We have had a busy 2014-2015.
Several publications have been produced over the past year, all intended to support HIA practice.
Image: Ryan Dickey. Flickr Creative Commons
First, we have started to put together a “toolbox” into which we have placed three new documents: a cost calculator for enabling those who are thinking about launching an HIA to plan the necessary resources; a screening grid to use during the first step of an HIA process to help standardize the practice; and a scoping tool to help frame the entire process. This latter tool poses key questions for each of the HIA's steps.
With similar goals in mind, we have produced a short document entitled When to Perform an HIA
? Here we have set out to distinguish HIA from similar practices and to help clarify the kinds of situations for which HIA would be the most pertinent approach.
Also during this period, NCCHPP staff actively collaborated in the analysis and production of an HIA report produced by the public health department of the Montérégie region in Québec. The HIA focused on the implementation of a T.O.D. (a transit-oriented development) in a residential development project. That report is available here
Two webinars were offered, the first of which was developed for the Public Health Physicians of Canada in order to introduce the HIA approach. Learn more here
. The second webinar, intended for public health practitioners, focused on citizen participation in the HIA process. This webinar
was the first in a series called “Practitioners take the microphone” in which much of the focus will be on discussion among participants. Meetings
While we are focusing more and more on electronic and technological means for communicating, the Centre responded to an invitation from the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) to make a presentation on HIA as a decision-support tool during their conference in Fredericton in the summer of 2014. The online courses, always popular
All during this period, we have continued to offer two online courses that introduce HIA to those who wish to get to know it. The course HIA step by step is 12 hours in duration and provides enough introductory information to participants to enable them to launch into their first HIA, and to use what they learn to gain more insights through practice. This course provides participants with the option to obtain continuing medical education credits. The course was taken by two groups during autumn 2014, one in English and one in French, which included about fifty participants from Canada and abroad. Collaboration and partnerships in Canada and abroad
On the international scene, the Centre has continued its collaboration with l'Institut national de prévention et d'éducation pour la santé (INPES - the national institute for prevention and education for health, now called Santé publique France or public health France). Among our collective interests is the INPES's involvement in developing a document on advocacy for HIA in France. We also participated in a forum on HIA during the Journées de la prevention (prevention days) in France in June 2015. This participation followed the production of two documents by the NCCHPP for the IUHPE (International Union for Health Promotion and Education) on the main characteristics of existing HIA guides, and on core/essential competencies for HIA. Also, we responded to an invitation from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland for a workshop on HIA for evaluation researchers and students.
Finally, we have entered into a contract with Québec's ministry of health and social services with respect to revising the HIA guide that is used in applying section 54 of the Public Health Act
. What's next ?
We will be publishing a briefing note on mental health impact assessment (MHIA), an emerging practice that may be of interest to HIA practitioners, to mental health practitioners as well as to public health practitioners who see their roles intersecting with mental health work.
Two online courses will soon be available. The introductory 12-hour course, HIA step by step, will be offered again in French and in English, and the new 4-hour course on reviewing the quality of outsourced HIA reports. This latter course was conceived by Ben Cave, an internationally-recognized expert who has developed a guide to help public health practitioners to review and judge the quality of HIAs produced by third parties. As with our other online courses, this course will offer participants continuing education credits.
One final note about another online course: our university-level, 45-hour course offered through the University of Montréal will be offered in French in winter 2016.
Please do not hesitate to send us a note with your thoughts and suggestions about our work to date or where you think we should direct our attention. We would be very pleased to hear from you. .