Health impact assessment in Andalusia (Spain) using geospatial information

Iria Enrique (Institute of Statistics and Cartography of Andalusia

This communication shows an example on how better statistical geodata implies better policies, based on Regional Ministry of Health of Andalucia experience. Since 2011, the Institute of Statistics and Cartography of Andalusia releases yearly georeferenced population grid data for Andalusia, at the level of disaggregation of a 250mx250m cells. These data have proven to be crucial to open up the possibilities of analysis of Health Impact Assessment studies (hereinafter HIA) carried out by the Regional Ministry of Health (I.e: Assessment for location of an industrial site). Like any impact assessment, its effectiveness is compromised by the uncertainties that arise when there is no precise information about the number and characteristics of the potentially affected populations. One of the key factors of HIA implementation success in Andalusia has been the availability of yearly georeferenced population grid data, including demographic and socio-economic characteristics. These data enable the administration and economic and social agents to face the two great challenges posed by the HIA: Identification and characterization of vulnerable population. Analysis of the distribution of impacts on population groups. Hence, the levels of uncertainty in these analysis are reduced and the adoption of measures to modify proposed projects is strongly supported and well-founded. These impact assessments help to achieve the strategy of Health in All Policies, considered the most appropriate to attain the best results in quality of life in the population (Adelaide Statement on Health in All Policies, 2010).