21 March 2012

Moving Forward Equity: policy proposals for Spain

Commission on the Reduction of Social Inequalities in Health in Spain published this report in May 201o in Spanish. The English language version has recently come out.

Click here to download the English version.

Click here to go to download the Spanish version and see what else Spain is doing on health inequalities.

The Commission priorities have been actioned through work on nine policies under four themes:

A. To develop Health Equity Information Systems to guide public policies
  • Health Equity National Monitoring Network 
  • Health Impact Assessment in Public Policies
  • Report on Health Inequalities in Spain 
B. To promote and develop knowledge and tools fo intersectoral work: moving forward to the concept of  Health and Equity in All Policies.
  • Creation of intersectoral bodies 
  • Inclusion of specific objectives in health plans 
  • Training in Health Equity for professionals of Health sector 
  • Actions to raise awareness of the importance of health inequalities 
C. To develop a Global Plan for Childhood and Youth Health, which protects equal opportunities for all children protects equal opportunities for all children's development, regardless of their parents' conditions.
  • Global Support to Childhood
D. To develop a plan for political visibility of the National Strategy on Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health.
  • Political visibility Plan

12 March 2012

IAIA12 word cloud

The IAIA 2012 organizing committe has terminated the selection of papers and posters and this is a graphic representation of the next IAIA conference: Energy Future - The Role of Impact Assessment Porto, Portugal 27 May - 1 June 2012

For more information check the conference webpage: http://iaia.org/iaia12

10 March 2012

OiRA: Online interactive Risk Assessment, a free web application to assess workplace risks

Developed by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, OiRA – Online interactive Risk Assessment – is an easy-to-use and cost-free web application that can help micro and small organisations to put in place a step-by-step risk assessment process – starting with the identification and evaluation of workplace risks, through to the decision making and implementation of preventative actions, to monitoring and reporting.

The development of an OiRA tool consists of 3 steps:
• Step 1: Preparation and development of an OiRA tool
A good project plan drawn up together with the relevant parties (trade associations, trade unions, national authorities, etc.) will help in the development of the OiRA tool.
• Step 2: Implementation of an OiRA tool
A correct implementation of the OiRA tool will ensure that it will be used by employers/employees and applied on the shop floor.
• Step 3: Maintenance and updating of an OiRA tool
An OiRA tool has to be maintained and updated periodically.

Find out more here: http://www.oiraproject.eu/#mainContent#title

9 March 2012

La pagina Progetto HIA21 e` online

Nella strategia generale sui rifiuti dell'Unione (1996) si stabilisce la gerarchia preferenziale delle operazioni di gestione. Al terzo gradino di tale gerarchia è previsto lo “smaltimento finale ottimale e il migliore monitoraggio”. La strategia sottolinea anche la necessità di prevedere nuovi e migliori strumenti di gestione del ciclo dei rifiuti. Nello stesso documento la DG Ambiente dell'UE sostiene che il cittadino può, e deve, chiedere costantemente all'amministrazione locale quali interventi essa compie per migliorare la situazione dei rifiuti a livello locale.

Da qui nace il Progetto HIA21

Toscana e Abruzzo, le regioni nelle quali sono ubicati i due impianti pilota del progetto HIA21, hanno una produzione annuale di RSU di circa 2.545.014 e 699.265 tonnellate, con una produzione procapite rispettivamente di 686 e 524 chilogrammi per abitante.

Le azioni di HIA21
• monitoraggi sulle varie matrici ambientali come aria, acqua, suolo e agenti fisici, indagini epidemiologiche sui principali indicatori sanitari, indagini di carattere economico e sociale.
• consultazioni periodiche e costanti con i portatori d'interesse (stakeholders) e con le popolazioni locali.
• incontri con la popolazione per discutere gli stati di avanzamento dei lavori, per pianificare insieme le azioni da intraprendere per la valutazione degli impatti e recepire suggerimenti e istanze da parte delle popolazioni locali.

HIA in the Atlantic

There's a great piece on health impact assessment on the Atlantic Cities website: How to Measure a Project's Health

Participate in a Survey on HIA for a PhD research

In 2009 a Danish Disease Prevention Committee published a report on potential governmental initiatives for ensuring the population a longer and healthier life. One of their conclusions was that it was recommended to “Perform Health Impact Assessments on political decisions on a national level where a decision is presumed to have DIRECT and DOCUMENTED effects on the health and sickness of the public”. This survey is intended to uncover your understanding of a policy having a direct and documented effect on health outcomes.

You find the survey here: http://www.survey-xact.dk/LinkCollector?key=A77ZCHZ21JCJ

If you have problems with the survey please contact Stella Rebecca Johnsdatter Kræmer at: skraemer@health.sdu.dk

7 March 2012

They're world leaders in health impact assessment. Find out more about HIA in Thailand.

Thailand is a world leader in health impact assessment. I've learned a lot from colleagues in the National Health Commission Office and the Healthy Public Policy Foundation over the eight years that we've worked together. They have a sophisticated and nuanced approach to HIA that recognises that there's more than one way to undertake HIA and that HIA is rarely an end in itself.

