SGLK13017U NOT offered summer 2016 - Health Impact Assessment in Development Planning and Disaster Management

Volume 2015/2016

Master of Science in Global Health


This course will enable participants to acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of the the concept of health impact assessment as an important tool for public health risk management in the context of sectoral policy and strategy formulations, development project planning and in disasters. Topics that will be covered include:

  • Types of impact assessments (environmental, social, health, equity based, strategic, etc.)
  • Project cycles, planning procedures and the role of HIA
  • HIA screening and scoping
  • HIA in a climate change context
  • HIA and its relevance for disaster risk management
  • HIA as a tool in public health risk management
  • HIA and vulnerability community groups


The focus of this course is on strengthening the capability of students and professionals with different disciplinary backgrounds to engage successfully in an intersectoral dialogue, in support of health impact assessment, irrespective of their own disciplinary or sectoral affiliation.

Learning Outcome

By the end of the course participants will:


  • Have a shared understanding of the development planning process in a country, and the role of different decision makers in different phases of the process
  • Have gained knowledge of the entry points for health into the development project cycle phases and the disaster risk management (DRM) cycle
  • Have expanded their knowledge on the concept, method and procedures of health impact assessment (HIA) based on common best practices and research based evidence



  • Be able to carry out a rapid review of development proposals and DRM strategies for their potential impact on public health, with special reference to vulnerable communities
  • Be able to apply screening criteria that will support the decision making whether or not a full HIA should be commissioned;
  • Be able to decide, for those development proposals and DRM strategies screened-in for a full HIA, on the parameters that set the temporal and spatial boundaries for the HIA
  • Be able to establish a set of Terms of Reference for an HIA consultant (team) – (scoping)



  • Be able to identify critical health issues associated with development proposals and DRM strategies and the vulnerable groups affected by them
  • Be able to decide on a synthetic outcome of the screening and scoping exercise that will form the basis for the formulation of HIA Terms of Reference.
  • Be able to make a considered judgement of the technical soundness, social acceptability and economic feasibility of the recommended health intervention measures in an HIA;
  • Be able to decide on the optimal institutional arrangements that support intersectoral action for the implementation of a Public Health Management Plan
  • Be able to give detailed consideration to the monitoring requirements during development project cycles and DRM stages

The course will use text books, scientific papers, grey literature, real life feasibility study reports (development project descriptions) and disaster case examples as well as web-based information (fact sheets, etc.) from international organizations and institutions.

The course is a blended learning course with an initial face-to-face component and a subsequent online course element using a problem-based learning (PBL) approach. In the face-to-face and online modules real life case-based scenarios will be used as basis for task-based assignments, plenary and online presentations and discussions.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • E-Learning
  • 78
  • Lectures
  • 6
  • Preparation
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 34
  • Total
  • 138
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Participants will be requested to do an HIA of a selected project as a home assignment to be submitted at the end of the course for subsequent grading (pass or fail)
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period


Criteria for exam assesment

The grading will be based on satisfactory fulfilment of the intended learning outcomes.