Engaging Vulnerable Populations in Health Impact Assessment
Harkness, Anna Rose
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This paper addresses the challenge of community engagement with vulnerable populations in the HIA process by considering two questions: 1. Which populations may be overlooked by common methods of community engagement? 2. What novel strategies can practitioners use to increase participation from vulnerable groups, particularly given the constraints of deadlines and tight budgets? The second section of the paper reviews existing literature on challenges in community engagement, working with vulnerable populations, and incorporating these elements into HIA. The third and fourth sections comprise two phases of original research. First, the third section reviews a selection of completed HIAs from eleven states to evaluate the current standard of community engagement with vulnerable populations. Then, in the fourth section, I report the results of interviews with selected HIA practitioners and policy experts on the role of community engagement in HIA and the challenges of working with vulnerable populations. The fifth section establishes a framework for practitioners for engaging vulnerable populations in HIA. The sixth section concludes.