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Learning by doing: the value of case studies of health impact assessment

Ben F. Harris-Roxas A B and Patrick J. Harris A
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A Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE), University of New South Wales

B Corresponding author. Email:

NSW Public Health Bulletin 18(10) 161-163
Published: 26 September 2007


The nine health impact assessment (HIA) case studies in this issue represent a considerable contribution to the HIA literature and provide a number of lessons. These lessons include the value of using evidence in HIA to aid decision-making; the various forms that stakeholder and community involvement in HIA can take; and the fact that HIA can act as a catalyst for intersectoral engagement. They also highlight challenges faced by HIA practitioners, including time, methods of assessment, developing evidence summaries and considering equity.


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[4] Menzies T. Reflections on the ways HIA can be made most useful to local government in NSW. Sydney: UNSW Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, 2007.

[5] Blau G, Mahoney M. The positioning of health impact assessment in local government in Victoria. Melbourne: Deakin University, 2005.

[6] Simpson S,  Harris E,  Harris-Roxas B. Health impact assessment: an introduction to the what, why and how. Health Promot J Aust 2004; 15 162–7.

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[8] Lavin T, Higgins C, Metcalfe O, Jordan A. Health impacts of the built environment: a review. Dublin: Institute of Public Health in Ireland, 2006.

[9] Mead E, Dodson J, Ellway C. Urban environments & health: identifying key relationships & policy imperatives. Brisbane: Griffith University, 2006.

[10] Gebel K, King L, Bauman A, Vita P, Gill T, Rigby A. et al. Creating healthy environments: a review of links between the physical environment, physical activity and obesity. Sydney: NSW Health Department and NSW Centre for Overweight and Obesity, 2005.

[11] Harris-Roxas B, Simpson S, Harris E. Equity focused health impact assessment: a literature review. Newcastle: Australasian Collaboration for Health Equity Impact Assessment, 2004.

[12] ECHP. Gothenburg consensus paper on health impact assessment: main concepts and suggested approach. Brussels: European Centre for Health Policy, WHO Regional Office for Europe, 1999.

[13] Comino E,  Hermiz O,  Flack J,  Harris E,  Powell Davies G,  Harris M. Using population health surveys to provide information on access to and use of quality primary health care. Aust Health Rev 2006; 30 485–95.
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[14] Mahoney M, Simpson S, Harris E, Aldrich R, Stewart Williams J. Equity focused health impact assessment framework. Newcastle: Australasian Collaboration for Health Equity Impact Assessment, 2004.

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