Health Impact Assessment – Principles and Practice by Dr Martin Birley
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is primarily concerned with the future consequences of plans, proposals and policies on the health of communities. It is a rapidly growing complement to Environmental Impact Assessment,increasingly mandated by national and international requirements. Guidelines have been produced by many national and international organizations and it is being introduced in a number of undergraduate or postgraduate university curricula. However, there has been until now no broad-based, introductory text of international scope to the subject, suitable for both these courses and for professional training.
The purpose of this book is to fill this gap and to introduce the subject of Health Impact Assessment using plain language, in both general and specific contexts and with reference to both market and less developed economies. As a result, the reader should be able to describe what HIA can and cannot achieve, identify the components of a successful HIA and participate in an assessment as a member of a team. Examples are provided from a number of planning and development sectors, including extractive industry, water resource management, and housing. The reader, whether student or professional, need not be a health specialist, although prior knowledge of some public or environmental health would be an advantage.
About the Author
Dr Martin Birley is an independent international consultant in Health Impact Assessment, former Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool, UK, and former Senior Health Advisor on HIA at Shell. He has been at the forefront of global health impact assessment for over 25 years. He was involved in the development of the discipline since its early days in tropical medicine, to its later emergence as an instrument both for healthy public policy in the UK and Europe, and for community safeguards by international development banks. He has personal experience of many sectors including water resource development, agriculture, oil and gas, housing and planning. He has written guidelines for health agencies, development banks and multinational corporations. He continues to work all across the globe as well as in the UK. He runs training courses for institutions worldwide. He currently heads up a London based consultancy, www.BirleyHIA.co.uk . Martin’s depth of experience places him in an ideal position to provide an introduction to the rapidly expanding field of health impact assessment, for the benefit of newcomers and experienced practitioners alike.
‘To many people, Health Impact Assessment is a new concept requiring new skills. A pioneer and global expert in the subject, Dr Birley has been grappling successfully with this challenge for many decades. His book reveals extraordinary experience and insight, providing depth and context to existing HIA guidelines, invaluable to those who are trying to use them.’
Professor Sir Michael Marmot, professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, Chair Commission on Social Determinants of Health and the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010 (Marmot Review) and current president of the BMA
Robert Goodland, former Senior Environmental Advisor to the World Bank Group in Washington, DC, and former president of the International Association for Impact Assessment
‘This is a very comprehensive overview of Health Impact Assessment from a UK and international perspective and will be most useful for both beginners and experienced practitioners. The structure makes it easy to use as a reference book and the wealth of examples bring it to life. It is an excellent contribution to ensuring that HIA continues to develop as an internationally recognised and valued methodology for assessing new developments for their impact on people’s lives and the environment we live in.’
Colleen Williams, former HIA Policy lead at Department of Health, London
Salim Vohra, Director, Centre for Health Impact Assessment, Institute of Occupational Medicine, London
‘With many practical examples from throughout the world, teamed with thoughtful discussion and considered theory, this book provides a bridge for all people interested in the art and science of impact assessment to further develop their understanding and knowledge.’
Robert Quigley, Director, Quigley and Watts Ltd; Co-Director, HIA Research Unit, University of Otago, New Zealand
Margaret Douglas, Consultant in Public Heath, Edinburgh, Scotland
Highly recommended in the British Medical Association annual book awards 2012