Knowledge, data and interests: Challenges in participation of diverse stakeholders in HIA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stakeholder participation is considered an integral part of HIA. However, the challenges that participation implies in a multi-disciplinary and multi-ethnic society are less studied. This paper presents the manifestations of the multiplicity of sectors and population groups in HIA and discusses the challenges that such diversity imposes. Specifically, there is no common ground between participants, as their positions entail contradictory knowledge regarding the current situation, reliance on distinct data and conflicting interests. This entails usage of multiple professional and ethnic languages, disagreements regarding the definition of health and prioritizing health issues in HIA, and divergent perceptions of risk. These differences between participants are embedded culturally, socially, individually and, maybe most importantly, professionally. This complex picture of diverse stakeholder attributes is grounded in a case study of stakeholder participation in HIA, regarding zoning of a hazardous industry site in Israel. The implication is that participatory HIAs should address the multiplicity of stakeholders and types of knowledge, data and interests in a more comprehensive way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I am grateful to the participants in the HIA, who agreed that I will research the process. I thank Naama Teschner, Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, Prof. Bracha Alpert and the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments. This research was conducted during a PhD funded by the Environment and Health Fund, and I am obliged to the Fund for enabling this research. Finally, I thank The Center for Health Policy Research in the Negev, Ben Gurion University, which conducted this HIA.


  • Health impact assessment
  • Risk perception
  • Stakeholder participation
  • Types of knowledge
  • Zoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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