Health Equity Impact Assessment is a practical and effective planning tool that analyzes the potential impact of service, program or policy changes on health disparities and/or health disadvantaged populations. It can help to plan new services or initiatives or assess and re-align existing programs; and using it has proven valuable to building awareness of and embedding equity within organizations. It can be used both within the health sector and in numerous other fields that impact the social determinants of health.
Increasingly, Health Impact Assessments are being used by policy makers to understand and influence how policies, projects, plans, and programs affect health inequities. Often equity issues are overlooked, especially outside of health policy, so applying an equity lens can generate discussion and improve decision making. Improved understanding of equity amongst policy makers may also be beneficial for future projects.