Thursday, 23 June 2022
Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes United Nations Public Service award for the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)
Social Inclusion Programme recognised as key to the COVID response.
Poverty reduction and support for communities key
Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, today (Thursday, 23rd June 2022) welcomed the announcement that the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)” won a 2022 United Nations Public Service Award,
The prestigious award, in the category of “Institutional resilience and innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic” sees international recognition for Ireland’s primary Social Inclusion programme.
SICAP is a Department of Rural and Community Development programme that aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality.
It is delivered by supporting communities and individuals via community development, engagement, and collaboration.
Welcoming the award, Minister O’Brien said:
“I am very proud that the SICAP programme has been recognised for this award, an acknowledgement internationally of the immense work of the programme, particularly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“SICAP supports communities and individuals using local community development approaches, engagement and collaboration within the framework of a national programme.
“This allows for flexibility to respond to new and emerging local needs aimed at supporting local communities and building community resilience.
“Some of the innovative responses during the pandemic included food parcels, shop and drop and meals-on-wheels services, friendly calls and phone based crisis counselling services and support to families adapting to digital services.”
The Minister concluded:
“This award, a first for this Department, is testament to the strength of the programme and the hard work and commitment of our DRCD staff, Pobal, Local Government, Local Development Companies and programme beneficiaries.
“Today, we celebrate public service and continue our commitment and dedication to serving the public interest to the highest possible standard and inspire and encourage others working across the public service.”
SICAP is managed at a local level by 33 Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs), with support from local authorities. The programme is implemented nationally by 46 Local Development Companies (LDCs) across 51 areas.
The budget for the programme in 2022 is €43 million.
The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office
01-773 6843 / 087-1734633
Notes for editors:
The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP 2018 – 2023) is the Government’s primary social inclusion programme and aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality through supporting communities and individuals via community development, engagement, and collaboration. The programme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) and co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014 – 2021. SICAP is managed at a local level by 33 Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs), with support from local authorities. The programme is implemented nationally by 46 Local Development Companies (LDCs) across 51 areas.
A 10% increase was secured for the programme for 2022, the largest increase since the programme was launched, bringing the budget to €43 million. This represents a €4 million increase and provides for the creation of a significant number of job places for new community work on the ground in communities across the country. An additional €5 million funding was announced on June 1st to support the Local Development Companies through SICAP for the community response to support people arriving from Ukraine.
The SICAP Programme has 2 goals:
To support communities and target groups to engage with relevant stakeholders in identifying and addressing social exclusion and equality issues, developing the capacity of Local Community Groups, and creating more sustainable communities.
To support disadvantaged individuals to improve the quality of their lives through the provision of lifelong learning and labour market supports.
And 3 horizontal themes:
Promoting an equality framework with a particular focus on gender equality and anti-discrimination practices;
Applying community development approaches to achieve the participation of disadvantaged and marginalised communities in the wider local development context; and
Developing collaborative approaches with stakeholders to improve how mainstream policies and programmes are delivered so that they impact more positively on the socially excluded.
All beneficiaries must belong to one of the 13 SICAP target groups which are:
Disadvantaged Children and Families
Disadvantaged Young People (aged 15 – 24)
Emerging Needs Group
Low Income Workers/Households
People living in Disadvantaged Communities
People with Disabilities
The Disengaged from the Labour Market (Economically Inactive)