SICAP aims to tackle poverty, social exclusion and long-term unemployment through local engagement and partnership between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies. National social inclusion programmes such as SICAP make a real difference to those in our communities who are suffering disadvantage and exclusion.
SICAP empowers communities to work collaboratively with relevant stakeholders using a broad range of supports and interventions facilitated through the programme. It engages those who are most disadvantaged and excluded in our society and affords local flexibility to respond to local needs. There is a focus on youth and specific interventions to address youth unemployment.
In 2015, SICAP provided assistance to approximately 36,900 people and 2,500 local community groups. Almost 4,000 young people not in work or studying were helped, while close to 50,000 children received group supports.
SICAP triple goals
SICAP has three goals which are focused on strengthening community development, providing education and training, and preparing people for employment. These goals are:
1. To support and resource disadvantaged communities and marginalised target groups to engage with relevant local and national stakeholders in identifying and addressing social exclusion and equality issues;
2. To support individuals and marginalised target groups experiencing educational disadvantage so they can participate fully, engage with and progress through life-long learning opportunities through the use of community development approaches;
3. To engage with marginalised target groups/individuals and residents of disadvantaged communities who are unemployed but who do not fall within mainstream employment service provision, or who are referred to SICAP, to move them closer to the labour market and improve work readiness, and support them in accessing employment and self-employment and creating social enterprise opportunities.
Who is it for?
SICAP has specific ‘target’ groups to ensure it is a targeted and focused programme. Only people who are from one or more of these groups are eligible for support under the programme:
· Disadvantaged Children and Families
· Lone Parents
· New Communities (including Refugees/Asylum Seekers)
· People living in Disadvantaged Communities
· People with Disabilities
· The Unemployed (including those not on the Live Register)
· Low Income Workers/Household
· Young Unemployed People from Disadvantaged areas
· NEETs (Young people aged 15-24 years who are not in employment, education or training).
Who delivers the programme?
SICAP is delivered on the ground by 45 ‘Programme Implementers’ in 51 contract areas (Lots) across the country. Programme Implementers are primarily Local Development Companies - not-for-profit companies limited by guarantee which provide a bottom-up approach. They design and implement an Annual Plan and report directly to their Local Community Development Committee.
Local Community Development Committees manage the programme. The committees were set up in each local authority (with some local authorities having more than one LCDC) to bring about a more co-ordinated approach to local and community development and coordinate funding. Members are from local authorities, elected members and officials, state and non-state agencies, community and voluntary organisations, and other civil society representatives such as business, farming etc. LCDCs hold the contract with Programme Implementers and are the key decision-makers at local level. They have responsibility for monitoring how well the programme is performing, if targets are being met and verifying financial management. They also ensure that the actions and annual plans in SICAP will meet the priorities for the area and link in with local economic and community planning.
Pobal managed the initial set-up and design phase of the social inclusion programme on behalf of the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. Pobal has responsibility for a wide range of programme functions. It provides the national management and oversight role and prepares regular progress reports, manages the online monitoring system (IRIS), updates programme documents, liaises with the main stakeholders and carries out capacity building events etc.
How is it funded?
SICAP is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government with co-funding from the European Social Fund (ESF), including a special allocation under the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). The programme budget from April to December 2015 was €26.8 million. The budget for 2016 is €35.8million. The 2016 budget allocations and targets by Lot can be found on the SICAP Supports and Resources page.
Can I get SICAP funding?
The contracts have been awarded to all SICAP delivery bodies and no additional funding for groups is available. However, implementers can sub-contract elements of programme delivery and may be looking for local partners to deliver discrete elements. Contact them to find out about possibilities for a collaborative approach.
Where can I find out more?
A short animated video explaining SICAP is on YouTube. The main programme information can be found on the SICAP Funding Programme page and the Supports and Resources page. There is also more information on the IRIS page and Training/Support/Events page. The SICAP Programme Requirements set out detailed operational information about the programme, while the mid-year and annual reviews are also a good source of detailed information – these can be found on the Supports and Resources page.
You can contact your Local Community Development Committee if you wish to find out more about SICAP in your area or you can directly contact the Programme Implementer – contact lists are on the top right of this page.
The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2015-2017 is funded by the Irish Government and co-funded by the European Social Fund and includes a special allocation under the Youth Employment Initiative.