Including health in environmental impact assessments: is an institutional approach useful for practice?
Harris PJ, Haigh F: Including health in environmental impact assessments: is an institutional approach useful for practice? Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 2015:1-7.
Internationally the inclusion of health within environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been shown to be limited. While health-focused research has focused on the technical provision of health information, policy analysis theory may enable description and explanation of the institutional conditions surrounding health inclusion in EIA. However, whether this framework is considered useful by practitioners has yet to be tested. To investigate this, data were collected via a workshop (n = 22) and the results were analysed using ?Institutionalist? units of analysis (ideas, actors, organisations and institutions). These results were then emailed to participants who were asked to undertake a follow-up survey about the analysis and approach (n = 9). The workshop results suggested various influences on how and why health is considered or not in EIAs. Overall the survey respondents agreed that the approach was conceptually and practically useful but that the framework alone is insufficient and further work is needed to convince potential users of the value of health in EIA. The findings support the need for more detailed research.