This Working Group will build on the successes of the previous HiAP Working Groups (WGs). In 2012, the HiAP WG looked at the similarities and differences between HIA and HiAP, and in 2014 the WG began developing a tool to help practitioners decide between HiAP-like approaches when HIA is not a good fit. The draft tool has been completed, and was shared at the Workshop (and posted on the SOPHIA website soon). This year, we will explore challenges that prevent HIA/HiAP practitioners from starting and maintaining projects, initiatives and programs at local, regional, state and federal levels. This WG will attempt to explore what specific actions we as a field can take to ensure solid foundations for initiating and sustaining HIA/HiAP initiatives and the potential roles that various entities (governmental, community, businesses, academic) can play in supporting this work.
The objective of this Working Group is to work collectively to identify barriers and solutions to implementing HIA/HiAP initiatives.
HIA/HiAP practitioners frequently state lack of resources as the most common barrier to starting or sustaining initiatives, and beyond funding from private foundations, there are few precedents for other funding sources. Prior HiAP WG efforts have focused on building the skills and capacity of practitioners to conduct HIA and HIA-like projects, but without funding, projects will never initially get started. In addition to resource constraints, other barriers exist beyond the capacity of the individual practitioner, including political context, leadership and partnerships. As a field, there are many potential avenues for improving the situation. This WG will move the field forward by identifying the collective actions that can improve the foundations necessary for practice.
At the 2016 HIA Practitioner Workshop, this WG conducted a SWOT analysis of the HiAP field. Following the SWOT analysis, participants voted on which of the topics they would like to address in the session. Based on results, we broke up into four topic groups to delve further into the issue and propose solutions. The groups explored: 1) the lack of clear definition of HiAP 2) HIAP funding and sustainability, 4) evaluation of HIAP efforts and 4) transparency of process. The WG will focus on the following activities in 2016-2017: