Phases of HIA 1. Screening

In the screening phase of HIA the HIA in consultation with stakeholders and experts sets out to determine whether an HIA for a given policy or project proposal is warranted and feasible.  All HIAs go through some type of screening process even if it is not formalized and documented.  Ideally, the screening process is transparent and documented so that all stakeholders can understand the rationale for proceeding or not proceeding with an HIA.  For the benefit of stakeholders and for improving the consistency of screening from one HIA to another, it is important for agencies to record, make available and periodically review the rationale for assessments in which a decision was made not to proceed with a full HIA.

Key Criteria to assess during HIA screening

  1. Significance: Likelihood and magnitude of significant health impacts
  2. Value, including:
    1. Added value of HIA to policy-making process
    2. Valuation of added information
    3. Impact of added information
  3. Evidence to support the analysis, including
    1. State of current knowledge
    2. Data availability
  4. Feasibility: Available resources to conduct HIA (time, money, personnel)

Steps for Screening (i.e. determining whether to proceed with an HIA of a proposed policy or project)

  1. Define the policy, program or project to be analyzed
  2. Identify screening tools to use (e.g. checklists). Review criteria for selection (including general HIA screening criteria and additional criteria relevant to a particular policy, locale or agency)
  3. Team members evaluate the proposed HIA on each of the screening criteria and document their conclusions
  4. Make a preliminary assessment on whether to proceed with HIA
  5. Review decision and supporting documentation with stakeholders



HIA Screening White Paper: offers thorough discussion of questions to address when selecting a topic for a HIA.