31 January 2012

Announcing the Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment

We are pleased to announce the creation of SOPHIA: The Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment. SOPHIA is a new organization serving the needs of health impact assessment practitioners. Developed by a working group from the 2010 HIA in the Americas Workshop, SOPHIA aims to provide leadership and promote excellence in the practice of health impact assessment. SOPHIA is guided by the following core values: democracy, equity, sustainability, ethical use of evidence, and comprehensive approach to health. By promoting and practicing a thorough and systematic consideration of health in decision making, SOPHIA will help achieve better health for all.

We would like to invite all HIA practitioners, whether experienced or novice, and those with a broader interest in HIA to become a member. Membership is free of charge initially and will offer the following benefits:

  • A formal network of HIA professionals and a regular practitioners' workshop hosted by SOPHIA at which emerging topics in HIA are discussed and thought through;

  • Published information on the conduct and context of HIA;

  • A forum for new practitioners to meet mentors and to support training and technical assistance for SOPHIA members;

  • Practice standards and guidance to assist practitioners; and

  • An opportunity for peer-review of proposed or completed HIAs to ensure the continued high quality of HIA.

The only requirement for membership is signing on to a statement pledging that you will conduct HIA in a manner that aligns with SOPHIA’s core values, as stated above and described more fully on the website.

To become a member, or for more information about SOPHIA, please visit www.hiasociety.org. Because SOPHIA is currently a volunteer-led organization, members will be expected to volunteer with the organization and will be given opportunities to do so.

SOPHIA Provisional Steering Committee

Chair: Jonathan Heller
Vice-chair: Murray Lee
Secretary: Liz Hodges Snyder
Treasurer: Marla Orenstein

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