Academic Curriculum for HIA Education

A model course in Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is under development based on best practices from university courses taught throughout the US. Such a course generally covers material that is organized into four broad units and presented over a fifteen-week semester, quarter or part of another course offering:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Health Impact Assessment and Project Introduction
  • Unit 2: Health Impact Assessment Steps (Screening, Scoping, Assessment, Recommendations, Reporting/Dissemination, Monitoring and Evaluation) with an emphasis on stakeholder engagement and health equity
  • Unit 3: HIA and Public Policy
  • Unit 4: Final Presentation and Report

Learning Goals

The aim of an HIA course is to train students in the use of this tool to inform decision-makers about the potential health impacts of proposed projects, programs, and policies that do not traditionally focus on health outcomes (e.g. transportation, education, housing). More specifically, the learning goals are for students to:

  1. Describe the development and state of HIA practice in the U.S., and internationally
  2. Describe the purpose, benefits, and challenges of using health impact assessments to convey information about health to decision-makers
  3. Demonstrate the core steps and methods needed to conduct HIA including screening, scoping, assessment, making recommendations, reporting, and evaluation
  4. Critique completed HIAs and provide suggestions for improvement
  5. Analyze the application of HIA to the policymaking process
  6. Collaborate effectively with others in completing an HIA in an interdisciplinary environment
  7. Articulate the value of assessing the health impacts of programs, projects and policies to mitigate and improve population health effects and improve health equity
  8. Demonstrate multi-sector, and racial and ethnic diverse stakeholder engagement
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Georgia Institute of Technology
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Atlanta, GA 30332

The Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse was supported by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Office of the National Prevention Strategy and Healthy Community Design Program and made possible through additional support from the American Public Health Association, the National Network of Public Health Institutes, and the American Planning Association's Planning and Community Health Research Center. Interested in adding to and supporting the Clearinghouse? Contact the Clearinghouse at bephc@gatech.edu.