Document Type: Commentary
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland
University of Basel, Petersplatz, Basel, Switzerland
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a relatively young field of endeavour, and hence, future progress will depend on the planning, implementation and rigorous evaluation of additional HIAs of projects, programmes and policies the world over. In the June 2014 issue of the International Journal of Health Policy and Management, Fakhri and colleagues investigated underlying principles of HIA through a comprehensive review of the literature and expert consultation. With an emphasis on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the authors identified multiple issues that are relevant for guiding HIA practice. At the same time, the study unravelled current shortcomings in the understanding and definition of HIA principles and best practice at national, regional, and global levels. In this commentary we scrutinise the research presented, highlight strengths and limitations, and discuss the findings in the context of other recent attempts to guide HIA.