HIA Toolkit

HIA Toolkit Overview

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The Greenprint Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Online Toolkit is a compendium of tools and resources to help inform HIAs conducted on proposed programs, projects, and policies in the Mid-South Regional area.

Click the tabs to explore the Toolkit and its resources. Below resources are organized by stage and Greenprint strategic direction.

Community Member or Advocate You can use this toolkit to learn more about HIA and to inform decisions that will affect your neighborhood or community
Planner, Engineer, or Designer You can use this toolkit to assess and maximize the health benefits of Greenprint-related planning projects
Policymaker or Elected Official You can use this toolkit to inform the policy process and determine how decisions will impact the health of your constituents
Public Health Professional You can use this toolkit to assess the impact of projects that are outside of the health sector but may have clear and direct health effects

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a tool that helps stakeholders – including communities, planners, and policymakers –  to objectively evaluate the potential health effects of a program, project, or policy before it is implemented.

HIAs can be particularly meaningful when they are used to assess proposed decisions outside of the health sector that do not seem to have obvious public health impacts (e.g., housing, education, criminal justice, economics, etc.)  By bringing public health issues to the attention of decision-makers prior to the implementation of a program, project, or policy, HIAs provide opportunities to enhance potential positive health outcomes and minimize potential health-related risks.

There are five key values of HIA:

1. Democracy
2. Equity
3. Sustainable Development
4. Scientific and Robust Practice
5. Holistic Approach to Health
Tool & URL Description Source
Healthy Places: Health Impact Assessment Website that provides a variety of information and resources related to HIA U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Health Impact Assessment: A Practical Guide Guide that provides a practical approach to undertaking HIA based on the findings of the New South Wales HIA project The University of New South Wales Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity
Improving Health and Reducing Inequality: A Practical Guide to Health Impact Assessment Step-by-step guide to help organizations use the HIA approach Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU)
Health Impact Assessment: A Guide for Practice Guide that describes the key tasks and activities for HIA as well as the issues and challenges that arise in the course of practice Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Health Impact Assessment Guidance Guidance manual that describes HIA and the stages involved Institute of Public Health in Ireland
Health Impact Assessment: Bringing Public Health Data to Decision Making Fact sheet that describes the HIA process, benefits and best practices of HIA, and HIA opportunities Health Impact Project
A Health Impact Assessment Toolkit: A Handbook to Conducting HIA Handbook that introduces and defines HIA, describes each step of the HIA process, and discusses other aspects of HIA such as collaboration and when to use HIA Human Impact Partners
Health Impact Assessment: Toolkit for Cities Document presents the links between health, the determinants of health, and HIA; explains the different forms of impact assessment processes; describes the technical steps of HIA; and provided case examples of HIA at the local level World Health Organization
Rapid Health Impact Assessment Toolkit A step-by-step guide on how to prepare for and execute an HIA workshop in your community Design for Health (DFH)
HIA Elements and Practice Standards Standards for the application of HIA North American HIA Practice Standards Working Group
HIA Summary Guides Summaries for each of the steps of HIA and community participation in HIA Human Impact Partners
Health Impact Assessment: Quick Guide “Quick Guide” to orient potential users of HIAs who are working to create healthier living environments National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO)
Health Impact Assessment: International Best Practice Principles Guide that describes the underpinning concepts and principles of conducting an HIA, discusses who does an HIA and the methods they use, and provides a glossary of terms International Association for Impact Assessments (IAIA)
How Can Health Impact Assessments Lead to Better Policy Decisions? Issue brief that examines how health impact assessments help policy-makers consider how decisions will affect health and offer guidance for improving health and minimizing health-related risks and costs Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

HIA Tools By Stage

Screening determines whether a proposal is likely to have health effects and whether the HIA will provide useful information.

