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Health equity impact assessment (HEIA) tool

The Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) Tool was designed to help organizations both inside and outside the health care system predict the impact of their work on the health of Ontarians. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care created the tool to help decision makers amplify the positive impacts and reduce the negative impacts of organizational decisions on health disparities.  Its use can raise awareness of, and capacity for, health equity approaches throughout an organization, by prompting planners to ask questions like, “How can we include more people in this program, especially those often missed?” and “What are the barriers to accessing this service?”

The tool has two components: a workbook that explains the five steps of an HEIA; and a template for users to record the results of each step.  The five steps of the HEIA process are 1) scoping, 2) identifying potential impacts, 3) mitigation, 4) monitoring, and 5) dissemination.

The HEIA tool has a public health unit supplement with special considerations for this group, and a French language supplement for staff with distinct language responsibilities.

Use this resource to

  • Help identify possible unintended health equity impacts of decision making (positive and negative) on specific population groups
  • Support equity-based improvements in policy, planning, program or service design
  • Embed equity in an organization’s decision-making processes, and
  • Build capacity and raise awareness about health equity throughout the organization


Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. (2012). Health Equity Impact Assessment Tool. Toronto, ON: Author. Retrieved from the MOHLTC website: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/heia/tool.aspx. In French: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/fr/pro/programs/heia/tool.aspx

Tags: Methods & tools, Link

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