Model HIA Reports

Welcome to SOPHIA’s Living Library of model HIA reports. The library is intended to showcase examples of high-quality HIA reporting practice. This library complements the HIA repositories listed on the Online HIA Resources page.

This list of model HIA reports reflects the selection process of the SOPHIA Living Library committee. Periodically, the committee invites HIA practitioners, including both SOPHIA members and non-members, to send suggestions of well-done HIA reports. Submitted reports are reviewed by at least two different committee members using a report selection tool. The goal is to help identify HIA reports of sufficiently high quality to be held up as examples of good HIA practice.

For details about the process and the selection tool for reviewing reports, download the methodology here.

If you are interested in submitting an HIA report for consideration to join this list, please click Model HIA Reports Submission (please note that this page is only available to SOPHIA members).

Healthy Neighborhood Equity Fund HIA

Year: 2013
Location: Roxbury, Massachusetts
Author: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Topic: Community development

This report provides an excellent example of using an HIA of a specific project to illustrate the impacts of a broader policy. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Metropolitan Area Planning Council conducted an HIA of three transit-oriented development (TOD) projects in Roxbury, MA, to inform the development process for the projects. The HIA also defines the health metrics that will inform a component of the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund, a private equity fund, which would support TOD projects. To attract investors and to continue to build support for the link between TOD and health outcomes, the fund will support the identification of health metrics, based on health outcomes of making targeted neighborhood investments in TOD projects. Strong aspects of this HIA report include a full list of stakeholders in the appendix, a primary focus on vulnerable populations, extensive references, and an attractive format.

Download the full HIA report here.


Potential Full-Service Grocery Store Development in a Food Desert

Year: 2013
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Author: Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
Topic: Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture

The Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health, along with the Marion County Public Health Department and Indiana Minority Health Coalition, conducted an HIA of a potential full-service grocery store development in the Meadows neighborhood, a federally-designated “food desert” in Indianapolis. The HIA utilized the Nutritional Environmental Measurement Survey (NEMS-S) to measure retail food stores for availability of healthy options, price, and quality in the area. The HIA recommendations included encouraging existing neighborhood food sources to increase the healthy food options offered and supporting sidewalk expansion and connectivity to help residents access future grocery development. The HIA report demonstrates the strengths of mixing qualitative and quantitative data sources such as a neighborhood survey, NEMS food store survey, informant interviews, and it also offers a good discussion of study limitations.

Download the full report here.


U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Policy Guidance: A Mental Health Impact Assessment

Year: 2013
Location: Chicago, IL
Author: Adler School of Professional Psychology, Institute on Social Exclusion
Topic: Criminal Justice

This mental health impact assessment (MHIA) investigates proposed changes to a policy by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that would affect how arrest records are used in employment decisions, with the objective of reducing employment discrimination. The MHIA was conducted by the Adler School Institute on Social Exclusion working closely with the Englewood community in Chicago, which is predominately low-income and African American. This MHIA is worth reading for its rigorous integration of mental health, its focus on public policy, and its well-thought-through systematic monitoring and evaluation strategy. The process and results of this MHIA are clearly documented and well presented.

Download the full report here.


San Francisco Bay Area’s Regional Transportation Plan HIA

Year: 2013
Location: Alameda County (Oakland), CA
Author: Alameda County Public Health Department
Topic: Transportation

This HIA, conducted by the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD), informed the development of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), which will serve as a guide to transportation-related investments over the next 25 years. The assessment examined the equity impacts of the RTP within Alameda County, specifically focused on transit-dependant populations and the expected health outcomes that may result from changes to bus access as determined by RTP. Since transit-reliant communities are primarily low-income people of color, the HIA also determined the potential for differential impacts on these vulnerable groups. The HIA focused on the impacts that changes in public transportation could have on access to health and social services, basic amenities such as grocery and retail stores, and employment, and how these changes could impact health in bus-dependent communities. The report provides a compelling story –using personal narratives, quotes and pictures — that clearly leads to the recommendations. The authors also use an outstanding qualitative methods approach, with a representative sample in their survey collection, focus groups, and community workshops. The report features a useful discussion of the process and methodological assumptions and limitations (e.g. regarding convenience sample of survey). The focus on community and using a CBPR approach also make this a unique HIA.

Download the full report here.


