Recognizing the conditions that make HIA an appropriate choice for a given situation is an issue central to the consolidation of the practice in Canada. This briefing note aims to clarify the specificity of HIA as compared to similar public health practices.
Although HIA is a flexible tool that must be adapted to the specific decision-making context, it is not relevant for all situations. To help public health actors to make the right choices regarding analytical tools, this briefing note recalls the characteristics that distinguish HIA from similar practices and provides a simple analytical framework to allow one to determine if the process in which someone is engaged is an HIA or not. The note also provides a few examples of current public health situations and points to those for which HIA would be a good choice.