Health, wellbeing, and HIA:

Working better, working smarterUniversity of Otago | Dunedin, New Zealand 17th-19th November 2010

We invite you to join us for a three-day conference on health impact assessment (HIA) bringing together international experts and practitioners in policy and planning, impact assessment, and health and wellbeing. Together we will review the latest studies and thinking about ways to make health impact assessment more effective.


An individual's quality of life is reliant on their personal health and wellbeing, and that of the wider community. With good health comes the ability to engage in social and cultural, as well as economic, activities.

But how do we make sure our policies, programmes and projects contribute to community wellbeing, and do not compromise individual or community health?

There is an emerging international consensus on those factors that promote wellbeing and those that can be considered detrimental, and how this understanding can be employed in the development of appropriate policies, plans and projects, especially through the use of HIA.

HIA also provides a tangible means by which organisations can work together, and with key stakeholders, through the policy/plan development process—it converts verbal and written commitments into practical action.


This Asia Pacific regional conference will provide an important opportunity for HIA practitioners to discuss their practices and experiences with each other, with practitioners from other areas of impact assessment, and with policy makers and planners from many sectors, in central and local government, as well as the private sector. Dialogue between groups and across disciplines is essential if HIA is to become more effective in meeting the needs not only of decision-makers, but also those of key stakeholders, and the wider community.

As a basis for meaningful dialogue, the conference seeks to showcase innovative work on methodologies and techniques, as well as highlighting the latest thinking on effective ways to the institutionalise assessment procedures, construct regulatory frameworks, and manage the HIA process.

The conference aim is for every participant to go away with practical ideas for new ways of working, that can be implemented now, and with strong links to the rapidly expanding network of HIA practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Conference Themes
  1. HIA practice in Asia and the Pacific: what works and what doesn’t
    • Critical reflection on HIA practice and lessons for future applications including:
      • Reviews and evaluations of HIAs
      • Reflection on ways to address health equity in HIA, including equity for women, indigenous peoples and vulnerable communities
      • Novel methods and techniques or improvements to established ones
      • New areas of application
      • Evaluation approaches.
  2. Embedding health, wellbeing and equity into government & non-governmental organisations.
    • Critical reflection on embedding health, wellbeing and equity including:
      • Examples of where HIA has been built into procedures and processes for policies outside the health sector
      • Specific strategies for gaining the co-operation and support of people outside the health sector
      • How to develop “ownership” by policy makers
      • Barriers to embedding HIA and ways to overcome them.
  3. Best practice in training and capacity building.
    • Critical reflection on ways to train and build capacity in HIA including:
      • Different approaches to training potential or current HIA practitioners
      • Raising awareness and understanding among stakeholders
      • Training in addressing health equity within HIA
      • Effective ways to reach different target groups.
  4. Indigenous-led HIA: Whānau ora HIA and other similar approaches.
    • Critical reflection on indigenous-led HIA including:
      • Experience with applying Whānau Ora HIA and other indigenous HIA approaches
      • Consideration of the benefits, opportunities, barriers, and facilitators of indigenous-led HIA
      • Consideration of the adaptation of core concepts, methods and techniques to an indigenous context.
  5. Working effectively with other forms of impact assessment.
    • Critical reflection on linking HIA and other forms of impact assessment including:
      • Conceptual links with social/cultural/ecological/etc forms of impact assessment, through health determinants
      • Integration versus stand alone approaches
      • Practical issues of working across different forms impact assessment
      • Consideration of the status of HIA in decision-making compared with other forms of IA.

Suggestions for other themes, consistent with the overall aim of the conference, will be considered.