Tool Description Source
Screening White Paper In-depth discussion of questions to address in choosing a topic for a HIA Human Impact Partners
Screening Worksheet (NNPHI) Worksheet that lists basic issues that should be considered when screening potential policies, programs, or projects for HIA; answers to these questions can help users determine whether or not to proceed with an HIA on a particular policy, program, or project National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Screening Worksheet (Human Impact Partners) Sample worksheet to guide HIA screening Human Impact Partners
HIA Readiness Question Guide Questions to consider with prospective HIA partners to determine their preparedness for launching a HIA Human Impact Partners

Scoping establishes the breadth of health effects that will be considered by the HIA and identifies the populations that will be addressed.

Tool Description Source
Scoping Worksheets (NNPHI) Worksheets that can be used to guide the HIA scoping process National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Scoping Worksheet #1:  Defining Your HIA Goals 
Scoping Worksheet #2:  Identifying Stakeholders 
Scoping Worksheet #3:  Delineating and describing the impacted population(s) 
Scoping Worksheet #4:  Pathway Diagrams
Scoping Worksheet #5:  Research questions, data needs, and assessment methodology, by health determinant 
Scoping Worksheet (Human Impact Partners)  Sample worksheet to guide HIA scoping Human Impact Partners
Pathway Diagram Examples Sample pathway diagrams connecting various issues to health for use in the HIA scoping step Human Impact Partners
Example of an HIA Scope Example of a completed HIA scope Human Impact Partners

Assessment is a two-step process that involves: (1) identifying available data sources and methods that can quantify and describe current or existing conditions; and (2) using data, resources, and literature to describe predicted health impacts.

Tool Description Source
Assessment Overview Document that provides an overview of the assessment process National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Assessment Planning Worksheet Worksheet that can be used to help plan for the assessment phase of an HIA project National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Definitions Used for Effect Characterization  Definitions that can be used to describe the likelihood, magnitude, severity, and duration of possible health effects, as well as populations that may be particularly vulnerable National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Evidence Base Searchable database of peer-reviewed public health literature that includes important information regarding social determinants, the built environment, and health Human Impact Partners
Data Sources List of commonly used data sources in HIA Human Impact Partners

Recommendations involve using assessment findings to develop suggestions for how positive health impacts can be maximized and negative health impacts mitigated.

Tool Description Source
Recommendations Overview Document that provides an overview of the recommendations process National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Recommendations Worksheet: Mitigation, Enhancement, Adoption Worksheet to help consider possible recommendations for an HIA project National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)

Reporting involves the presentation of findings and recommendations to decision-makers and stakeholders.

Tool Description Source
Reporting & Communications Overview Document that provides an overview of the reporting process National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
HIA Report Guide Document that suggests a basic structure for an HIA report and the types of information that, at a minimum, should be included Human Impact Partners
Reporting  & Communications Worksheets Worksheets to support the development of an HIA report National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Reporting & Communications Worksheet #1:  Know Your Audience, Know Your Message
Reporting & Communications Worksheet #2:  Developing a Dissemination Plan 
A Six-Question Framework for Evaluating Policy Brief guide used to prompt larger, systems-level thinking around evaluating policy Georgia Health Policy Center
Communicating about Health Impacts Fact sheet that presents practical ideas for presenting information about the HIA process and the findings to a variety of audiences Design for Health

Monitoring and Evaluation includes monitoring the implementation of HIA recommendations and evaluating the process, impact, or outcomes resulting from the HIA.

