Health Impact Statements Could Benefit Public Policy Decision-Making Process

Studying the feasibility of developing health impact statements

From 2001 through 2003, researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health worked under a subcontract from the Partnership for Prevention, Washington, to assess the feasibility and usefulness of "health impact assessments" in policy-making.

Researchers sought to conduct health impact assessments of three policy initiatives at the local, state and federal levels.

Key Results:

  • Project staff assessed the feasibility, usefulness and limitations of three different approaches to creating health impact assessments for policy decision-making:
    • Quantitative/analytic.
    • Participatory.
    • Procedural.
    For this project, researchers decided that, given the increasing interest in evidence-based medicine and public health, the quantitative approach would be a good starting point for the illustrative health impact statements they created.
  • Project staff created illustrative health impact assessments for the following two policy initiatives:
    • The Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance.
    • California Ballot Proposition 49 to increase after-school funding.
  • The research team concluded that health impact assessments have potential to become a beneficial tool for persons involved in decision-making at all levels.

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