Wollondilly: Health into planning scoping project

Project Status

Fiona Haigh, Katie Hirono, Karla Jaques, Ben Harris-Roxas, Evelyne De Leeuw


SWSLHD Population Health and Wollondilly Shire Council (WSC) have been working together to identify ways of integrating health considerations into policy and planning processes. This work began with WSC’s involvement in the 2013/14 HIA Learning by Doing Training. The partners have continued to work together building on the HIA training by looking at ways to further integrate the consideration of health into WSC planning and policy making processes. In November 2015 a joint Planning and Health Forum was held where a range of potential ways of progressing this joint work was identified. A joint working group has been formed and decided that there is need for a project to identify appropriate tools and strategies to integrate health into WSC planning processes. 


  • Identify points of intervention to integrate health into WWSC planning processes
  • Identify appropriate tools and approaches to integrate health into WSC land use planning processes 

Design and Method

  • Stage 1: CHETRE will work closely with WSC to identify what types of approaches are appropriate to the Wollondilly context, suitable points of intervention, and contextual factors that could influence how and whether interventions could work (e.g. capacity, culture, timing). This would involve:
    • Interview/focus groups with key WSC staff such as those involved in the reference group;
    • Participant observation by CHETRE staff of the planning process (i.e. attending key meetings, observing planners in the workspace);
    • Reading key legislative requirements for land use planning and discussion with planners about the application of these regulations to the planning process.
  • Stage 2: synthesize available evidence of tools and approaches to integrating health into land use planning. A ‘realist’ synthesis will be used to identify issues and understand contextual influences on whether, why and how the interventions might work. The scope of the synthesis will be guided by the reference group, and informed by the data collected from WSC in stage 1. Investigate feasibility, utility and potential models of a joint Health/ WSC staff position as a possible intervention.
  • Stage 3: Validate proposed intervention through consultation with external experts in land use planning. This consultation may provide validation of the specific intervention for the Wollondilly context, and/or may also identify interventions that are appropriate for broader (non-Wollondilly specific) planning processes. 
  • Stage 4: Conduct a workshop with Population Health and WSC to discuss and develop recommendations for a final report.