Tool Description Source
HIA Monitoring & Evaluation Worksheet: Indicators and Data Collection Worksheet that supports the identification of evaluation indicators and data sources to support monitoring and evaluating the HIA process National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Monitoring & Evaluation Overview Document that defines different types of evaluations that can be conducted on an HIA, the challenges and benefits of evaluation, and examples of evaluation questions National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Example HIA Monitoring Plan An example of the HIA Monitoring Plan from the Kohala Center’s Health Impact Assessment in Hawaii Human Impact Partners
HIA Evaluation Sample Questions Sample questions for evaluating an HIA process Human Impact Partners

HIA Tools By Strategic Directions

green-icon  A Regional Interconnected Network of Parks, Greenways, and Open Spaces

Resource Description Source
City Parks Forum Briefing Papers Briefing papers that describe how healthy parks are fundamental to many aspects of community prosperity, including improving economic and public health, creating a strong sense of community, and supporting overall quality of life American Planning Association (APA)
Healthy Places: Parks and Trails HIA Toolkit Web-based toolkit that provides resources to support HIAs on proposed park and trail projects U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How Natural and Built Environments Impact Human Health Brief that describes how natural and built environments affect people’s mental and physical well-being throughout their lives Cornell University
Parks and Other Green Environments: Essential Components of a Healthy Human Habitat Research report that presents an overview of what scientists have discovered about the relationship between nature and human health National Recreation and Park Association

gray-icon  Equitable Participation and Community Ownership

Resource Description Source
Focus Group Fundamentals Bulletin that describes the fundamental aspects of focus groups by distinguishing them from other research tools Iowa State University Extension
Guidance and Best Practices for Stakeholder Participation in HIA Guide that distills stakeholder participation techniques, case studies, and guiding principles from various fields of expertise Stakeholder Participation Working Group of the 2010 HIA of the Americas Workshop
HIA Committees’ Roles and Functions Summarizes the purpose, roles, and functions of the various types of committees involved in HIAs Human Impact Partners
HIA for Organizers Summary of how HIA has been used in organizing, including examples of HIA and organizing wins and simple steps organizers can take to take to build their capacity around HIA Human Impact Partners
Participation in Planning for Health Tools that can be used in public participation processes or modified for such use Design for Health
Participatory Photo Mapping (PPM) Project Summary of how to use PPM to develop and design collaborative projects and networks to improve health and well-being of communities University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health
Promoting Equity Through HIA Primer describing strategies that practitioners can take to ensure that the value of equity be meaningfully incorporated into HIA Human Impact Partners
Promoting Equity through the Practice of Health Impact Assessment Primer that describes how:  (1) HIA practitioners and equity advocates can ensure that the practice of HIA maintains a strong focus on promoting equity; and (2) HIA can be used as a tool to support equitable decision-making processes and outcomes. PolicyLink, Adler School of Professional Psychology, Human Impact Partners, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health
Roles for Collaborators Examples of roles for collaborators in the HIA process Human Impact Partners

yellow-icon  Enhanced Access through Transportation Choices

Resource Description Source
Bicycle Environmental Quality Index Quantitative observational survey to assess the bicycle environment on roadways and evaluate what streetscape improvements could be made to promote bicycling in San Francisco San Francisco Department of Public Health
Healthy Places: Transportation HIA Toolkit Web-based toolkit that provides resources  to support HIAs on proposed transportation projects, plans, and policies U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
How Does Transportation Impact Health? Issue brief that examines the health impacts and costs that should be factored into decisions about transportation and community development at all levels Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Pedestrian Environmental Quality Index Tool to prioritize improvements in pedestrian infrastructure during the planning process San Francisco Department of Public Health
Safe, Healthy, & Active Transportation Toolkit Toolkit containing resources and evidence that can be used to support and advance Smart Growth, livability, and improved built environment efforts Safe States Alliance
Tools for Sustainable Transportation List of tools that support sustainable transportation initiatives Smart Communities Network
Transportation Issues from the Public Health Perspective Website that provides resources and information on the links between public health, equity, and transportation American Public Health Association (APHA)
Using Health Impact Assessments to Evaluate Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans White paper that provides a general overview of the HIA process, two HIA case studies, and a comprehensive list of HIAs completed on bike and pedestrian initiatives Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Vehicle-Pedestrian Injury Collision Model Model that predicts change in the number of collisions resulting in pedestrian injury or death associated with area-level changes in street, land use and population characteristics due to new development or transportation system changes San Francisco Department of Public Health

