Plenary Session 1: Finland - HiAP and HIA


Timo Stahl, Led the development of Human Impact Assessment in Finland


HiAP Not a new innovation same as healthy public publicy and intersectoral action for health. It was set up at Alma Ata and Ottawa.

But there was an implementation gap and the aim of HiAP was about how to do it not whether it should be done.

How does Quebec HIA2012 related to other global conferences?

  • Non Communicable disease is only the second issue - after HIV/AIDS - for a WHO global conference on Health Promotion.
  • NCDs single biggest cause of death in the world.
  • 90% of premature deaths from NCDs occur in developing countries.
  • Heart disease and stroke, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease
  • New York political declaration and Rio Declaration place an emphasis on prevention and reducing health inequalities with HIA as an explicit approach in the Rio Declaration.
HiAP Approach

  • Few definitions of the concept
  • Characterised it as approach that emphasises public policies, on citizen's health, health determinants, capacity of health systems, and integration of considerations of health, wellbeing and equity
  • Not the same as whole of government approach but similar

Key elements of HiAP
  • Democratic and transparent policy making
  • Legitimacy
  • Political literacy
  • public health literacy
  • Organisational structure for collaborating with other sectors
  • Political will


It is possible to implement HiAP even if health is not high on the political agenda.


Implementing HiAP

  • National admnistration - intersectional committees, impact assessment, policy audits, policy review and assessments, joint action...
  • Political process - specific committees, required review and oversight processes, hearings and consultations, public health reports, informal parliamentary coalitions and networks

Last few words on HIA

  • World is full of IAS economic, environment, business...142 IAs in 2004
  • How do policymakers know what IA to use?
  • Key questions - integrated in routine planning or commissioned, the investment in IA should be proportional to the health issue and policy decision
  • HIA is important but so are IA
  • Not realistic that other sectors will do HIA
  • IIA needs attention - other sectors may be more responsive to this since their areas are also assessed, IIA gives access to other sectors, if institutionalised then no selection possible, a risk that health impacts are neglected
  • Strong health component in other IAs - health sector needs to work on this and ensure it

  • Good time for concrete action
  • Need how to guidance
  • Aim is to reduce NCDs by 25% by 2025

Encourage you to follow the Helsinki conference next year in 2013, thank you.








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