Checklists are often used in HIA, particularly during the preliminary phases of HIA; helping to determine potential areas of significant impacts and the feasibility of an assessment during the screening phase, and outlining impact areas, available data and methods of analysis during the scoping phase. They can be used to facilitate both expert and stakeholder feedback throughout the HIA process. They are also useful tools for concisely summarizing and communicating results.
Checklists used in HIA vary greatly in scope and focus. One of the most extensive checklists is the Healthy Development Measurement Tool (HDMT) developed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Specific metrics and data sources are identified for HDMT items.
Checklists used n HIA should encompass a broad view of health that recognizes the environmental, social and behavioral determinants of health. Checklists should be used with caution in HIA. Checklists are not a substitute for more in-depth analysis. One should keep in mind that potentially significant areas of impact may not be included on a checklist that was originally developed for assessment of a different kind of project or policy or for use in a different setting. Checklists may over-simplify or fail to capture important nuances, for example missing impacts that are potentially significant for one sub-group even though those impacts are not significant in the overall population. On the other hand, some standardized checklists used in HIA may be difficult and unwieldy to use because they are excessively long and complex for a particular application.