecehr[at]