About SOPHIA

History

SOPHIA was formed in late 2011 by a group convened at the 2010 HIA of the Americas Workshop, and has since grown to over 240 members worldwide. We welcome all HIA practitioners, whether experienced or novice, from any geographic region or country, and those with a broader interest in HIA, to join us. Please visit this page to learn more about becoming a member.

Our Mission

SOPHIA is an association of individuals and organizations providing leadership and promoting excellence in the practice of health impact assessment.

Our Vision

SOPHIA will be a leading network of health impact assessment practitioners. By promoting and practicing a thorough and systematic consideration of health in decision making, we work towards achieving better health for all.

Our Values

As Health Impact Assessment practitioners, our work will reflect the following core values:

  • Democracy: emphasizing the right of people to participate in the formulation of decisions that affect their lives.
  • Equity: emphasizing the reduction of inequity that results from avoidable differences in health determinants and/or health status within affected populations.
  • Sustainability: emphasizing that decisions should meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  • Ethical use of evidence: emphasizing that transparent and rigorous processes are used to synthesize and interpret evidence, that the best available evidence from different disciplines and methodologies is utilized, that all evidence is valued, and that recommendations are developed impartially.
  • Comprehensive approach to health: emphasizing that health and disease are determined by a broad range of factors from all aspects of the physical, social and economic environment.

[Values adapted from: Quigley R, den Broeder L, Furu P, Bond A, Cave B, Bos R. Health Impact Assessment International Best Practice Principles. Fargo, USA: International Association of Impact Assessment, 2006.]

Leadership

SOPHIA is governed by an 11-member elected Steering Committee, and staffed by one part-time Director and dozens of volunteer members. SOPHIA members nominate and elect the Steering Committee every two years. The next Steering Committee will be elected in Summer 2016. SOPHIA is fiscally sponsored by Human Impact Partners.

Strategic Plan

SOPHIA’s Steering Committee and interested members conducted a two-part strategic planning process in September 2014 and June 2015. The resulting Strategic Plan defines our strategic directions and activities for September 2014-August 2019.


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