Introduction to Impact Assessment

Authors: M.A. Beenackers, F.J. van Lenthe, J.P. Mackenbach from Erasmus MC, in collaboration with the HE2020 project partners

Assessing the potential impact of actions on health and health inequalities

In previous phases, a needs assessment (phase 1) and a capacity assessment (phase 2) were carried out. With the information obtained in the needs assessment and the capacity audit, priorities and entry points for actions were identified and actions to address these entry points were selected (phase 3). In the final phase, the potential impact of these actions on health and health inequalities needs to be estimated (Figure 31). A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a structured approach to assess the impact of an action (intervention or policy) on outcomes such as health and health inequalities.


Figure 31

This phase aims to provide information about:

  1. what an HIA is
  2. what the main steps of an HIA are
  3. how to ensure an equity focus in an HIA
  4. how to evaluate the economic impact of the action

Furthermore, this document will provide suggestions for freely available guides and frameworks on how to do an HIA and for sources where to find examples of finished HIAs.

Next: Definition of HIA