General international development is a little off theme. However, I can assure you that the recommendations I make to the extractive sector are very strong on not building hospitals and health centres but trying to improve basic water supplies, provide microfinance, generate local procurement and sometimes strengthen primary health care facilities.  Provision of contraception is very high on the agenda as large infrastructure projects have the potential to create HIV epidemics through the 3 Ms: "mobile men with money". There is also an interface with social investment programs (these are budget allocations for the social good which have nothing to do with health impacts of the project). There is a great deal of variation between corporations with ExxonMobil coming near the bottom, Chevron a bit higher up, and corps like Shell and Eni looking fairly good (as I have experienced it).
Aid funded  public sector development in poor countries tends to suffer from a lack of funds to undertake HIA.
Hope this helps

Dr Martin Birley
BirleyHIA, Consultants in Health Impact Assessment
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On 16 June 2014 12:32, <> wrote:

Thanks, Martin.  Many of these international principles apply in principle but not in practice in the US; they have little or no legal standing.  Individual organizations could adopt them, and also pursue their own visions, like the Gates Foundation.  The values of a very large and rich organization like Gates can drive international efforts. Gates has been criticized for this; driving out other efforts.

 I wonder about the effectiveness of the work of corporations "ahead of the national government in which project is located."  For example, when I look at sixty years of humanitarian assistance in Haiti, I see almost no progress.  Organizations built medical clinics and hospitals that met no seismic design and construction standards, even though they were on a known earthquake zone, and consequently fell down in the big earthquake a few years ago.  This argues for inclusion of best practices from various forms of infrastructure when HIAs are done. This could be another example of the "silo" or "stovepipe" problem. 

 Another aspect from Haiti is the fact that some otherwise highminded organizations refuse to provide contraception, family planning, and abortion funding, services, or advice due to religious and theological reasons. They thus perpetuate poverty and thus wipe out any progress that may be made in another area.

 A third example those medical people on this discussion know much more about than me-- the lack of education and aid on basic sanitary services in places like Haiti. I watch sophisticated medical services being provided, when a shipload of 50 cent Chinese shovels and soap and instructions about digging pit latrines away from water sources and washing hands could accomplish more in cutting the chain of disease transmission.

 A fourth example from tragic Haiti is the emphasis by some organizations on electronic solutions to "problems," using cellphone and computer networks, for example, when much lower tech solutions are needed.

Sorry to go on like this, but when I look at evaluation of humanitarian operations, I see this sort of thing. If anyone is interested, I have a paper on this subject.



From: "Martin Birley" <>
To: "marcomcast" <>
Cc: "Alex Scott-Samuel" <>, "Salim Vohra" <>, "Ben Cave" <>, "Jenny Mindell" <>, "TRB Health and Transportation" <>, "Ben Harris-Roxas (" <>
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014 12:06:42 AM
Subject: Re: [H+T--Friends] H+T--Friends Digest, Vol 38, Issue 4 - HIA

It would be great to have your detailed view of how the IFC PF and Equator Principles apply in US in light of what US is and is not signatory to. Also how well IFC addresses civil rights.

Treaties on human rights include the right to health. we have had legal opinion in the past that this is about progressive realization and that decisions by government that would reduce health are then in breach of treaty obligations.

In HIA I'm usually just constructing a justified argument to a corporation who are concerned about their reputation, social license to operate and investment risk rating. They are usually ahead of the national government in which project is located.
I think the IFC PS anticipates your point and expects clients to act even when government is uninterested. It's a loan condition.