For a childhood with more opportunities

OBJECTIVES

Strategic Principles

  • The Observatory has entered into an ethical commitment with children, adolescents and their families who are vulnerable and at risk of social exclusion. These people and their needs are at the heart of the attention and action of the Observatory, which aims to generate changes that enable improvements in their quality of life and opportunities.

    For the Observatory, the possibility of obtaining information and know-how and becoming a tool for reflection represents a commitment to return this expertise to society and place it at the service of the most vulnerable.

  • Mitigating situations of vulnerability and risk of social exclusion that affect children, adolescents and their families requires a model of socio-educational action and a comprehensive, systemic approach. This should consider the multiple factors that characterise poverty, behind which lies an extremely heterogenous, structural and complex reality. Effective responses must follow the principle of diversity and be oriented towards all-encompassing, comprehensive proposals that consider the interdependence between educational levels, work, income, access to housing, health conditions and so on.

    By developing processes and seeking transformations, the socio-educational action recognises the role, capabilities, resources and initiatives of all stakeholders. It collaborates closely with them, aiming to establish systems of stable social support and improvement of opportunities. This socio-educational action should be directed at the promotion of people and reinforcement of their skills – process development, the transformation of situations – and facilitate the access to resources that can make this possible. This perspective should take into account the potential for growth, change and improvement inherent in every person and family.

  • The complexity presented by the phenomenon of poverty and exclusion requires systematic action to mobilise and articulate all of the region's resources, fostering joint activities. Mechanisms are therefore required to promote relationships and cooperation between stakeholders. These range from the creation of a common framework to lay down specific procedures that guide the actions and their corresponding derivations/spin-offs, to the design of instruments that enable information transfers. The aim of these mechanisms is to institute forms of coordination and cooperation necessary in networking and systemic relationships. As the creation of joint methodologies becomes more structured and consolidated, this development of mutual recognition leads to the formation of local networks which, in addition to enhancing coordination, ensure sustainability since they produce social capital and facilitate a more direct impact on the more structural and decisive aspects of exclusion. The organisation of this network involves constant and dynamic interaction between the various public and private socio-educational agents working in the region.

  • A convergence of views on social realities not only enriches the understanding of these phenomena, but also enables stakeholders to work together to transform situations of deprivation or social injustice. Joint projects also facilitate the identification and better distribution of existing resources.

  • The Observatory aims to promote innovative, high quality practices, the drafting of forward-looking studies and the development of proactive measures. It is not limited to being a mere container of data and information or simply a research centre, but seeks to become a platform for social innovation from which to further actions aimed at improving the living conditions of young people at risk of social exclusion. To this end, it plans to promote an effective approach which is transferable to other organisations and regions and is an innovative model and possible point of reference. It is therefore vital that the Observatory is able to anticipate situations, forecasting future trends and, at the same time, exercising a proactive capacity to propose and transform.

  • The Observatory develops systemic reflection on its own practice, which it analyses and evaluates. Improvement of the programme is based on supervision and continuous impact evaluation at both quantitative and qualitative levels. This is the only way to assess the transformative effects the programme produces with respect to initial situations, and to propose strategies for its continuous improvement.

  • In addition to its reporting function, the Observatory has a pedagogical and educational purpose aimed at knowledge transfer. This approach facilitates the promotion of shared learning processes among different stakeholders in the network. The Observatory is a space of learning, exchange and collaboration which enables the gathering, processing and dissemination of information. It works to gain a better understanding of the reality under study as well as to promote reflection and become a knowledge transfer network.

  • The Observatory is governed by scientific criteria and based on theoretical and practical reflection. The plurality of the scientific team which directs and supervises it, together with the diversity of organisations and stakeholders involved in its operation, ensures the rigour of the knowledge it produces and the autonomy and independence of its work.