We are pleased to announce the publication of a major report on the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), conducted on behalf of Pobal (a not-for-profit company that manages programmes on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU).
SICAP is a key tool for Government to reduce poverty and strengthen communities. It provides funding to tackle poverty and social exclusion through local engagement and partnerships between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies. Its 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 inter-agency collaboration, where the values of equality and inclusion are promoted and human rights are respected.
In 2016, SICAP provided assistance of just under €36m to approximately 47,500 people and 3,000 local community groups. 5,373 young people not in work or studying were helped, while almost 56,000 children received group supports.
Crowe Horwath was engaged by Pobal, in conjunction with the Department of Rural and Community Development, to undertake a wide-ranging consultation programme comprising four national and regional consultation events, two online surveys, and four focus groups. Approximately 730 people engaged with the process through the various engagement processes.
Our final report to Pobal highlighted a variety of suggestions and proposals intended to help strengthen the new SICAP programme which commences in early 2018, grouped by themes. Our final report, and a shorter summary version, can be downloaded below.
Commenting on the report, Shane McQuillan, Partner with Crowe Horwath, stated: “We were delighted to have been selected by Pobal to manage this consultation process, which made best use of our knowledge and expertise within the not-for-profit sector and in the fields of community development and social inclusion. The views we heard from those involved in the consultations across the country were very constructive and reflected the direct experiences of consultees, and we are pleased that this process has enabled Pobal and the Department to formulate the new programme for 2018-22 with the benefit of the opinions and suggestions presented in our report.”
Clodagh McDonnell, Principal Officer in the Department of Rural and Community Development, commented: “We are delighted with the work carried out by Crowe Horwath in facilitating this consultation and this resulting report compiled by them was integral in the formulation of the revised and improved SICAP 2018-2022 Programme which will commence on 1 January 2018”.