Baltimore-Washington Rail Intermodal Facility HIA

Year: 2013
Location: Baltimore, MD
Author: National Center for Healthy Housing
Topic: Transportation

The National Center for Healthy Housing conducted an HIA to determine the impacts of the proposed Baltimore-Washington Rail Intermodal Facility at CSX’s existing Mount Clare Yard in southwest Baltimore City. The facility would transfer freight cargo between trains and trucks, and operate twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. The facility poses potential health concerns that include air and noise pollution and substantial increases in local truck traffic leading to safety risks. Its construction and operation may also benefit health by creating local jobs and generating community tax revenue that supports services essential to health. The communities surrounding the site suffer from disproportionate rates of heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease. The real strength of this report is portrayed in the robust assessment. The report does an excellent job of marrying together multiple data sources, from GIS mapping to focus groups, to create a clear picture of the types of impacts that could occur. The assessment also includes benchmarks (e.g. tract vs. city) in clear and helpful tables, which provides an excellent context for the decision. Lastly, the report includes the research questions, which further convey the data collection and assessment process to the reader.

Download the full report here.


The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Project: A Health Impact Assessment

Year: 2012
Location: United States
Author: Human Impact Partners, Advancement Project, and National People’s Action
Topic: Transportation

The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) project, approved in November 2011, could allow private and non-profit entities to take over lease and home management responsibilities; would allow for private investment into public housing; and would promote resident movement from public housing into the private market through rental vouchers. The HIA assessed the direct impacts of RAD on management and ownership of public housing, evictions and resident organizing. The HIA further looked at how health factors such as housing affordability, home stability, home quality, social capital, racial and ethnic segregation, crime and violence, and stress would change resident health outcomes. This in-depth report was selected for its clarity, the background on housing policy in the U.S., and it examination of health equity implications of the policy. It is also the first HIA to examine health and health equity impacts from a federal housing policy in the U.S.

Download the full report here.


Hawaii County Agriculture Development Plan

Year: 2012
Location: Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States
Authors: The Kohala Center, Hawaii State Department of Agriculture, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Hawaii
Topic: Agriculture, Local Food

This HIA details the potential impacts of increasing local commercial food production, promoting farm to school procurement and supporting school, community and home food production. It is a comprehensive HIA that examines over 20 health outcomes and includes not just physical health, but also social and economic outcomes such as tax revenue and local pride and connectedness, which are often hard to capture. The report includes a detailed and well-done table of the summary of impacts. The report also has a well thought out monitoring plan that assigns responsibility and time frames for each indicator.

Download the full report here.


Alcohol License Density Ordinance Review of City of Madison Staff Recommendations

Year: 2014
Location: Madison and Dane County, WI
Authors: Madison and Dane County Public Health and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
Topic: Alcohol Density

This HIA identifies the potential health impacts of increasing the density of alcohol retail outlets in two localities in Madison, WI. The findings suggest that increased density of alcohol outlets are closely linked to increased underage drinking, and alcohol-related harms including drunk-driving, violent crimes, risky sexual behaviour, and property and nuisance crimes. Students, highly prevalent in these localities, are highly vulnerable to such effects. Findings also point to football culture and the temporary increase in alcohol density it brings as contributing to high-risk drinking and its consequences. This HIA has a particularly robust literature review and strong evidence base to support its recommendations. It also includes strong community engagement and has a very good process evaluation.

Download the full report here.


Preesall Underground Gas Storage Facility, Lancashire Health Impact Assessment

Year: 2011
Location: Lancashire, UK
Authors: Ben Cave Associates
Topic: Industrial facility

This HIA was conducted as part of the planning application for a proposed underground natural gas storage facility that would be located at a mean depth of 372 metres below ground, in 19 underground salt deposit caverns. The HIA examines potential health effects associated with construction, operations and emergency scenarios, and focuses on outcomes that include air quality, odor, visual setting and local character, noise disturbance, vibration disturbance, traffic impacts, employment effects, use of recreational amenities, national gas supply security, tourism, and safety fears. While this report is long, it is very readable and makes good use of helpful diagrams. It very good at showing the health challenges of a gas facility in an even-handed way. The existing conditions (baseline) section is excellent, and connects very well to the assessment later in the report. Additionally, the report does an excellent job of explaining the methods used within the assessment.

Download the full report here.


Zoning for a Healthy Baltimore: A Health Impact Assessment of the Transform Baltimore Comprehensive Zoning Code Rewrite

Year: 2010
Author: Center for Child and Community Health Research, Johns Hopkins University
Location: Maryland, USA
Topic: Urban development

This HIA examines how the proposed Baltimore comprehensive zoning code rewrite would impact obesity-related illnesses and other health outcomes including crime, physical activity, pedestrian safety, and diet and nutrition. The well-written and well-designed report gives a highly detailed description of the decision context and its connection to health through multiple pathways. It also clearly and elegantly explains the methodology used. Additionally, the report presents thorough and actionable recommendations based on the analysis and findings.

Download the full HIA report here.


