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This document is a collective product of a HIA practitioners workgroup in North America and intends to translate the values underlying HIA along with key lessons from HIA practice into specific "standards for practice" for each phase of the HIA process. This document also answers the question of “what essential elements constitute an HIA”; this is distinct from Practice Standards, which answer the question, “how to best conduct an HIA.”
Minimum Elements can serve as a basis to identify and promulgate examples of HIA within the field of practice and in broader social discourse, distinguishing HIA from other practices and methods that also aim to ensure the consideration of and action on health interests in public policy. These Minimum Elements apply to HIA whether conducted independently or integrated within an environmental, social or strategic impact assessment.
The Practice Standards are not rigid criteria for acceptability but rather guidance for effective practice. A practitioner may use the Practice Standards as benchmarks for their own HIA practice, to stimulate discussion about HIA content and quality, and to evaluate this emerging field.These standards are intended support the development and institutionalization of HIA.
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