The starting point for all Caritas action is the observation, listening and encounter with concrete people in need, in poverty. Caritas is committed to responding to needs of concrete people and communities where and when they arise and to raising awareness of the challenges and opportunities for a more inclusive society.

Caritas has to be credible in its actions in order to achieve results. Therefore, in order to act with and accompany people and communities in the best possible way, listening, observing and discerning of the surrounding reality is at the core of Caritas’ style of doing.

This publication aims at presenting this concept of the combined method of listening, observing and discerning and how it is implemented in various ways by Caritas organisations, depending on their situation. These elements naturally serve one another, and are indispensable if we wish to plan, promote and implement appropriate and effective social action, both in response to people’s needs, and to animate and involve the society. 

Download your Poverty Observatory handbookEnglish | French | German