Phases of HIA 2. Scoping

Scoping establishes the foundation under which the health impact assessment is conducted; it is about designing and planning the HIA.  During the scoping phase the HIA team will identify key issues that should be considered in the HIA, the affected population(s) and the methods to be used in the assessment.  To ensure that the HIA addresses all relevant issues and to increase the utility of the HIA for decision-makers, it is important to consult a wide range of technical experts and stakeholders in the scoping phase.

Issues Addressed in Scoping – What, Who and How


  1. What are the aims and objectives of the health impact assessment?
  2. What community concerns have been raised about the proposed policy/project?
  3. Are there any relevant relationships to statutory requirements? (e.g., resource consent processes, gender analysis, requirements for consultation, legislative impact statements).
  4. What will be the extent and boundaries of the HIA?
    1. What is to be included and excluded?
    2. What are the boundaries in terms of timing and location?
    3. When will the assessment be done?
    4. How much time will it take?
    5. What is the geographic scope of the HIA? (i.e., what is the community under
    6. consideration- a particular region or local authority area, an entire state, families
    7. with children in California?)
    8. What is the temporal scope of the HIA? (i.e., are you concerned about the next five
    9. years or what happens in 20 years?) How heavily will you discount future impacts?


  1. Who will conduct the HIA?
  2. What stakeholders are involved in assessing the policy?
  3. Who are the key people to consult with as part of the HIA? (Think systematically about whom it is important to involve).


  1. What is the budget and sources of funding for the HIA and any associated work?
  2. What methods could be used in the HIA?
  3. Can an assessment plan be drafted to set out the key milestones and timeframe of the HIA?
  4. What are the parameters for evaluating the HIA?

Analytical Steps

  1. Consult policy-makers, stakeholders, experts and research literature to assess and describe the:
    • proposed policy;
    • population affected;
    • immediate, intended effects;
    • health-related secondary and side effects;
    • pathways through which the proposed policy or program is expected to affect health outcomes and intermediate outcomes (i.e. determinants of health);
  2. Determine methodologies to be used and set boundaries for the proposed HIA to maximize the efficient use of resources for producing the most salient and valuable information.
  3. Lay out the results of the scoping meetings and exercises in a scoping document for review by stakeholders.