Minister Ring launches Pobal 2016 Annual Report
09 November 2017
Minister Ring today launched the Pobal 2016 Annual Report.

The report outlines Pobal’s work with key strategic partners throughout 2016 to improve the opportunities for people experiencing disadvantage and social exclusion.
During 2016 there was an increase in the amount of grant funding which Pobal administered on behalf of Government Departments and EU Bodies with €428.4 million distributed throughout 2016 across 24 individual programmes.
With continued Government focus on community development and civic engagement, demand for Pobal’s expertise, in developing and delivering programmes, remained extremely strong in 2016. During the year, 47,511 individuals and 3,076 community groups were supported via the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), 29,025 disadvantaged families availed of reduced childcare fees, while 4,690 early years services were assisted.
Highlights of 2016 include -
Tackling poverty and social exclusion
Pobal’s services on behalf of the then Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government represented an investment of €7.4 million into services and local communities during 2016 through the following programmes:
  • The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Project (SICAP) commenced in April 2015 and is due to run until the end of 2017. 2016 represented the first full year of delivery for SICAP and to date 47,511 disadvantaged individuals have been engaged with on a one-to-one basis; 30,206 individuals have received employment supports; 5,752 individuals have progressed to self-employment and 3,082 local community groups have been assisted.
  • Pobal assessed applications in 2016 to the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO) which supports organisations in the community and voluntary sector who work with disadvantaged groups. 51 applications were received under the SSNO 2016-2019 Programme and appraised, with 71 of these being successfully brought into contract with Pobal.
Employment Activation
Pobal’s services on behalf of the Department of Social Protection represented an investment of almost €214m into services and local communities during 2016 through the Community Services Programme, Rural Social Scheme, Tús and Gateway.
The Community Service Programme (CSP) supports community business to deliver local essential services while at the same time providing employment opportunities at a local level. In 2016, CSP allocated over €41 million to 404 beneficiaries creating thousands of jobs in towns and villages across the country.
Social Inclusion in Rural Areas
  • In August 2016, Pobal launched Phase 1 of the new ICT system for the LEADER programme on behalf of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (now Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs).  Phase 1 supported the implementation and monitoring of local development strategies, the administration of Monthly Returns payments, as well as the recording of Expressions of Interest (EOI) from project promoters.
Early years and young people
Pobal’s services on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to improve the outcomes for children and young people in Ireland represented an investment of €197.8m, with an additional €6.4m investment into the ABC programme which is also part-funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies.
In November 2016, Pobal launched the Early Years Sector Profile Report for 2014/2015. This report has become established as a definitive source of information on the Early Years sector in Ireland and was formally launched by Minister Katherine Zappone at the National Early Years Forum.
Through targeted early years services, 121,073 children were registered in child centred programmes; 23,200 families availed of reduced childcare fees; 4,419 individual early years services were supported; and 1214 children were supported under the Access and Inclusion Model.
Services under Better Start, a national initiative to bring an integrated approach to Early Years Education and Care for Children aged from birth to six years continued to expand in 2016 with an investment of €5.8 million in 2016.
Open Pobal's 2016 Annual Report