This paper was prepared in 2010 as a report of a review of those HIAs (including the WOHIAs) funded as part of the Learning by Doing initiative in 2007/08 and 2008/09. The review was based on the newly developed UK Review Package for Health Impact Assessment Reports of Development Projects (Fredsgaard et al 2009) (‘the Review Package’).
The aim of the review was to identify the overall strengths and weaknesses of the Learning by Doing HIA reports and develop recommendations for the commissioning, implementation, reporting and evaluation/review of future HIAs.
When judged against the Review Package criteria, the majority of HIAs were judged to be good or satisfactory. The review highlighted several strengths common to almost all of the reports, in particular good engagement with stakeholders and consideration of wider determinants of health. However, the review also highlighted various areas for improvement across the HIA reports, some of which may relate to the fundamentals of HIA practice such as the impact assessment stage and analysis of distribution of effects.
Recommendations in four areas are provided, aimed at building on current strengths, as well as addressing identified weaknesses, in current HIA practice in this country.