RPS: World Health Organization Contributing Author Ryngan Pyper Joins RPS

RPS is delighted to appoint World Health Organization (WHO) Contributing Author Ryngan Pyper as Director of Health and Social Impact.

As a professional consultant for nearly twenty years, Ryngan’s extensive experience has led him to advise governments, international public health bodies and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on good practice in the evaluation of health impact (HIA).

Ryngan has been central to defining what health means in impact assessment and how it is assessed when important decisions are made. These assessments include strategic environmental assessment (SEA), which shapes legislation, policy, plans and programs; and environmental impact assessment (EIA), which shapes individual major projects. He has successfully championed approaches that promote both public health and sustainable development.

Ryngan’s role will draw on his strong background in public health, environment and law to deliver high quality assessments. He will work on public and private sector projects across the UK and beyond. An important recruit for our company, Ryngan’s expertise brings unique value to RPS’s work, including promoting opportunities for public health and building consensus with health stakeholders. These activities reduce the risks of consent processes for clients and promote better outcomes for society and the environment.

Ryngan comments: “It is a great honor to be at RPS and I am delighted to have joined. The team has great expertise and knowledge in the field of HIA, and the work that has been done is unparalleled international quality. I look forward to complementing the business with my own expertise in health and social impact assessment and delivering the best value to customers.”

Ryngan is the first author of a landmark WHO publication, Learning from practice: case studies on health in SEA and EIA in the WHO European Region“, launch in March 2022. The report sets out a clear expectation from WHO, and evidence supporting practice, that a comprehensive public health approach should be taken in EAS and EIA. This would be a significant change for many, with resource and risk planning implications.

The WHO report describes good practice with reference to published academic literature and practical examples from a range of countries in the WHO European Region. A key message is that SEA and EIA must consider not only the direct environmental effects on human health, but also the social, behavioral, economic and institutional consequences for public health.

Tom Dearing, Associate Director, Climate & EIA, Consulting UK & Ireland, comments: “Ryngan is a fantastic appointment, and his experience and professional achievements to date are outstanding. As RPS is an internationally recognized HIA service provider, the addition of Ryngan’s industry knowledge and skills will bring a great level of expertise and value to all client projects. He’ll be a great asset to lead the HIA division.”

An Honorary Research Fellow and Fellow of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center at the University of Liverpool, Ryngan previously held a director position at BCA Insight Ltd.

This WHO publication builds on previous reports in which Ryngan has published guidance. These include: a main chapter of the EIA manual; The United Nations draft guidelines on health in the EAS; an EU broad guide on health in EIA; and the advice for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on the EIS.

Looking ahead, RPS continues to have a strong collaborative relationship with the WHO, with another report on circular economy and health expected to be released later this year.

Lola R. McClure