Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, joined Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, today (Tuesday 12th July) to launch the ‘Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) Annual Report 2021’ at the Mansion House in Dublin.
SICAP is co-funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the European Social Fund.
It currently employs approximately 600 community workers across Ireland working to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality through local engagement and partnerships between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies.
The Programme was recently awarded the prestigious UN Award for Public Service during Covid.
A ‘Learning Brief’ which examines the different experiences of men and women who have been supported by the programme was also launched today.
The SICAP 2021 Annual Report highlights the vital importance of the Programme in addressing inequality and improving outcomes for the most disadvantaged groups and individuals in the country.
In 2021, 2,646 Local Community Groups and 26,483 individuals were supported by the programme.
The report also acknowledges the role of the Local Development Companies (LDCs) and Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) who deliver the Programme at County and local area level.
Speaking at today’s launch, Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy said:
“I am delighted today to welcome colleagues and friends from Dublin's community and local development sector who partner with Dublin City Council in delivering the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP). It's success is attributable to the hard work and commitment of all delivery partners working at local and central government and especially to the programme participants themselves.
“We are busy in July expanding SICAP actions across Dublin to include dedicated service responses to meet the needs of recently arrived Ukrainian refugees.
“This effort supports our wider Community Forum response in helping meet presenting and urgent needs.
“I want to thank our Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and its staff team for their ongoing and important work overseeing all aspects of SICAP in Dublin and ensuring it has gone from strength to strength since it's inception in 2018.
“SICAP is a proven success for Dublin. Going forward I support an enhanced resource commitment across its all aspexts of its delivery so that it success is maintained as SICAP continues to adapt and meet the needs of households.”
Launching the report, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD said:
“I am delighted to launch the SICAP Annual Report here in the Mansion House today. This report clearly shows the importance of the Programme in addressing inequality and improving outcomes for the most disadvantaged groups and individuals in the country.”
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Minister O’Brien and his Department on winning the prestigious 2022 UN Public Service Award for the social inclusion programme.
“This international award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the immense work of the programme, particularly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of this programme and its impact in communities around the country.”
Minister O’Brien said:
“I am very pleased to have Minister McGrath join me today to help raise awareness of the important work of SICAP.
“This programme is the State’s primary social inclusion tool and in addition to working daily to target poverty and disadvantage, the programme workers were also hugely responsive to both the Covid crisis and more recently the Ukrainian crisis.”
“Minister McGrath’s presence here today is testament to this programme’s importance in overall Government policy and I am delighted that last year’s Budget provided significant additional funding to SICAP in recognition of that important role it plays in communities across Ireland.”
The Governments Social Inclusion Progress Report was researched, written and produced by Pobal who administer the Programme on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Pobal’s CEO, Ms Anna Shakespeare, said:
“Pobal is very pleased to work with and on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs), Local Development Companies (LDCs) and other stakeholders towards a common aim of reducing disadvantage, poverty and promoting greater social inclusion and equality”
“I very much welcome the launch of a ‘Learning Brief’ produced by Pobal which is the first detailed gender analysis of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).
“It analyses and compares the different experiences of men and women, who have engaged with the Programme. It is important to understand these differences, what drives them and to examine what can be done to address the existing barriers”
The SICAP 2021 Annual Report can be downloaded here:https://www.pobal.ie/app/uploads/2022/07/A-Comparison-of-Women-and-Men-Supported-by-SICAP-A-Learning-Brief-by-Pobal.pdf https://www.pobal.ie/app/uploads/2022/07/SICAP-2021-Annual-Report.pdf
The ‘Learn Brief’ can be downloaded here: A-Comparison-of-Women-and-Men-Supported-by-SICAP-A-Learning-Brief-by-Pobal.pdf
The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office
01-773 6843 / 086 7912704
Notes to editor
Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)
SICAP assists both individuals and groups through a two-pronged approach; supporting communities and supporting individuals. 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.
Some of the key findings from the 2021 SICAP Annual Report include:
- 2,646 Local Community Groups were supported in 2021, 542 of these were new to the programme.
- €336,988 in grant funding was allocated to Local Community Groups.
- 501 Social Enterprises were supported by SICAP in 2021
- 26,483 individuals were supported by the programme during the year.
- 72 people received an enterprise start-up grant and a total amount of €44,617 in start-up grants were awarded.
Pobal works on behalf of Government to support communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion and development.
Pobal’s vision is to create an equal and inclusive society in partnership with Government and communities.
The role of Pobal is to provide management and support services to 38 programmes in the areas of Social Inclusion and Equality, Inclusive Employment and Enterprise, and Early Years and Young People. We administer these programmes on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the Department of Social Protection, as well as the Department of Health/HSE, the Department of Justice, and a number of EU bodies. Allocating circa €765 million in 2021. www.pobal.ie
Download the 2021 Social Inclusion and Communality Activation Programme Annual Report here.
Find out more about the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) here.
Read and download ‘A Comparison of Women and Men Supported by SICAP – A Pobal Learning Brief’ by following this link