The South West Observatory (SWO) promotes the use of
information and research in the region's policy making.
- Providing appropriate information on the South West's society, economy
and environment to policy makers
- Sharing good practice, avoiding duplication and co-ordinating research
and intelligence work in the region
- It is the place to go for anyone who wants data, information and
research about the region. It provides an information service to the
businesses and public of the South West.
The South West Observatory consists of:
- A central coordinating unit (the Core Unit).
- Six thematic modules, focusing on Business and Economy, Health, Skills
and Learning, Environment, Planning and Culture.
- Six Local Intelligence Networks; they provide a complementary role
in producing and sharing information and analysis with a sub-regional
Within the South West there is strong commitment to developing a shared
approach to information between different partners.
The South West Observatory is an example of this and has been
formed by organisations with an interest in, and a need for, robust
information to support decision-making and to monitor the impact of their
work. These include:
These agencies, along with other partners, sit on the Observatory
Management Board, together developing a shared intelligence function, and
contributing their respective skills and expertise.
In addition to the Observatory Management Board and Advisory Group, GOSW
chairs the South West Regional
Intelligence Group (SWRIG), which provides a broader audience for
consultation on and input to Observatory developments.
State of the South West
The Observatory publishes the State of the South West report,
a comprehensive review of the region's economic, social, environmental and
cultural life. It is produced in collaboration between the Observatory
and other partners and is available in hard copy format, as well as an
on-line version. To access the on-line version follow the link below. It is
intended as a reference document for regional policy - 'an
encyclopedia of the South West' and to encourage a common understanding of