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Session 5 Chair: Eva Elliott Health Impact Assessment: Making the Difference.

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Presentation on theme: "Session 5 Chair: Eva Elliott Health Impact Assessment: Making the Difference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Session 5 Chair: Eva Elliott Health Impact Assessment: Making the Difference

2 Positioning Health Impact Assessment in Local Government in Victoria Positioning Health Impact Assessment in Local Government in Victoria Grace Blau, Research Fellow, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

3 OVERVIEW Victorian Local Government context Victorian Local Government context Background to project Background to project Aims of project Aims of project Methodology Methodology Results Results Proposed Model Proposed Model Conclusions Conclusions Recommendations Recommendations

4 VICTORIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTEXT Third tier of government Third tier of government 79 local governments in Victoria 79 local governments in Victoria Governance Governance Advocacy Advocacy Service delivery Service delivery Local area planning Local area planning Community development Community development Regulation Regulation Focus broadening from ‘hard’ infrastructure’ to ‘social services’ Focus broadening from ‘hard’ infrastructure’ to ‘social services’

5 VICTORIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTEXT Assessment of health impacts Assessment of health impacts Land use & development planning applications Land use & development planning applications Via Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) - legislated Via Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) - legislated Only when an EIA is triggered Only when an EIA is triggered Only large private or public works proposals Only large private or public works proposals Only of negative health impacts resulting from changes in the environment Only of negative health impacts resulting from changes in the environment Has rarely been applied Has rarely been applied

6 VICTORIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTEXT Assessment of social impacts Assessment of social impacts Land use & development planning applications Land use & development planning applications Legislation (“should” not “must”) Legislation (“should” not “must”) “Social impact assessment” policy ( only one local government) “Social impact assessment” policy ( only one local government) Applications for new or extended gambling licences Applications for new or extended gambling licences Voluntary Voluntary NO ASSESSMENT OF HEALTH OR SOCIAL IMPACTS OF POLICIES, STRATEGIES, PROGRAMS AND SERVICES NO ASSESSMENT OF HEALTH OR SOCIAL IMPACTS OF POLICIES, STRATEGIES, PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

7 BACKGROUND TO PROJECT Municipal public health plans Municipal public health plans 1958 State Health Act (1988 amendment) 1958 State Health Act (1988 amendment) Municipal public health planning framework Municipal public health planning framework Environments for Health (2001) Environments for Health (2001) “Social model of health” - awareness raising, education & resources “Social model of health” - awareness raising, education & resources For councillors & urban planners (since 2000) For councillors & urban planners (since 2000) Funding for municipal public health planning Funding for municipal public health planning Good Practice Program (since 2002) Good Practice Program (since 2002)

8 AIMS OF PROJECT To explore potential positioning and application of HIA within Victorian local governments To explore potential positioning and application of HIA within Victorian local governments To examine contextual and operational conditions needed for its inclusion within local government planning processes To examine contextual and operational conditions needed for its inclusion within local government planning processes To identify barriers and enablers To identify barriers and enablers

9 METHODOLOGY Reference Group & Working Group Reference Group & Working Group Data Collection Data Collection Literature review Literature review Key Informant Interviews Key Informant Interviews Focus groups Focus groups Case studies Case studies Planning and policy development processes, structures & documents Planning and policy development processes, structures & documents Data analysis Data analysis Major themes Major themes

10 RESULTS Major Themes (international information) ‘ Health’ has many meanings ‘ Health’ has many meanings Champions, allies and leaders are crucial Champions, allies and leaders are crucial Resistance to HIA due to confusion or fear Resistance to HIA due to confusion or fear Organisational characteristics need careful consideration Organisational characteristics need careful consideration Building capacity for HIA is crucial Building capacity for HIA is crucial Legislating for HIA can bring both gains and losses Legislating for HIA can bring both gains and losses Positioning HIA brings benefits but requires careful planning across sectors Positioning HIA brings benefits but requires careful planning across sectors

11 RESULTS Major Themes (local information) Local government sector is quite diverse Local government sector is quite diverse Organisational culture and structure Organisational culture and structure Resources (human and financial) Resources (human and financial) Planning and policy development processes, structures & documents Planning and policy development processes, structures & documents Quality of planning Quality of planning Increasing demands on local governments Increasing demands on local governments Strained relationship with State Government Strained relationship with State Government ‘Health inequalities’ is not on the agenda ‘Health inequalities’ is not on the agenda Public health planning not well coordinated Public health planning not well coordinated

12 PROPOSED MODEL PROPOSED MODEL  Local governments could apply a range of methods along a continuum to consider potential health impacts of proposed policies, plans, programs and services Checklists or screening tools applied routinely Checklists or screening tools applied routinely Rapid, prospective HIA applied strategically Rapid, prospective HIA applied strategically Comprehensive HIA applied occasionally Comprehensive HIA applied occasionally “No One Size Fits All”

13 CONCLUSIONS No method exists in the Victorian local government sector by which to systematically and adequately consider potential health impacts of proposed policies, strategies, plans, programs, services or development projects No method exists in the Victorian local government sector by which to systematically and adequately consider potential health impacts of proposed policies, strategies, plans, programs, services or development projects

14 CONCLUSIONS Health impact assessment methods could assist, but their application will be voluntary Health impact assessment methods could assist, but their application will be voluntary Positioning and applying health impact assessment in Victorian local governments will require careful planning, further discussion and close collaboration across levels of government and across sectors Positioning and applying health impact assessment in Victorian local governments will require careful planning, further discussion and close collaboration across levels of government and across sectors

15 RECOMMENDATIONS  That an intersectoral committee be established between key stakeholders at State Government level to discuss the positioning of health impact assessment in Victoria That opportunities be sought to raise awareness of health impact assessment amongst professional planners in local government That opportunities be sought to raise awareness of health impact assessment amongst professional planners in local government

16 RECOMMENDATIONS  That capacity for health impact assessment be built in those Victorian local governments which are willing and able to apply it That resources be made available to undertake health impact assessment demonstration models in the local government sector That resources be made available to undertake health impact assessment demonstration models in the local government sector

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18 7th International Health Impact Assessment Conference Health Impact Assessment: Making the Difference Supported by:


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