South West Observatory
|Legal status||Regional Data and Intelligence Resource - Core Unit Company Ltd by Guarantee|
|Purpose||To provide data and analysis for decision makers|
|South West (England)|
|Prof Martin Boddy (University of the West of England)|
|Affiliations||South West RDA, Government Office for the South West, Office for National Statistics (ONS), Association for Regional Observatories (ARO)|
|Website||South West Observatory Website|
The South West Observatory (SWO) is a regional resource for the South West of England, originally established by the former South West Regional Development Agency, Government Office for the South West, and the South West Regional Assembly (now South West Councils) as a partnership for use by policy-makers to aid and improve evidence-based decision-making.
Structure and funding
The SWO is a network of analysts working together at the regional and sub-regional levels to provide timely and accurate information about the region. The SWO network comprises "Thematic Modules" which cover various cross-cutting policy themes and "Local Intelligence Networks" (LINs) which focus on specific geographies. The SWO's structure differs from that of other Regional Observatories. At the centre of the South West Observatory is a Core Unit which coordinates and facilitates network activity. This is based in Taunton, Somerset. The SWO works with a broad range of regional and national partners on many issues.
- Modules - There are currently six modules working within the SWO. The modules cover Economy, Environment, Planning, Public Health, Skills and Learning (in association with the Marchmont Observatory) and Culture. The structure of the individual modules differs, as do their sources of funding.
- Local Intelligence Networks - There are currently nine Local Intelligence Networks (LINs) involved in SWO activities. They are based within the local authorities covering Cornwall, Plymouth, Devon, Torbay, Dorset, Somerset, West of England (Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset), Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
The SWO also works within a wider network of regional agencies, government departments and academics. This includes the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Regional Presence.
Every year the SWO produces a report entitled Changing State of the South West. Published online annually and as a hard copy every three years, this report details the facts and figures behind life in the South West. As of mid-2012, the latest edition was published in March 2012.
- "About Us". South West Observatory (SWO). Retrieved 2012-06-09.
- Yorkshire Futures: Regional Observatories Yorkshire Futures/Regional Observatories
- Hansard: Questions to the Deputy Prime Minister
- South West Observatory: Local Intelligence Networks
- "Changing State of the South West 2012". South West Observatory (SWO). Retrieved 2012-06-09.