As I've spoken to colleagues elsewhere I've been dismayed about how little they've engaged with the work that's happened in Thailand. Often this is due to language barriers (few people read Thai outside Thailand), assumptions that little can be learned outside western countries (this is flat-out wrong), or a view that Thailand is a "special case" (it is, but we can still learn from its unique circumstances).

Ignorance is no longer an excuse however! The National Health Commission Office for Thailand has put together an excellent series of English language publications on their experiences with HIA. I urge you to take a look. The books and reports chronicle the details and experiences of HIA in Thailand. There's a lot to learn from these publications.

The NHCO website also includes publications on healthy public policy, Thailand's incredible and inspirational system of Health Assemblies, and their National Health Act.

5 March 2012



Mercoledì 28 Marzo 2012 presso la SALA Conferenze A della III Torre a Bologna (Viale della Fiera 8) si svolgerà il convegno conclusivo del progetto CCM-Regione Emilia-Romagna VISPA dal titolo "Nuovi strumenti di Sanità Pubblica" dove verranno presentati gli esiti del progetto CCM–Regione Emilia-Romagna "Sperimentazione dell’utilizzo della Valutazione degli Impatti sulla Salute (VIS) a supporto dell’espressione dei pareri di sanità pubblica in Conferenza dei servizi".
Il progetto VISPA, finanziato dal Ministero della Salute e coordinato dal Servizio di Sanità Pubblica della Regione Emilia-Romagna in collaborazione con l’Azienda USL di Reggio Emilia, ha coinvolto i territori di sei diverse regioni italiane con l’obiettivo di testare un modello di VIS Rapida da utilizzare per l’espressione dei pareri in sede di Conferenza dei Servizi.
Una importante ricaduta del progetto è la creazione di una rete di esperti per facilitare la diffusione di pratiche e lo scambio di conoscenze sulla VIS. Sarà un’occasione per riunire la comunità di tecnici ed esperti di VIS in Italia e fare il punto sull’integrazione degli aspetti sanitari nelle pratiche di valutazione degli impatti di politiche e progetti.

Info: aballarini@regione.emilia-romagna.it

4 March 2012

Consultation and cooperation with Indigenous People

Health Impact Assessment is always concerned with community involvement and participation. And many practitioners can agree that ”community participation is intuitively appealing but practically difficult (Parry and Wright 2003).
Even more so when one deals with indigenous people. I had an interesting exchange on this with some colleagues dealing with Social Impact Assessment in Greenland. They were surprised that “experts” and “companies” did not realize that Greenlandic population might be Inuit and inhabit the arctic, but it does not mean that they share the same culture of Canadians and Americans or Russians Inuits
The right of local communities and indigenous people to make informed and voluntary decisions about the transformation happening in their local environments should be the essence of Impact Assessment. There is a recent article written by Paul Klein summarizing some ideas to help corporations have better, more inclusive relationships with indigenous people and communities. And mainly:
1. Spend time learning the history and culture of local indigenous people with the goal of building relationships and trust.
2. Acknowledge the right of indigenous people to informed consent; engage third party experts, chosen in consultation with affected communities, to assess and verify local conditions.
3. Ensure communities have timely access to all relevant information about any proposal affecting indigenous territories and offer resources in formats that are culturally appropriate, available in indigenous languages, and easy to understand.
4. Recognize that indigenous people are seeking the same community goals as corporations: better education, more employment and improved economic opportunities.
5. Understand that indigenous people look at time horizons and development differently and that actions taken must benefit future generations.
6. Remember that there are unique rights that are protected and advanced by indigenous people. Indigenous people have a stewardship relationship with the land; they support development but they must also care for the land.
7. Be realistic. It takes time for communities to respond to employment and business opportunities that are presented by extraction projects. Mining companies need to spend time working with communities to understand and act on those opportunities well in advance of the approval stages.
8. Establish co-management and co-responsibility. Accountability begins with shared responsibility for targets and outcomes.
9. Support local economic development. During the course of a mine’s operations, indigenous communities need to diversify and develop their own economies so that once the mine leaves, there are sustainable gains.
10. Ensure that the community has a consent process in place prior to initiating environmental and social impact assessments.
To the above some readers have added:
11. No two indigenous communities should be considered the same (which caught my attentions about the discussion on Greenland).
12. The right to say no to the proposed development

Do you have any other ideas or recommendations to add?

Health Impact Assessment in the ASEAN Community

Some really interesting presentations and information from the first ASEAN Meeting on Health Impact Assessment held in Thailand in February.

2 March 2012

HIA Gateway Resource Update

HIA of Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan: US

Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC): update January 2012

HIA Toolkit for Cities (WHO). Document 2:Training Module

Current Use:
New incinerator study - HPA

Senior Officer, Health Impact Project, US

MWIA Newsletter: January 2012

HIA in Ireland and the role of local government

Theory Issues:
Recognising the potential of cities (BMJ article)

Influencing land use planning: paper

HIA: A Tool to Benefit Health in all Policies

Training Courses:
Social Impact Assessment Training, 27-28th May, Porto

Web seminar: housing in the new agenda for health and wellbeing, 9th February

The HIA Bibliography is updated quarterly. It was recently updated in November 2011 and has 49 new references.