ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
Every community, district and county in the Republic of Ireland is covered by the Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP) and Pobal have produced a FAQ page about the Programme.
It employs around 3,000 workers to bring about positive change at local level using a Community Development approach.
The Programme has a budget of approximately €60 million for 2011 and Forum Connemara's website gives a good flavour of the kind of work that is covered; there are over 50 development organisations like Forum involved in delivering the Programme.
The LCDP's aim is to tackle poverty and social exclusion through partnership between Government and people in the most disadvantaged communities and it has 4 main goals:
1: Promote awareness, knowledge and uptake of a wide range of statutory, voluntary and community services.
2: Increase access to formal and informal educational, recreational and cultural activities and resources.
3: Improve people’s work readiness and employment prospects.
4: Getting people from local communities involved in decision-making, in formulating policy and in pushing for the best that their communities deserve. (The official line reads - "Promote engagement with policy, practice, and decision-making processes on matters affecting local communities.")
The Programme is managed by an agency called POBAL on behalf of the Irish Government's Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs and was established in 2010 when the Department amalgamated two existing Programmes (see below). Pobal have published a 21-page booklet that gives the A-Z on the Programme while here in Moyross we're currently working on a map to connect people to the Programme area by area.
ARCHIVED REPORTS ON THE PROGRAMME'S BACKGROUND:
In September 2009, then Minister of State John Curran announced the setting up of the LCDP. It saw the Community Development Programme, first established in 1990, merge with the Local Development and Social Inclusion Programme.
Throughout 2010 there was lively debate over the merits of the new Programme and we have archived video interviews of the time with the Minister and with opponents from the National Community Development Forum, the Community Worker's Co-op and SIPTU among others.
Following campaigns, alternative arrangements (to being merged/taken over) were agreed with regard around 40 CDPs. For a December 2010 update explaining what's happened to CDPs nationwide including Traveller CDPs and Women's CDPs check out page 12 in this edition. There is also an interview with Pobal boss Jerry Murphy in the same edition (page 23) and you'll find more background information on our news blog.