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Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2015-'17

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) is the Government's main community-based, anti-poverty programme and it runs until December 2017 (it was launched in April, 2015). The aim of SICAP is: “To reduce poverty, promote social inclusion and equality through local, regional and national engagement and collaboration.”

Read more about SICAP via Pobal's website and in our Summer 2014 edition, among others.


SICAP’s vision is to improve the life chances and opportunities of those who are marginalised in society, living in poverty or in unemployment through community development approaches, targeted supports and interagency collaboration where the values of equality and inclusion are promoted and human rights are respected.

3 High Level Goals

Goal 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.

Goal 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.

Goal 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.


All of SICAP’s work is underpinned by:
1. Community Development approaches and principles.
2. Collaborative with stakeholders on unemployment and socially exclusion.
3. The promotion of equality and the prioritisation of disadvantaged communities.

For more information, visit changingireland.ie, environ.ie & pobal.ie


1. Greater participation by members of disadvantaged groups and communities in a community development context.
2. Increased representation and participation of disadvantaged groups in local policy and decision making processes that address social exclusion.
3. Enhanced capacity of local community groups of place and interest, to progress their stage of development and/or address the needs of disadvantaged communities.
4. Increased and improved co-ordination, joint planning and delivery between service providers and local community groups on social inclusion initiatives.

1. Increased participation in education and training.
2. Positive change in participants’ learning aspirations and/or personal development.
3 & 4. Greater participation in accredited and unaccredited education / training.
5. Reduced numbers of people that leave school early.
6. Improved supports for those who have left school early.
7. Improved design and delivery of education and training which takes into account the needs of the target group(s).

1. Individuals are better prepared to enter the labour market.
2. Increased employment rates.
3. Individuals are securing better quality employment i.e. receive the Living Wage.
4. The long-term unemployed, marginalised target groups and unemployed youth have enhanced opportunities to access self-employment and social entrepreneurship opportunities.
5. A more developed social economy and social enterprise sector in Ireland which contributes to local community development.
6. Increased and improved joint planning and delivery between local service providers and statutory agencies leading to more joined-up pathways for people.
7. Reduced duplication of service provision, better identification of any gaps between services and plugging gaps in mainstream service provision with local initiatives.

About the Local and Community Development Programme (2010-Apr 2015)

SICAP, in April 2015, replaced the Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP) which was carried out chiefly by 50 Local Development Companies and 25 other funded companies across Ireland. LCDP LOGO small

The LCDP had a budget of €48 million in 2014.

The Programme provided support and services to 18 categories of people experiencing poverty and/or marginalisation.



The work was underpinned by a community development approach and thousands of volunteers give their time annually to support Programme activities in their local areas.

It employed around 2,000 workers to bring about positive change at local level using a Community Development approach.

The LCDP was administered by Pobal on behalf of the Irish Government.

Local Development Companies have a national representative organisation called the Irish Local Development Network based in Clondalkin, Dublin. W: ildn.ie

For further background/historical information about the LCDP click here.

The main predecessor programmes to the LCDP include the Community Development Programme (CDP) which ran for 18 years and the Local Development and Social Inclusion Programme (LDSIP).

5,000 jobs created via social enterprise support

RTE’s ‘Morning Ireland’ linked with 'Changing Ireland' to report on the impact community workers engaged in Local and Community Development have had in creating over 5,000 new jobs annually. They interviewed people in Cork and Limerick:

Paul O'Carroll outside the Bookshelf Cafe  


Corkman, Paul O'Carroll was on the dole and now employs three people:

Tony O Regan  

Tony O'Regan, enterprise officer with Cork City Partnership explains how they his organisation helps people turn their fortunes around:

Allen Meagher, Editor of Changing Ireland magazine

'Changing Ireland' editor Allen Meagher gives a national perspective:

RTE Radio logo linked to recording ofinterview Listen to the full five minute feature here on the RTE player.
LCDP Logo and Goal 3 text
Owen Binch of NASCADH

Here's how RTE picked up on another of our stories, this one about Nascadh Community Development Project success in overcaming anti-social behaviour through integenerational work.



Address: 'Changing Ireland', 3 Sarsfield Gardens Business Centre, Moyross, Limerick, Ireland.
(Postal Address: 'Changing Ireland', C/o Community Enterprise Centre, Moyross, Limerick).
T: 061-458011 (editor)
E: editor@changingireland.ie