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 30 years.
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 30 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 BirleyHIA. 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.
Martin is a recipient of various awards including the Individual Award of the IAIA:
“This award is given to an individual who has made a major contribution to the discipline of impact assessment at an international level. For 2001, we have selected Dr Birley for his contribution to the development of health impact assessment as a recognised field of practice.”
He has also been recognised for his local voluntary work on environmental issues through the South West London regional award
“given to an individual who has made a major contribution to the improvement of the environment at a local level.”
Pioneering Health Impact Assessment since 1984
Extensive experience of HIA in many countries of the world
Author of many books, guidelines, reports and academic papers
Consultant to WHO, World Bank, Asian and African Development Bank, DFID, governments and private concerns
Senior Health Adviser on Health Impact Assessment for Shell International
Senior University Lecturer
Receipt of individual recognition award from IAIA for work of international significance in Health Impact Assessment
Invited speaker on HIA at many conferences
High level of computer proficiency
WHAT IS HIA
Health Impact Assessment, or HIA, is a consensus building process around the future positive and negative health consequences of changes that affect defined populations of people. It may be integrated with other forms of impact assessment (ESHIA/ESIA/EIA/SEA), or stand-alone.
HIA seeks to improve the quality of decisions by evaluating the likely positive and negative health impacts from proposed programmes or policies, and making recommendations to improve positive health impacts and mitigate negative ones. HIA stresses the participation of public stakeholders and provides for a social model of health and well-being in which there is an explicit focus on equity, sustainability and social justice, and a commitment to openness and public scrutiny.
Definition of health
We understand health to be a complete state of physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease and impairment. We focus on community or population health, rather than individual health. We use the social model of health. We seek to give equal weight to the physical and social determinants of health. Our recommendations are focussed on healthy design and healthy operation, rather than medical intervention or behaviour change.
Health impact assessment includes: screening and scoping timing and budget developing consensus writing a good Terms of Reference (TOR) choosing a qualified assessor engaging with stakeholders managing interfaces reviewing the output developing management plans
BirleyHIA – safeguarding community health
BirleyHIA consultants undertake HIA for Local Authorities, private & public sector organisations in collaboration with project sponsors, regulatory authorities, local communities, and other stakeholders; and within internationally accepted professional codes of practice. The firm also runs HIA training and workshops for individuals and organisations.