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Pre-conference: Health Impact Assessment (HIA) institutionalization and multisectoral collaboration in Europe


Wednesday 20 November, 12:30 - 17:00

Organised by:

EUPHA Section Health impact assessment; WHO Regional Office for Europe; National Institute of Health Dr Ricardo Jorge (INSA), Portugal; Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU)/Public Health Wales (PHW), United Kingdom; NRW Centre for Health (LZG.NRW), Germany; International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) Health Section 

Background

The importance of health impact assessment (HIA) has been recognized and promoted through diverse international frameworks, statements and policies. However, only a limited number of countries or regions have developed HIA as a statutory process. While HIA is seen as a beneficial tool to support and enable Health in All Policies and intersectoral collaboration, it needs to advance and evolve into a tool that is consistently and routinely used to facilitate and maximise health and well-being and reduce and address inequalities.

Furthermore, as health is impacted by policies and decisions taken outside of the health sectors, health inclusive environmental assessments play an important role in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, the integration of health into city planning can improve health and health determinants through more compact, efficient design of housing, transport, green spaces and other infrastructures. Thus, not only it ensures healthy lives and promotes well-being for all at all ages (SDG3) but also supports achieving sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), builds resilient infrastructure, promotes inclusive and sustainable industrialization (SDG 9) among others.

While HIAs are mostly conducted voluntarily, environmental assessments such as Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) are carried out based on legal regulations. By 2017 the revised EU Directive (2011/92/EU) on EIA had to be transposed into national legislation. Importantly the new Directive (2014/52/EU) includes explicitly “population, and human health” in the list of topics to be considered in an EIA. However, the directive does not provide a specific definition for any of the two terms, nor guidance on how to assess the potential health effects related to a project, or the necessary qualifications of professionals tasked with the assessment of these effects. To this respect, public health professionals need to become aware of the regulations of environmental assessments to be able to answer to the environmental experts question on possible health impacts, assess these impacts and if needed give their consent to projects.

Aims

The aims of this pre-conference are to strengthen the knowledge on HIA in Europe, to share experiences in institutionalizing HIA and integrating a broad consideration of health and well-being, the use of HIA in environmental assessments and other impact assessments, as well as sharing the latest research on HIA.

Provisional programme

Detailed programme with names of speakers and titles of presentations will follow.

09.00 – 09.30

Opening by the organizers team
Key Note speech 

09.30 – 10.30

Session 1 – Institutionalization of HIA across Europe: practical examples, policy mobilization and research results
Chair: Odile Mekel

4 Presentations

10.30 11.00

Coffee break

11.00 – 12.30 

Session 2 – Using HIA inside and outside the health sector : practical examples and policy mobilization
Chair: Teresa Caldas de Almeida

5 Presentations and plenary discussion

12.30 13.45

Lunch break and poster walk/presentations in small groups

13.45 – 15.00

Session 3 - The role of HIA in achieving Health in All Policies and the SDGs: practical examples and policy mobilization
Chair: Julia Nowacki

4 Presentations and plenary discussion

15.00 – 15.30

Coffee break

 

15.30 – 17.00

Session 4 – Integrating HIA in environmental assessments: practical examples and policy mobilization
Chair: Liz Green

5 Presentations and plenary discussion

17.00 – 17.30

Open questions and closing comments 

 

Registration fee

The registration fee is € 140 which includes networking lunch and refreshments.