Under the original RAPID programme, funding was ring-fenced for areas designated as RAPID. The key difference with the new community enhancement programme is that funding is allocated to every local authority area, on the basis of the deprivation level in each area. This is done using the Pobal Haase Pratschke, HP, deprivation index, which measures the wealth or disadvantage of a particular area using data compiled from the census.
Once funding is provided to each local authority area, the local community development committee, LCDC, then administers the programme. LCDCs monitor the programmes and ensure that the funding is benefiting communities, urban and rural, across the country in the fairest way possible. This approach ensures that local knowledge and more up-to-date information is used to allocate funding, rather than only providing funding to areas designated as RAPID a number of years ago.
The community enhancement programme is not the only way in which my Department provides support to disadvantaged areas. For example, the social inclusion and community activation programme, SICAP, running from 2018 to 2022 is our country’s primary social inclusion intervention. This is a €190 million national programme delivered locally to help those in the greatest need.