orange-icon  Healthy and Safe Communities

Resource Description Source
Air Quality Measurement and Modeling  Description of the various existing tools utilized to characterize air pollutant concentrations and hot spots within San Francisco San Francisco Department of Public Health
Neighborhood Completeness Indicator Quantitative spatial assessment tool measuring the proximity of San Francisco residents to daily goods and services in their neighborhoods San Francisco Department of Public Health
 Retail Food Availability Survey Survey that assesses the availability of healthy foods within stores and within neighborhoods to determine community food security San Francisco Department of Public Health
San Francisco Noise Model Model that estimates community noise levels in all areas of the City based on the generation and dispersion of traffic and industrial point sources of noise emissions San Francisco Department of Public Health

cocoa-icon  Improved Neighborhoods and Fair Housing Choices

Resource Description Source
Affordable Housing and Smart Growth Report that provides case studies of towns, cities, and states that have linked smart growth with affordable housing Smart Growth Network
Housing and Health Evidence Review for HIA Guidance document that was developed to inform HIAs related to housing Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU)
Housing and Transportation Affordability Index Tool that measures the true affordability of housing based on its location Center for Neighborhood Technology

sky-blue-icon  Sustainable Resources and a Quality Environment

Resource Description Source
Green Development Tools List of tools that support green development initiatives Smart Communities Network
Land Use Planning Tools List of tools that support land use planning projects Smart Communities Network
Sustainability Planning Toolkit Comprehensive and step-by-step guide and toolkit to help cities and counties develop a sustainability plan International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Local Governments for Sustainability USA

red-icon  A Productive Workforce and Economy

Resource Description Source
Health Impacts of Employment:  A Review Evidence briefing that sheds light on the impact of employment policies on health The Institute of Public Health in Ireland
How Does Employment—or Unemployment— Affect Health? Issue brief that examines the role that employment plays in health Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

teal-icon  Effective Long-term Regional Planning

Resource Description Source
Comprehensive Planning for Public Health Report that highlights the results of a web-based survey used to identify comprehensive and sustainability plans that explicitly address public health American Planning Association (APA)
Equitable Development Toolkit Online toolkit that includes 27 tools to reverse patterns of segregation and disinvestment, prevent displacement, and promote equitable revitalization PolicyLink
Healthy Planning Guide Guide intended to help public health and planning departments collaborate on strategies to promote healthier communities Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII)
Livability & Smart Growth Assessment Tool Database Database that provides centralized access to basic assessment tools and checklists that can assist users with evaluating their communities’ degree of livability Safe States Alliance
Mixed-Income Transit-Oriented Development Action Guide Tool for local jurisdictions working to foster mixed-income transit-oriented development (TOD) around planned transit stations Center for Transit-Oriented Development
Planning and Health Resource Guide for Designing and Building Healthy Neighborhoods Resource guide that provides links to guides, checklists, audit tools, web sites, and pamphlets that can help planners, local officials, and citizens create vibrant neighborhoods where the healthy choice is the easy choice. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Restructuring the Commercial Strip: A Practical Guide for Planning the Revitalization of Deteriorating Strip Corridors  A guide to coordinating public and private investments and essential planning and design strategies to create a multimodal transportation system and thriving neighborhoods U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Sustainable Communities Index (SCI) A comprehensive evaluation metric that supports the inclusion and consideration of health needs in urban land use plans and projects San Francisco Department of Public Health
Sustainable Management Approaches and Revitalization Tools – electronic (SMARTe) Open-source, web-based decision support system that contains resources and analysis tools for all aspects of the land revitalization process including planning, environmental, economic, and social concerns Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC)
UCLA Health Impact Decision Support Tool (DST) Graphical, spreadsheet-based tool designed to help decision-makers systematically synthesize, weigh, and compare evidence University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)