Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Health Impact Assessment of Agriculture and Food Policies: Lessons Learnt from the Republic of Slovenia. (Theme Papers)

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Health Impact Assessment of Agriculture and Food Policies: Lessons Learnt from the Republic of Slovenia. (Theme Papers)

Article excerpt

Abstract The most important public health priority in agricultural policy-making is currently food safety, despite the relatively higher importance of food security, nutrition, and other agricultural-related health issues in terms of global burden of disease. There is limited experience worldwide of using health impact assessment (HIA) during the development of agriculture and food policies, which perhaps reflects the complex nature of this policy sector.

This paper presents methods of HIA used in the Republic of Slovenia, which is conducting a HIA of proposed agricultural and food policies due to its accession to the European Union. It is the first time that any government has attempted to assess the health effects of agricultural policy at a national level. The HIA has basically followed a six-stage process: policy analysis; rapid appraisal workshops with stakeholders from a range of backgrounds; review of research evidence relevant to the agricultural policy; analysis of Slovenian data for key health-related indicators; a report on the findings to a key cross-government group; and evaluation. The experience in Slovenia shows that the HIA process has been a useful mechanism for raising broader public health issues on the agricultural policy agenda, and it has already had positive results for policy formation.

HIA is one useful approach to more integrated policy-making across sectors, but clearly it is not the only mechanism to achieve this. A comparison of the approach used in Slovenia with HIA methods in other countries and policy contexts shows that there are still many limitations with HIA application at a government level. Lessons can be learnt from these case studies for future development and application of HIA that is more relevant to policy-makers, and assists them in making more healthy policy choices.

Keywords Health status indicators; Environmental health; Policy making; Agriculture/legislation; Food supply/legislation; Nutrition policy/legislation; Program evaluation; Public policy; Models, Theoretical; Public health; Outcome and process assessment (Health care); Risk assessment; Decision making; Slovenia (source: MESH, NLM).

Mots cles Indicateur etat sanitaire; Hygiene environnement; Choix d'une politique; Agriculture/legislation; Approvisionnement en nourriture/legislation; Politique nutritionnelle/legislation; Evaluation programme; Politique gouvernementale; Modele theorique; Sante publique; Evaluation resultats et methodes (Soins); Evaluation risque; Prise decision; Slovenie (source: MeSH, INSERM).

Palabras clave Indicadores de salud; Salud ambiental; Formulacion de politicas, Agricultura/legislacion; Abastecimiento de alimentos/legislacion; Politica nutriciona/legislacion; Evaluacion de programas; Politica social; Modelos teoricos; Salud publica; Evaluacion de procesos y resultados (Atencion de salud); Medicion de riesgo; Toma de decisiones; Eslovenia (fuente: DeCS, BIREME).

Resume

Etude d'impact sur la sante des politiques agricoles et alimentaires: rexperience de la Republique de Slovenie

La salubrite des aliments est actuellement la premiere priorite de sante publique a respecter dans le cadre d'une politique agricole, meme si la securite alimentaire, la nutrition et d'autres questions sanitaires en rapport avec I'agriculture sont des problemes relativement plus importants du point de vue de la charge mondiale de morbidite. Peu de pays procedent a une etude d'impact sur la sante dans le cadre de l'elaboration de leurs politiques agricoles et alimentaires en raison sans doute de la nature complexe du secteur agro-alimentaire.

Le present article decrit les methodes utilisees par la Republique de Slovenie pour etudier l'impact sur la sante des politiques agricoles et alimentaires qu'elle a prevu de mettre en place a la suite de son adhesion a l'Union europeenne. C'est la premiere fois qu'un gouvernement s'efforce d'evaluer les effets possibles sur la sante de sa politique agricole a l'echelle nationale. …

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