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The fit between health impact assessment and public policy: Practice meets theory


  • Harris, Patrick
  • Sainsbury, Peter
  • Kemp, Lynn


The last decade has seen increased use of health impact assessment (HIA) to influence public policies developed outside the Health sector. HIA has developed as a structured, linear and technical process to incorporate health, broadly defined, into policy. This is potentially incongruent with complex, non-linear and tactical policy making which does not necessarily consider health. HIA research has however not incorporated existing public policy theory to explain practitioners' experiences with HIA and policy. This research, therefore, used public policy theory to explain HIA practitioners' experiences and investigate ‘What is the fit between HIA and public policy?’

Suggested Citation

  • Harris, Patrick & Sainsbury, Peter & Kemp, Lynn, 2014. "The fit between health impact assessment and public policy: Practice meets theory," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 46-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:108:y:2014:i:c:p:46-53
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.02.033

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Leeuw, Evelyne & Polman, Loes, 1995. "Health policy making: The Dutch experience," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 331-338, February.
    2. Gagnon, France & Turgeon, Jean & Dallaire, Clemence, 2007. "Healthy public policy: A conceptual cognitive framework," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 42-55, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sharon Friel & Patrick Harris & Sarah Simpson & Anjana Bhushan & Britta Baer, 2015. "Health in All Policies Approaches: Pearls from the Western Pacific Region," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 324-337, May.
    2. McGreevy, Michael & Harris, Patrick & Delaney-Crowe, Toni & Fisher, Matt & Sainsbury, Peter & Riley, Emily & Baum, Fran, 2020. "How well do Australian government urban planning policies respond to the social determinants of health and health equity?," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    3. Harris, Patrick & Kent, Jennifer & Sainsbury, Peter & Thow, Anne Marie, 2016. "Framing health for land-use planning legislation: A qualitative descriptive content analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 42-51.

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