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Table 1 Variables to be studied, data collection and analysis methods for each step of the CA

From: Evaluation of the effects of health impact assessment practice at the local level in Monteregie

Contribution analysis (CA) Variables Data collection methods Analysis
Step 1. Develop a model representing the anticipated chain of results (program theory) •Anticipated or observed results a of the HIA •Informal individual interview with the PHD knowledge broker Information will be synthetized and presented in the form of a logic model illustrating chain of results, influencing factors and alternative explanations
•Contextual elements which could have positively or negatively influenced these results •Examination of documentation (e.g. Political reports, media documents, etc.)
Step 2. Assess the existing evidence regarding the results •History of the city’s involvement in an HIA •Individual interview with the local public health professional who participated in the HIA The verbatim of the interviews will be transcribed and analyzed; data will be coded using the NVivo (QSR). The validation will be conducted by a double coding technique. The inter-coder technique will be used by the research coordinator and a researcher, who will undertake an independent and parallel encoding for the first verbatim and compare their results. In case of disagreement, they will clarify their differences, refine the codes and will resume encoding. This process will be repeated until a 90% inter-coder reliability is achieved [32].
•HIA process: actors involved and collaboration process •Individual interview with the municipal authority of the HIA (could be the mayor, city councillor or a member of municipal staff such as an urbanism director)
•Perceived contribution of the HIA process on the results (depending on the model of change developed in step 1)
•The elements of the context which may have influenced the results
Step 3. Assess alternative explanations •Perceived contribution of the HIA process on the results (depending on the model of change developed in steps 1 and 2) •Focus group or individual interviews with other local actors who participated in the HIA
Step 4. Assemble the contribution story This step will allow the research coordinator to interpret and synthesize the results from steps 1 to 3. The coordinator will produce an explanatory document which syntheses the story. References to the specific data sources to support statements will be used. This document will be revised by a working group composed of the principal researcher, the research coordinator and the knowledge broker of the PHD.
Step 5. Seek additional evidence According to the robustness of the story reached as of step 4, additional evidence will be collected if necessary, concerning the role of different factors which may have influenced the results. This could imply the revision of municipal meeting report or statements, examination of other documentation produced by the municipality, or seeking additional information by realising a second individual interview with the municipal authority of the HIA.
Step 6. Revise and strengthen the contribution story The research coordinator will interpret and synthetize results during step 6. The coordinator will produce a refined summary of the contribution story, based on the information obtained through steps 1 to 5. This summary will be validated using the same process outlined in step 4. In addition, the steering committee will be asked to comment on this summary. A working group will discuss their overall experience with each of the HIA in general and the impact the HIA had on policy and practice within each of the municipalities. Their experiences and interpretations will be compared to the results obtained from the data analysis and the contribution stories.
  1. aAnticipated results of an HIA include sensibilisation of the actors to consider health, integration of the recommendations in the project, plan or policy, change in values or beliefs of the actors, changes in the actual project following the recommendations, and integration of health considerations in other municipal projects following the HIA.