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Welcome to Dublin City Community Coop’s Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) page.

What is SICAP?

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018 – 2022 provides funding to tackle poverty and social exclusion at a local level through local engagement and partnerships between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies. SICAP 2018 – 2022 is the successor programme to SICAP 2015 – 2017. SICAP is a social inclusion programme which assists both individuals and groups through a two-pronged approach; supporting communities and supporting individuals.

The task of Programme Implementers (PIs) such as Dublin City Community Co-op is to reflect the broad scope of the programme in their actions and use programme funding to strengthen communities and improve people’s lives. SICAP aims to address high and persistent levels of deprivation through targeted and innovative, locally led approaches. It targets and supports those who are disadvantaged in Irish society and less likely to use mainstream services.

PIs such as Dublin City Community Co-op engage with marginalised communities and service providers using a community development approach to address issues relating to social exclusion and inequality. It enables bottom-up approaches within the framework of a national programme which provides targets, performance indicators and requirements. Dublin City Community Co-op is an experienced SICAP Programme Implementer having successfully implemented the SICAP Programme during the years 2015-2017 (the first SICAP Programme) in Dublin’s Inner City Lot area. Dublin City Community Co-op is once again the inner city SICAP Programme Implementer for the years 2018-2022 (the second SICAP Programme).

Programme Details

Delivery Structure

SICAP is managed locally by 33 Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) with support from Local Authorities. Programme actions are delivered by PIs, of which Dublin City Community Co-op is one, across 51 Lots (defined areas).


SICAP operates from 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2022. The LCDC reserves the right to extend SICAP for up to 12 months (with a maximum of one such extension) on the same terms and conditions, subject to their legal obligations and subject to approval from the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD).


SICAP is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development with co-funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning

2014-2020. Continued funding for PIs is subject to a satisfactory annual performance review. Funding levels are set annually and are subject to change.

European Social Fund

The ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020 is co-financing SICAP in the years 2018-2020. PEIL’s priority areas for investment revolve around the activation of the unemployed, social and labour market inclusion, education and youth employment. Under PEIL 2014-2020 Priority 2, the allocation for SICAP is €60m.

Influencing Factors

The programme structure has been set by the Department of Rural and Community Development and has been influenced by a number of factors:

  • National government policy and priorities;
  • Ireland’s changing social and economic landscape, particularly reduced unemployment levels and a general economic recovery (although clearly not everyone is benefiting);
  • Learning from SICAP 2015 – 2017 (Dublin City Community Co-op implemented SICAP 2015-2017 for Dublin’s inner city area) and findings from the 2017 national consultation process which Dublin City Community Co-op actively participated in;
  • Findings from a series of evaluations by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) on particular SICAP components. This included an exploration of area-based training provision, an examination of SICAP goals and governance, and a spatial examination of targeting.

Social Inclusion

Social inclusion is a process which ensures that those at risk of poverty and social exclusion gain the opportunities and resources necessary to participate fully in economic, social, political and cultural life and to enjoy a standard of living that is considered normal in the society in which they live.

It ensures that they have greater participation in decision making which affects their lives and access to their fundamental rights. Social inclusion works for a fairer future that benefits everyone. SICAP supports and promotes social inclusion and inclusive development.

A UN report on the imperativeness of inclusive development presents social inclusion as “the process of improving the terms of participation in society for people who are disadvantaged on the basis of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity and economic and migration status”.  Promoting social inclusion requires both removing barriers to people’s participation, including certain laws, policies and institutions as well as discriminatory attitudes and behaviours, and taking active steps to make such participation easier.

Programme Aim

The aim of SICAP is to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality in Ireland through supporting communities and individuals using community development approaches, engagement and collaboration.


Goal 1: Supporting Communities

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.

Goal 2: Supporting Individuals

To support disadvantaged individuals to improve the quality of their lives through the provision of lifelong learning and labour market supports.

Horizontal Themes

Horizontal themes are the core principles that cut across all areas of Dublin City Community Co-op’s SICAP work. SICAP is underpinned by three horizontal themes:

  1. Promoting an equality framework with a particular focus on gender equality and anti-discrimination practices;
  2. Applying community development approaches to achieve the participation of disadvantaged and marginalised communities in the wider local development context;
  3. Developing collaborative approaches with stakeholders to improve how mainstream policies and programmes are delivered so that they impact more positively on the socially excluded.

Where can I find out more?

Read the SICAP Programme Requirements to find out more about the programme.

You can contact your Local Community Development Committee of your local authority if you wish to find out more about how SICAP is operating in your area and who the programme implementer is. Dublin City Community Co-op is implementing the programme in Dublin’s inner city (parts or all of Dublin 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 & 8). Contact us at 01-8557015 or email at [email protected].

Co-op SICAP 2018-2023 Evaluation Report

Destabilising the Fight Against Poverty
Events of 23rd November 2023-Dublin City Centre-Compilation of staff thoughts, reactions and feelings
The Co-op/HSE North East Inner City (NEIC) Sláintecare Healthy Communities Project: Impact Evaluation Report
Co-op SICAP 2018-2023 Evaluation Report