The Observatory ran from 2009 to March 2012. It was funded by a Building Change Trust transformation grant. The Building Change Trust is a lottery funded consortium, of which the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland was a founding partner.
The Observatory built on the Community Foundation's tradition of influencing policy development and promoting community based action. It was established to: engage with community organisations, promote discussion and identify issues, challenges and opportunities for sustainability in the midst of an ever changing environment.
The focus of the Observatory's work was on the promotion of economic justic to combat poverty. It aimed to contribute to the strategic transformation of the community sector by:
connecting community groups with local and regional policy agendas, and
producing relevant, accessible, authoritative and influential policy intelligence.
It drew on the expertise of an Advisory Panel of community development practitioners, academics, and public sector representatives, which met regularly over three years.
An overview of the Observatory's activities is available here.