Marla is an expert in health impact assessment (HIA), public health, impact assessment theory and practice, and the development of toolkits and guidance documents. She is an epidemiologist and is a recognised leader in the field of impact assessment. She works with decision-makers in business, government and academia to assess the health of communities, the factors that influence it, and how social, economic or physical change might impact community health.
She is the founder of Habitat Health Impact Consulting Marla, is a Director for Natural Resources at the Canada West Foundation and is currently President of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA). She has led over 25 HIAs, both stand-alone and as part of integrated environmental assessments, on behalf of clients from government, industry, tribal government and community organisations. In 2014, she co-authored a textbook on health impact assessment that was published by Springer, and she also co-authored the guidance document Minimum Elements and Practice Standards for Health Impact Assessment. Marla has been heavily involved in the critique, development and refinement of impact assessment theory and practice worldwide.
Marla brings a comprehensive understanding of current standards and best practices in impact assessment, including guidelines established by multilateral finance institutions, international agencies and industry organisations. Based in Canada, Marla has extensive experience in developing toolkits and guidance documents for government audiences both inside and outside Canada. She holds a MSc. in Epidemiology from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in English Literature/Linguistics from McGill University.
Areas of Expertise
- Development of impact assessment theory and practice
- Development of toolkits and guidance document
- Health Impact Assessment
- Public Health Policy
- Integrated Impact Assessment
- Social Performance
- Stakeholder Engagement