4.2 Administration and governance
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The Department of Social Protection is the main government department responsible for policy-making on social inclusion.
The Social Inclusion Division within the Department of Social Protection supports the Minister and Government in developing and implementing Government strategies for preventing, reducing and ultimately eliminating poverty and social exclusion and in promoting greater social inclusion and social cohesion in collaboration with other stakeholders, including, in particular, people experiencing poverty.
Previously, inclusion strategy was spread within different documents across each Government Department. However, the Roadmap for Social Inclusion (2020-2025) moves towards a more streamlined, overarching structure for the various social inclusion and poverty reduction approaches set out in each Department’s own sectoral strategy. The Roadmap sets the medium-term direction of social inclusion on a ‘whole-of-Government’ basis. This allows the Government to identify inter-linkages and dependencies across the various stakeholders.
The Social Inclusion Forum is part of the Government’s structures to monitor and evaluate the implementation of its plans to address poverty and social inclusion.
The Social Inclusion Forum annual event is the principle institutional forum for wider public consultation and discussion on social inclusion issues. It provides an opportunity for engagement between officials, community and voluntary organisations and people experiencing poverty in relation to policy.
2020 saw the publication of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-25: Ambition, Goals, Commitments, the arrival of Covid-19 and related restrictions on economic and social life, and the publication of a new Programme for Government. This is the backdrop against which the 2021 Social Inclusion Forum will take place. The theme of this year’s Forum is “Implementing the Roadmap for Social Inclusion: reducing poverty and improving social inclusion”.