Who are we and what are our aims?

The Observatory is a France Volontaires’ project which is supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and the members of the France Volontaires association. Its mission is to increase awareness about various ways in which French citizens are involved in the field of international solidarity. It aspires to become an essential reference in terms of observation and analysis of the sector and thus be a decision making tool for the management and development of public policies on the subject.

The Observatory is a leader of established networks of community stakeholders: CLONG Volontariat, Fonjep, Cotravaux, RITIMO, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, etc. as well as stakeholders in French regions and in partner countries. In particular, the Observatory has links with the local and regional authorities involved in decentralized cooperation and with other stakeholder partners around the world who are active in the field in the social and solidarity sectors.

For this reason, the Observatory wishes to become stakeholder and partner of operational networks and support structures of international development and solidarity in the interest of independence, transparency, objectivity, scientific and methodological rigour and above all to foster relations with all other international voluntary stakeholders. 

In order to achieve this, the Observatory’s areas of action are :

  • Identifying, evaluating and adding value.
  • Developing a permanent system of information about international voluntary and solidarity based commitment and carry out research (specific or inter-disciplinary).
  • Organising the collection, storage, data-processing (regular analysis) and the circulation/sharing of the analysis (publications, circulation).

Through its activities of collection, analysis and value-creation, the Observatory helps to foster the dynamics of the sector, share knowledge about the practices of each stakeholder, pool expertise and methodologies related to voluntary work, the results of experiments, the spread of innovations, the promotion of a quality approach, etc.

The aim is to show the diversity and richness of the sector, to enhance it and encourage all stakeholders to contribute to this dynamics of knowledge.

In 2011, the Observatory was approved as part of the European Year of Volunteering.

Contact: For further information, please contact Ana Gonzalez.