The Department of Rural and Community Development and Pobal are developing a Distance Travelled Tool for the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018 – 2022 as a joint initiative.  A new webpage for the project has been set up and is available here.

The tool will support SICAP clients to identify priority areas for their personal and professional development and will improve the recording of soft outcomes. This new and innovative tool will measure the successes accrued in areas such as confidence, literacy and numeracy, communication skills, connecting with others and goal setting.

It’s an exciting project for Pobal and the Department to be leading.  The social enterprise Quality Matters, with support from Trinity College Dublin, is also working with the Department and Pobal on the project.

Speaking about the development of the Tool, Lucy Pyne, Pobal explained:

“SICAP supports those who are disadvantaged in Irish society and less likely to use mainstream services. In this context, the measurement of success can often be complex and multifaceted. In an effort to assist clients in their journeys and illustrate the broad scope of the programme, this project was developed”.

The journey for an individual with multiple forms of disadvantage towards a hard outcome such as completing formal education or getting a job can take years rather than months, and often the personal changes go unrecorded.

The tool is still being tested in pilot mode and is expected to be finalised early in 2020.  15 Local Development Companies are part of the tool piloting and are working closely to test the tool and explore how it could best be implemented.