Health Impact Assessment: Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy Options

Year: 2006
Author: Canterbury District Health Board
Location: Canterbury, New Zealand
Topic: Urban development

This HIA examined potential impacts associated with an urban development strategy in New Zealand, with a focus on reducing inequalities. Community engagement is central to this HIA project and the report is exemplary in providing detailed information about the process. The report includes letters from New Zealand’s Public Health Advisory Committee and Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy describing the importance of the HIA to those organizations. A companion journal article is also available that provides an evaluation of the HIA’s impact on decision-making about the urban development strategy.

Download the full HIA report here.

Link to the journal article on the HIA evaluation available here.


Page Avenue Health Impact Assessment

Year: 2010
Author: Healthy PAGE Project / Washington University in St. Louis
Location: Missouri, USA
Topic: Urban development

This HIA investigates the potential health impacts of the redevelopment of Page Avenue in Pagedale, Missouri, examining potential impacts to employment; access to goods, services, and recreation; access to healthy foods; pedestrian safety; community safety; community identity; and housing. The HIA report incorporates a high degree of stakeholder involvement and emphasizes community input as an important aspect of the assessment.

Download the full HIA report here.

Download the standalone executive summary here.


Health Impact Assessment of Mining Activities near Keno City, Yukon

Year: 2012
Author: Habitat Health Impact Consulting
Location: Yukon, Canada
Topic: Resource Development

This HIA studies the potential benefits and adverse health impacts from current and proposed mining operations in the tiny community of Keno City, Yukon (population 18). The HIA was commissioned by the Yukon Department of Health and Social Services, and examines air, soil, water, and noise-related health effects, infectious disease, stress and mental well-being, injury, and emergency medical response. This HIA report is concise and efficient, and summary tables help succinctly convey large amounts of information about each health area.

Download the full HIA report here.


The Potential Health Impact of a Poultry Litter-to-Energy Facility in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Year: 2013
Author: Center on Human Needs, Virginia Commonwealth University
Location: Virginia, USA
Topic: Resource Development

This HIA examines the potential health tradeoffs related to a shift in poultry litter management from land application to use as a fuel source. The assessment focuses on air quality, water quality, employment, truck traffic, alternative manure-to-energy technologies, and use of the Shenandoah National Park. The recommendations are clear and actionable, and the connection between the decision analyzed, health determinants and health outcomes is apparent throughout the document.

Download the full HIA report here.

Download the standalone executive summary here.

Download the two-page Project Brief here.


A Health Impact Assessment of California Assembly Bill 889: The California Domestic Work Employee Equality, Fairness, and Dignity Act of 2011

Year: 2011
Author: San Francisco Department of Public Health Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability
Location: California, USA
Topic: Government policy

This HIA provides an excellent model of how to identify and assess impacts based on a mix of qualitative and quantitative data, best available evidence and a strong rationale. The report is well written, clear, and rigorous in describing the key aspects of the legislation, the affected population, assessment of health impacts, and recommendations.

Download the full HIA report here.


Health Impact Assessment on HB 2800: Oregon Farm-To-School and School Garden Policy

Year: 2011
Author: Upstream Public Health
Location: Oregon, USA
Topic: Government policy

This HIA evaluates the potential health effects of the bill that would guarantee school districts could purchase Oregon produced, processed, packed, and packaged foods. The HIA focuses on potential effects on five health areas: employment, diet and nutrition, environmental health, social capital and farm-to-school education. The report is well-structured and well-written with clear explanations and explicit reasoning.

Download the full HIA report here.


Potential Health Effects of Casino Development in Southeast Kansas

Year: 2012
Author: Kansas Health Institute
Location: Kansas, USA
Topic: Government plan

This HIA examines how the presence of a casino might affect health, both in terms of potential risks such as exposure to secondhand smoke, traffic accidents, gambling addiction, divorce and suicide; and in terms of potential benefits such as job creation, tourism, state and local revenue increases, and health insurance. The assessment provides an excellent example of describing impacts using a logic framework and a clear effect characterization matrix and the process evaluation is exemplary in its systematic approach.

Download the full HIA report here.


Health Effects of Road Pricing In San Francisco, California

Year: 2011
Author: San Francisco Department of Public Health Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability
Location: California, USA
Topic: Municipal Plan

This HIA analyzes the potential health effects of a proposed program that would charge $3 to travel into or out of the congested downtown quadrant of the city during rush hours. The HIA examines impacts on active transportation, air pollution, traffic noise, pedestrian and bicycling injury, associated economic value, and equity. The HIA report presents a highly technical and comprehensive, yet clear, quantitative analysis with data effectively presented through the use of multiple maps and data tables.

Download the full HIA report here.

Download the standalone executive summary here.


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