This introduction chapter outlines the subject and purpose of the book, namely how Health Impact Assessment (HIA), as a policy-support instrument has been used in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to inform policy development. A background to the book is outlined. The chapter provides an overview of the chapters presenting experience from four HIAs which form the basis of empirical examination. The chapter is concluded by informing the reader of the approach taken for the book; it is being informed by using a conceptual lens to explore how four HIAs, conducted in the areas of physical environment and housing, were used in policy development.
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