The Health Observatory was co-founded in 1992 by the Joint College of the Brussels-Capital Joint Community Commission and the Permanent Delegation of the Province of Brabant. This bi-community Observatory is designed to assist in developing a coherent health policy in the bilingual Brussels-Capital Region.
On 1 January 1995, a split in the province of Brabant becomes definitive; the Observatory now relies solely on the Joint College of the Joint Community Commission, responsible for health policy.
To ensure both the proper running of the Observatory within the administration of the Joint Community Commission and the independence of its scientific work, the Health Observatory is made a separately managed service in line with the order of 27 April 1995.
A new team (the current management team) is formed in May 1999.
According to the order of 19 July 2001, the objectives of the Observatory are extended to the "social" realm, including among other things the drafting of annual reports on the state of poverty in the Brussels-Capital Region. It therefore changes its name to "The Health and Social Observatory ". With its new title, the authorities clearly recognise that socio-economic factors have a major influence on health and vice versa.
This order is repealed by article 98 of the order of 21 November 2006 (in force since 1 January 2007); the Observatory then becomes the Research Centre for the Joint Community Commission's Joint College Services.
Its goals as stated in the order of 19 July 2001 were repeated in 2008 in a Joint College Regulation on the status of Joint College Services staff members.