Recorded: 25 APR 2017
Community health and safety are strongly influenced by factors outside the control of health authorities. Any large project, be it infrastructure, farming or extraction, will generate health and safety impacts on the local communities. Some groups such as children and the elderly will be disproportionately affected because they are physiologically more vulnerable compared to the general populations. Other groups might be more affected because they are more socially and economically vulnerable (e.g., single parents or indigenous groups). At the same time, these projects might generate a positive change and therefore improve health and safety, by providing better and safer roads, for example. However, these improvements can also trigger change in life style that generates health consequences. Finally, general improvement of community health and safety are achievable only when project proponents, civil society, and governmental authorities work together in a collaborative matter, and the impact assessment process is the ideal place to have this discussion.
The webinar discussed what is health and how it is shaped and measured. Then it highlighted why it is important to look at community health and safety in any impact assessment, what are the minimum requirements for including health in an impact assessment, and what are the international resources available.
Francesca Viliani is the Head of Public Health at International SOS and a Chatham House fellow. She is a specialist in public health and crisis management with over 20 years of working experience. At International SOS, she oversees the capacity building for and delivery of Health Impact Assessment and public health programs for the extractive and energy sectors, as well as for mega-infrastructure development.