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Policy Information

Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)

Published: 29 November 2018
From: Department of Rural and Community Development


SICAP is the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme. The current programme began on 1 January 2018 and will run until the end of 2022. It replaced SICAP 2015-2017.

SICAP aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality. It does this through Programme Implementers, agencies and companies, who work with the most disadvantaged and the hardest to reach in communities.

The programme is aimed at:

  • disadvantaged children and families
  • disadvantaged young people (aged 15-24)
  • disadvantaged women
  • lone parents
  • new communities (including refugees and asylum seekers)
  • people living in disadvantaged communities
  • people with disabilities
  • Roma
  • the unemployed
  • low income workers/households
  • Travellers
  • the disengaged from the labour market (economically inactive)
  • an emerging needs target group selected at local level by the Local Community Development Committees to reflect the specific needs of the local area if not otherwise addressed


The programme has two goals that focus on supporting communities and individuals:

  • to support communities and target groups to engage with relevant stakeholders in identifying and addressing social exclusion and equality issues, developing the capacity of local community groups and creating more sustainable communities
  • to support disadvantaged individuals to improve the quality of their lives through the provision of lifelong learning and labour market supports

SICAP Funding

SICAP is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

SICAP and Local Community Development Committees

SICAP is managed by the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in each local authority area.

Each Local Community Development Committee agrees annual targets for their area based on local needs. They can choose to add a target group to be helped in their area if they think it’s necessary.

The department has engaged Pobal to work on its behalf to manage and oversee the delivery of SICAP nationally.

Distance Travelled Tool

As a joint initiative the Department and Pobal have been developing a Distance Travelled Tool. The tool, for the SICAP programme, will support SICAP clients to identify and achieve personal goals.

Called My Journey: Distance Travelled Tool, the tool consists of a list of questions that guide people towards identifying their individual needs and planning for their future.

The tool has been developed in collaboration with SICAP clients and the LDCs who provide one-to-one support to them, and has been scientifically validated by Trinity College Dublin.

For more information

If you want to find out more information, you can contact the organisation in your local area that runs SICAP. You can find contact details on the Pobal website at the following link: Pobal: SICAP.

You can contact the department unit responsible at this address:

Department of Rural and Community Development - SICAP Unit
Address: Government Buildings, Ballina, Mayo, F26 E8N6
Phone: (076)1006860
Email: SICAP@drcd.gov.ie

SICAP is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.