The effectiveness of health impact assessment. Scope and limitations of supporting decision-making in Europe



Health impact assessment (HIA) is a support tool for intersectoral decision- and policy-making. It is employed to assess the potential health consequences of pending decisions and it feeds this information back into the decision-making process. This book provides a detailed map of the use of HIA in Europe across a large range of sectors, including transport, environment, urban planning and agriculture, and at national, regional and local levels. It also reviews the implementation and institutionalization of HIA with a specific focus on governance, financing, resource generation and delivery. The effectiveness of HIA is explored and analysed in 17 case studies using a common analytical approach. The research also identifies factors contributing to the effectiveness of HIA. Overall the book demonstrates that HIA can be effective. It also reveals the uneven development and incomplete institutionalization of HIA across Europe. The book is based on a European research project that received funding under the European Union Public Health Work Programme. The research was lead by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and included research teams from 19 countries.

The editors
The editors are based at the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies in Brussels.

Matthias Wismar is a Health Policy Analyst; Julia Blau is European Projects Officer.
Kelly Ernst is a Research Officer; and Josep Figueras is Director of the Observatory.