Over 110,000 individuals and 5,000 local community groups supported in deprived and marginalised communities across the country


Published 3 September 2018

Minister Ring welcomes report detailing supports provided to reduce poverty and increase social inclusion and equality

Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) End of Programme Report 2015-2017

Michael Ring TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, has welcomed the publication of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2015 -2017 End of Programme Report, which outlines the investment by the Government to tackle disadvantage in Ireland over the almost three-year period.

The report shows that, during the lifecycle of the programme, SICAP supported 110,044 individuals on a one-to-one basis and 5,028 Local Community Groups (LCGs). Administered by Pobal, the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), distributed €100,117,865 to support the most disadvantaged individuals and communities in Ireland during the period 1 April 2015 – 31 December 2017.

SICAP, which is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality through local, regional and national engagement and collaboration. The programme is administered locally by Community Development Committees (LCDCs) and supports on the ground are delivered by Local Development Companies.

Key findings of the report show that between 2015 and 2017:

  • 12,473 young people who were not in employment, education or training (NEETs) were supported by the programme.
  • 52,068 people received supports related to life-long learning.
  • 9,721 individuals progressed along the education continuum (i.e. gained a higher qualification) after registering with SICAP, 22% of whom were young people (aged 15-24).
  • 73,374 individuals, including 9,964 young people, received employment supports including career advice and guidance supports, self-employment supports and labour market training.
  • 5,801 people progressed to full-time or part-time employment.
  • 15,923 people who received self-employment supports set up a new business, which led to the creation of 1,695 full time jobs.
  • 5,028 Local Community Groups were supported.

Minister Ring said: “The key achievements of the SICAP Programme 2015-2017 once again demonstrate the Government’s commitment to tackle poverty and social exclusion in the most disadvantaged areas and the importance of collaborative approaches with external agencies and bodies to ensure the needs of the most marginalised people are met.

“Last April, I announced SICAP funding of €190 million over the next five years. SICAP has a strong track record of helping disadvantaged people get the supports they need to make progress in their lives as evidenced in this report. I recently met with people who are participating in SICAP supported programmes in Southill in Limerick and the positive impact on their lives was clear to see.”

Denis Leamy, CEO of Pobal, said: “The report on SICAP 2015-2017, produced by the Pobal Monitoring and Analysis Unit, provides us with key insights and learnings that will inform the ongoing development of the new SICAP 2018-2022 programme. The achievements of the programme to date are evidence of the importance of a ‘bottom up community development approach’ in order to address social exclusion, recognising the challenges of engaging with hard to reach communities. I welcome the publication of this report and want to commend all those who have worked so hard to deliver SICAP 2015-2017.”

The full Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2015 -2017 End of Programme Report can be found on the Department’s website: www.drcd.gov.ie

 Notes to editor:

  • SICAP assists both individuals and groups through a two-pronged approach; supporting communities and supporting individuals.
  • SICAP is implemented by groups across the country that were selected through a public procurement process undertaken by Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs).
  • LCDCs are responsible for the management and oversight of the contract with the Local Development Companies responsible for the delivery of SICAP at local level.
  • SICAP is funded by the Department of Rural and Community.
  • SICAP target groups include; children and families living in disadvantaged areas, lone parents, new communities (including refugees/asylum seekers), people living in disadvantaged communities, people with disabilities, Roma, the unemployed (including those not on the Live Register), travellers, and  young unemployed people living in disadvantaged areas
  • Pobal, as agent of the Department and acting on the Department’s behalf, has responsibility for the national management and oversight of SICAP. Their role includes monitoring the programme at a high level and preparing national programme progress reports. Pobal is a not-for-profit organisation that works on behalf of Government to support communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion, reconciliation and equality. Pobal provides management and support services to 24 programmes for three different government departments and the EU.