GLOBAL AGENDA FOR SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Establishing the Global Agenda Observatory – Phase 2 Guidance for making bids


The three global partner organisations (International Association of Schools of Social Work, International Council on Social Welfare, International Federation of Social Workers) affirm the vision of the Global Agenda which makes explicit the contribution of social work and social development in building a ‘society for all’ in which every individual has an active role to play within a fair and just world.


To gather evidence about the activities of social workers, educators and social development practitioners, which support the implementation of the Global Agenda, in order to give visibility and credibility to their contributions and to promote further action, the three global partners have decided to strengthen their collaboration and move it further. Activity is structured around the four themes of The Global Agenda: Promoting Social and Economic Equalities (2012-14) and Promoting the dignity and worth of the person (2014-16). The themes to be covered in subsequent years are: Working towards environmental sustainability and Strengthening recognition of the importance of human relationships. A focus on ensuring an appropriate environment for practice and education is included throughout. The Global Agenda Observatory is the mechanism for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of The Agenda Commitments.

Observatory structure and process

The Global Agenda Observatory, established by IASSW, ICSW and IFSW, is a process and a structure which are evolving; it is our aspiration to have established a strong, credible Global Observatory during the first ten years. The Global Agenda Observatory will consist of regional networks or consortia composed of institutions of higher education and professional/ practice-based organisations that jointly research, analyse, synthesise and report on Agenda activities.

The first phase of The Global Agenda Observatory (2012-14) entailed a joint activity organised through and based on the regional structures of the 3 global partners, facilitated by global and regional Coordinators appointed by each of the 3 partners.

The 3 partner organisations are now launching the second phase of The Global Agenda Observatory process. This phase involves the selection of regional Observatory arrangements to generate evidence on the implementation of the priority themes of the Global Agenda. The regional reports which will form the basis of the 2016 global report on Promoting the dignity and worth of the person

The second Observatory Report will be launched at and form the focus of the 2016 Joint World Conference in Seoul, Republic of Korea. It is intended that the report will be published as a supplement to International Social Work journal and reported widely in the international media.

Invitation for the bidding on Regional Observatories

The 3 partner organisations are confident that the award of the status of Regional Observatory will bring significant benefits not only to the 3 global partners but also to institutions that host Regional Observatories. The Regional Observatories will provide the core material for the bi-annual Observatory Report, which will be published by the 3 global partners and widely promoted at world conferences and beyond. We anticipate that these reports will become standard points of reference for global bodies such as the United Nations, as well as for professional bodies and educational institutions. We hope that consortia will attract significant additional human and financial resources to the host organisations, which will also be beneficial to the global bodies. It is expected that the hosting institutions will secure a higher profile and recognition, enhancing their global reputations through their participation in the Regional Observatory.

Submissions of bids

IASSW, ICSW and IFSW invite concrete proposals from interested bodies as the first stage in the selection process. The 3 partner organisations are open to exploratory discussions with institutions who submit bids about the best arrangements for Observatory bodies, taking account of their specific requirements as described below.

It is intended that the process of bidding and selection will involve 1) formal bids submitted by prospective regional hosts, 2) a formal engagement process involving the bidders and the pertinent regional structures, facilitated by the global partners, 3) selection of Observatory hosts by the regional structures facilitated by the global organisations.

The submitted bids must include the following as a minimum:

  1. Indication of partnership arrangements involving institutions of higher education and professional/practice-based organisations
  2. Governance arrangements which reflect the partnership, including representatives of the regional structures of the 3 global partners
  3. An outline showing how the proposed Regional Observatory will jointly research, analyse, synthesise and report on Agenda activities
  4. Evidence of past successful delivery and dissemination of research and reports in related fields, including access to relevant professional and academic credibility and skills
  5. Commitment to working collaboratively with the other regional Observatories and the 3 global bodies
  6. Proposals for generating the resources required to undertake the proposed activities, including evidence of successful attraction of resources for previous activities
  7. New ideas about how the Observatory structures can make a creative contribution to developing practice and education in the areas of interest to the 3 global partners, including new ways of involving practitioners in research, new forms of dissemination and proposals for giving expression to diverse voices within the region
  8. Ability to work in one of the common official languages of the 3 partner organisations (English, French and Spanish)
  9. Submissions must be made in one of the official languages of the global bodies. If the bid submission is not in English, a summary in English must be provided.

Bids must be submitted by email to any one of the 3 global partners at the following addresses:




Questions about the bidding process should be sent by email to one of the above in the first instance.

Bids will be copied to each partner organisation as they are received.

Global observatory timeline to the 2016 global conference in Seoul

31 January 2014

The global organisations have agreed on the conference theme with the Hosts of the Seoul Conference, linking it to The Global Agenda. For the 2016 conference the title will be: Promoting the dignity and worth of persons.

July 2014

The first Global Observatory report is launched at the world conference in Melbourne.

The selection process for establishing the Regional Observatories is formally launched at the world conference.

30 October 2014

Deadline for receipt of bids – review by regions facilitated by the global organisations

30 November 2014

End of screening process and start of formal engagement with bidders (i.e. discussions and exchanges about improvement of bids and possible merger of bids to form regional consortia)

19 December 2014

End of formal engagement process and dialogue

5 January 2015

Deadline for submission of revised tender bids. Start the process of selection by regions, facilitated and eventually approved by the global organisations.

31 January 2015

Selection of Regional Observatory consortia complete.

Regional Observatory partners formalise the arrangements and start the process of gathering evidence for the 2016 report. The global bodies facilitate contact between regions and confirm expectations.

March 2015

The regional structures of the global bodies, in cooperation with the global organisations, review progress and offer support where needed.

30 November 2015

Regional observatory partnerships complete regional synthesis reports.

December 2015 – February 2016

Regional Observatories facilitated by the 3 global bodies develop the global overview of the Observatory evidence and draft overview sections of the Global Report

1 March 2016

Global report completed by the partner organisations, in cooperation with the regional structures. Global overview analysis is coordinated with the publication timetable for the possible publication of a supplement to the International Social Work journal (ISW) (see below).

June 2016

The 2nd Global Observatory report published and launched at the Seoul world conference. It is hoped that publication will be in a supplement to International Social Work.

July 2016

The Regional Observatories and 3 global bodies review the experience of the process to date and make changes if appropriate to strengthen the messages, lessons learned and obstacles encountered.