Health Impact Assessments, Community Engagement Can Promote Equitable Infrastructure Choices

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Research shows that the construction, construction and operation of public infrastructure – structures, systems and structures that are taxable, usually public, used by the public – can affect people’s lives. For example, green areas that are widely accessible can improve physical and mental health and promote physical activity in the community, while poorly constructed water and sanitation systems can lead to pollution and expose people to pollution and other harmful substances.

However, policymakers, community members, and other stakeholders can take steps to identify potential health impacts on proposed infrastructure projects, including those that have the potential to improve the quality of life of people, such as bridges and airports, parks and gardens, water and sanitation systems, power grids. . , and broadband internet – as well as informing planning and decision-making in ways that reduce potential risks and promote better outcomes.2 Over the past decade, decisions makers have made extensive use of health impact assessments (his) to identify plans, policies, programs and programs, or how infrastructure projects can affect life and highlight the fact that certain races, incomes, territories, or other groups can be affected immeasurably.3 These findings can also provide a roadmap for development. it is equal. fans health – The aim is to ensure that inequalities in health outcomes caused by factors such as race, income, or geography should be addressed and prevented, providing opportunities for all people to be as healthy as possible.

In 2019, the Health Impact Project, a partnership between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RAJ) and The Pew Charitable To trust, has partnered with the Center for Community Health and Evaluation (CACHE) to assess whether the HIS process, results, and recommendations inform and improve US infrastructure projects and promote health equity. The study examined the methods and results of a sample representing 246 his and seven other programs, in accordance with HIS principles, conducted between 2004 and 2019, and focused on decisions related to five sectors: transportation, public space, water, energy and scope. online.

Research has shown that:

his have sometimes led to changes in decision-making processes and organizations and outcomes, including the adoption of standard health data monitoring systems, health priorities in decision-making, the use of ends of resources, and the inclusion of previously disadvantaged people, such as lost income and colored communities.
While his emphasized public participation, equity was more prominent in the process, final report, and recommendations. For example, HIS reports may include information from the public highlighting unequal health impacts or explain how policies address structural inequalities in public welfare where citizens are directly involved in the HIS process, such as data collection or participation in directing committee meetings.
Trials that have raised public opinion on health can provide a long-term view of the potential health consequences of infrastructure decisions that are often overlooked by external experts.
Importantly, because his take place in complex political and social contexts, each HIS differs in its decision-making nature. And because the sample was small, nonrepresentative, and did not include a comparison group of decisions made outside of his, these findings could not be made for all his or used to draw clear conclusions about HIS outcomes. Instead it aims to provide a detailed description of the HIS infrastructure to date, identify promising alternatives, and identify HIS spaces and opportunities to help improve health equity by making infrastructure decisions.

In addition to these challenges, the findings empowered the Touch Health Project and CACHE to identify four key steps taken by HIS decision makers and staff and sponsors to strengthen the use of his in infrastructure decisions:

Prioritize his that assess key infrastructure issues associated with various authorities in order to achieve results through wider performance and access.
Find ways to integrate health care and equity into infrastructure decision-making.
Support HIS support, capacity building, and messaging.
Make resources available so that staff and decisions makers can assess and monitor the impact of his and the implementation of recommendations. The study summarizes data from 246 his and seven other programs, based on HIA regulations, conducted between January 2004 and October 2019. A sample from Health Impact Project’s crosses error Toolkit for Health, which provides a collection of his, guidelines and other research to support the efforts of health policy makers in decision-making. For each of the 253 samples, the CACHE collected and analyzed descriptive data including location, study subjects, and organizational leadership, and selected a subset of 51 his that could be completed five years prior to this study or where detailed data were available in previous studies. Of the 51, CACHE highlighted four case studies – one from each area of ​​interest: transportation, public space, water, and energy, excluding broadband where his were not available – to show Shia’s impact on public participation, equity, performance decisions, and infrastructure change.

CACHE also interviewed three experts on the use of hi as related infrastructure to assess how the findings could assist in efforts to improve health and equity in the tested areas and review all data and findings on HIS implementation and improve health equity

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