Health Impact Assessment

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a practice to consider public health in decision-making. Internationally, HIA is defined as a combination of procedures, methods and tools that systematically judges the potential, and sometimes unintended, effects of a policy, plan, program or project on the health of a population and the distribution of those effects within a population.

 

HIA can be used in several phases of the policy process (see Figure 1). Both the Road Pricing HIA and Residential Energy Efficiency HIA develop public health and equity-centered solutions to inform multiple policy targets within their respective policy areas. The Domestic Workers HIA contributes compelling information on the health effects of the main policy decision, the proposed law, California Assembly Bill 889

 

HIA Policy Cycle Diagram

Figure 1: HIA and Policy Cycle (adopted from Roberts, Marc J. Getting Health Reform Right: A Guide to Improviding Performance and Equity. Oxford UP, 2004).

 

The Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability develops, applies and disseminates tools, research and expertise to assess the health impacts of policies, plans, projects, and programs and responds to urban health inequities and environmental policy gaps. For an up-to-date list of all HIAs completed or in progress in San Francisco, click here. To read the full reports or executive summaries of HIAs performed by SFDPH, search the Document Library

 

Guidance for HIA Practitioners

Health Impact Assessment: A Guide for Practice

This Guide, authored by Rajiv Bhatia, describes the essential tasks and activities in the HIA process and discusses common choices and challenges that arise in practice.

 

Minimum Elements and Practice Standards for Health Impact Assessment

The Practice Standards, a consensus of experienced North American HIA practitioners, provide benchmarks for each step in the HIA process.

 

Guidance and Best Practices for Stakeholder Participation in HIA

This guidance document distills stakeholder participation techniques, case studies, and guiding principles from various fields of expertise, including HIA, environmental and social impact assessment, land use and transportation planning, community-based participatory research, and public health.

 

Promoting Equity through the Practice of Health Impact Assessment

The report serves as a primer to demonstrate: 1) how HIA practitioners and equity advocates can ensure that the practice of HIA maintains a strong focus on promoting equity; and 2) how HIA can be used as a tool to support equitable decision-making processes and outcomes.

Contact: Megan Wier, (415) 252-3972, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Training 

Health Impact Assesment Summer Training Course

SFDPH offers an annual training course on health impact assessment. The overall goal of the course is to provide current and future practitioners of HIA experience using available procedures, regulations, and tools to implement an HIA.

Contact: Ti mChoi, (415) 252-3961, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Assessment Tools

Air Quality Measurement and Modeling

The San Francisco air quality model is a computer simulation of hazardous air pollutant concentrations at a neighborhood scale for San Francisco.

Contact: June Weintraub, (415) 252-3973, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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.

Contact: Cyndy Comerford, (415) 252-3989, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Neighborhood Completeness Indicator

Quantitative observational survey to assess the bicycle environment on roadways and evaluate what streetscape improvements could be made to promote bicycling in San Francisco.

Contact: Cyndy Comerford, (415) 252-3989, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Pedestrian Environmental Quality Index

Observational survey which quantifies street and intersection environmental factors empirically known to affect people's travel behaviors.

Contact: Contact: Cyndy Comerford, (415) 252-3989, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Retail Food Availability Survey

Observational survey which assesses the availability of health and affordable foods within stores, and therefore winthin neighborhoods to determine community food security. 

Contact: Cyndy Comerford, (415) 252-3989, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

San Francisco Noise Model

The Noise Model is a computer simulation of ambient noise levels at the neighborhood scale in San Francisco.

Contact: June Weintraub, (415) 252-3973, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The San Francisco Indicator Project

The San Francisco Indicator Project is system of over 100 performance indicators for livable, equitable and prosperous urban cities.

Contact: Meg Wall Shui, (415) 252-3988, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

Vehicle-Pedestrian Injury Collision Model

Practical forecasting tool to predict changes in vehicle-pedestrian injury collisions associated with changes in traffic volume, land use, and additional environmental and demographic factors impacted by development. 

Contact: Megan Wier, (415) 252-3972, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.