Stakeholder participation in health impact assessment: A multicultural approach Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Abstract The literature on impact assessment (HIA) registers the importance of stakeholder participation in the assessment process, but still lacks a model for engaging stakeholders of diverse ethnic, professional and sectorial backgrounds. This paper suggests that the multicultural approach can contribute to HIA through a revision of the generic 5-step HIA model, and its implementation in a metropolitan plan in Southern Israel. The health issue scoped by the stakeholders in the HIA is related to land uses in the vicinity of the national hazardous industry and hazardous waste site. The stakeholders were representatives of the diverse populations at stake, including rural Bedouins and Jewish city dwellers, as well as representatives from the public sector, private sector, non-governmental organizations and academia. The case study revealed that a multicultural stakeholder participation process helps to uncover health issues known to the community which were not addressed in the original plan, and provides local knowledge regarding health conditions that is especially valuable when scientific data is uncertain or absent. It enables diverse stakeholders to prioritize the health issues that will be assessed. The case study also reveals ways in which the model needs revisions and improvements such as in recruitment of diverse participants. This paper presents a multicultural model of HIA and discusses some of the challenges that are faced when HIA is implemented in the context of current decision-making culture.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013