Health Impact Assessment as a tool in India for evaluating how policies, programs influence the health of the population




Health Impact Assessment, Health determinants, Prospective HIA, Retrospective HIA


Background: Health Impact Assessment (HIA) systematically assesses the health impacts of policies, programs on a population, with a focus on the holistic well-being of individuals. This approach employs diverse methods to identify positive and negative health impacts, along with unintended consequences, offering recommendations for effective management. HIA considers economic, social, psychological, environmental, and organizational factors in community health. The process involves key steps like assessing baseline health, identifying impacts, quantifying and valuing them, ranking importance, and proposing management recommendations. HIA can be prospective, retrospective, or concurrent during implementation. Methodology: The systematic process included a detailed protocol for scoping review, comprehensive database search, and inclusion criteria for studies published in English from January 2020 to December 2023. Results: Its importance resides in enhancing decision-making by providing insights into health ramifications, fostering dedication to implementing recommendations, and tackling both immediate and indirect developmental effects on health. HIA engages in promoting democratic processes, fairness, sustainable development, and ethical use of evidence in conducting comprehensive impact evaluations. Despite global recognition, barriers like limited funding, insufficient evidence, and perceived time constraints exist. Solutions, such as creative funding, evidence consolidation, and long-term cost-effectiveness, show potential for overcoming these barriers. Conclusion: HIA serves as a valuable instrument for giving precedence to community health decision-making, nurturing fair and sustainable development.


Download data is not yet available.


Health impact assessment: main concepts and suggested approach. Gothenburg consensus paper. Brussels, European Centre for Health Policy, WHO Regional Office for Europe, 1999. [Last accessed on 2024-04-20]. Available from:

European Centre for Health Policy. Gothenburg Consensus Paper. Brussels: World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe; 1999. Available from:

Mindell J, Joffe M. Health impact assessment in relation to other forms of assessment. Journal of Public Health Medicine 2003;25:107-13

Fleeman N, Scott-Samuel A. A prospective health impact assessment of the Merseyside Integrated Transport Strategy (MerITS). J Public Health Med. 2000;22(3):268-74.

A Kumar, R Jain, P Khanna, M Goel. Health Impact Assessment In India: Need Of The Hour. The Internet Journal of Third World Medicine. 2010;9:2.

Dua B, Acharya AS. Health impact assessment: Need and future scope in India. Indian J Community Med 2014;39:76-81.

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century. The Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2002. A, Models of Health Determinants. Available from:

World Health Organization 2001. Health impact assessment: Tools and methods. [Last accessed on 2024-04-20]. Available from: .

World Health Organization. Health Impact Assessments. [Internet]. [cited 2024 Apr 15]. Available from:

Krieger N et al. Assessing health impact assessment: multidisciplinary and international perspectives. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2003, 57(9):659–662

Ahmad B. Integrating health into impact assessment: challenges and opportunities. Impact Assess Proj Appraisal 2004;22:2–4.

Health impact assessment. Web site entirely devoted to health impact assessment – includes toolkits, policy guidance, examples, etc. Geneva, World Health Organization. [Last accessed on 2024-04-20]. Available from:

Caussy D. Health impact assessment needs in south-east Asian countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization: the International Journal of Public Health, 2003, 81(6):439–43.

Dua B, Acharya AS. Health impact assessment: Need and future scope in India. Indian J Community Med 2014;39(2):76-81.

Palmer S. Glasgow City Council; Glasgow: 2008. 2014 Commonwealth Games HIA scoping event: event report. Available at : [accessed 24 Apr 2024]

Barthwal V, Jain S, Babuta A, Jamir C, Sharma AK, Mohan A. Health impact assessment of Delhi's outdoor workers exposed to air pollution and extreme weather events: an integrated epidemiology approach. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022;29(29):44746-44758.

Movia M, Macher S, Antony G, Zeuschner V, Wamprechtsamer G, delle Grazie J, Simi H, Fuchs-Neuhold B. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of a Daily Physical Activity Unit in Schools: Focus on Children and Adolescents in Austria Up to the 8th Grade. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022;19(11):6428.

Chinchilla M, Arcaya MC. Using Health Impact Assessment as an Interdisciplinary Teaching Tool. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(7):744.

McCallum LC, Souweine K, McDaniel M, Koppe B, McFarland C, Butler K, Ollson CA. Health Impact Assessment of an oil drilling project in California. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2016;29(2):229-53.

Morrison DS, Petticrew M, Thomson H. Health Impact Assessment--and beyond. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2001;55(4):219–220

Ahmad B, Chappel D, Pless-Mulloli T, White M. Enabling factors and barriers for the use of health impact assessment in decision-making processes. Public Health. 2008;122(5):452-7.

Bowen C. Policy development in London: using HIA as a tool to integrate health considerations into strategy. In: Kemm J, Parry J, Palmer S, editors. Health impact assessment. Concept, theory and applications. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2004.




How to Cite

Kumar N, Rasania SK. Health Impact Assessment as a tool in India for evaluating how policies, programs influence the health of the population. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2024 Apr. 30 [cited 2024 Jul. 24];36(2):162-7. Available from:



Review Article

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>