Social inclusion and addressing processes of marginalisation

This stream of TASC’s work focuses on innovative research projects that investigate the ways public services and institutions can better serve the needs of socially, economically, and culturally excluded persons and groups in Ireland. These projects are intersectional and span a range of socio-economic and cultural areas, including education, financial inclusion, health, employment, housing and more. Our outputs serve to inform national and local government policies and services; shape the design of practical supports and interventions; and support the strategic development of local and national organisations.

These projects are often conducted in partnership with other civil society organisations throughout the country.

Key research activities for our “Social Inclusion and addressing processes of marginalisation” research team:  

  • Empirical data collection (surveys, interviews, focus groups and roundtable discussions)
  • Quantitative analysis of relevant data sets and indicators (from European, Irish and international databases)
  • Desk-based review of extant policies, reports and academic research
  • Needs analysis and evaluative services
  • Strategy plan formation
  • Policy recommendations
  • Report writing

If you are interested in learning more about TASC’s research on economic, social and cultural inclusion and/or would like to commission similar projects from TASC, please contact:

Senior Researcher, Dr Amie Lajoie at


Current Projects:


A Class Action: Equality Outcomes for Members of the Traveller Community in Education

Funded and commissioned by Galway Traveller Movement (GTM) and Galway City Partnership

Target Groups: Traveller community, young people  

Project Key words: human rights, education, universal youth literacy

About the project: This project aims to gather and systematically process data on the educational experiences and lived realities for young Travellers in terms of their numeracy and literacy needs, in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4.6) on universal literacy. This research involves a mixed methods approach of both qualitative and quantitative research methods, including a series of focus groups with young Travellers (aged 14-18) living in Galway.

TASC’s key output/impact: The research will form the basis for the development of a ‘toolkit’ for the relevant stakeholders (such as schools and government) on the human right to education of the Traveller community. The final publication will be used by GTM to lobby government for action on Traveller education and will also be disseminated among local policy stakeholders.


Combined Needs Analysis and Strategic Plan for the Traveller Community in Waterford (2020-2030)

Funded and commissioned by Waterford Traveller Interagency Group (Waterford TIG)

Target Groups: Traveller community

Project Key words: education, housing, health and employment

About the project: This project analyses the needs of the Traveller community living in Waterford in order to develop a comprehensive Strategic Plan for Waterford TIG, 2020-2030. This involves a desk review of existing reports, research and studies related to Waterford Traveller’s needs, as well as national and local policies. This research also consists of a series of focus groups with members of the Traveller community, as well as one-on-one interviews with relevant stakeholders and service providers.

TASC’s key output/impact: Publication of a Strategic Plan for Waterford TIG for 2020-2030. This will include a clearly stated future vision and mission for the organisation.


Exploring Household Debt in Ireland: The Burden of Non-Mortgage Debt and Opportunities to Support Low-Income Households

Funded and commissioned by JP Morgan Chase Foundation

Target groups: Low-income households (bottom 40% income levels), lone parent households, renters (private and social housing)  

Project Key words: personal debt, financial capability, financial inclusion

About the project: This project scrutinises the policy and social context of non-mortgage household debt in Ireland, and specifically when low-income households face unmanageable debt levels. The research involves a complex mapping of national services and supports for debt advice and insolvency services in Ireland, and frames debt as a structural issue intricately connected to housing, financial access, income level and cost of living. The research methods used in the project included roundtable discussion with relevant stakeholders, interviews with Money Advisors from the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, as well as a quantitative analysis of the EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions.

TASC’s key output/impact: The research will form the basis for the development of an intervention that builds financial capability and targets specific groups living in North Dublin: low-wage workers and single-parents. This intervention will be designed by TASC in a follow up project in collaboration with Northside Partnership in 2020.


Migrants in low paid work and social inclusion in Greece, Germany, Spain, and Ireland

Funded by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

Target groups: migrants, low-waged workers

Project key words: migrant labour, social inclusion, quality work 

About the project: This research is cross-national in scope and explores the experiences of migrants working in Greece, Spain, Germany, and Ireland. It examines methods of ensuring social inclusion for migrants in low-paid work, particularly in the agricultural and the care economy sectors. The research involves interviewing community representatives, individual migrants (about their work experience and their access to services), trade union organisers in the relevant sectors and staff at migrant services organisations, academics, and policymakers.

TASC’s key output/impact: The research will inform an in-depth report on the situation of migrant workers in Europe, in particular: Greece, Spain, Germany, and Ireland.


Previous Projects:


Literacy for Life: A whole-of-government approach for investing in adult literacy, numeracy and digital skills for an equal and resilient Ireland

Funded and commissioned by NALA (National Adult Literacy Agency)

Target groups: Adults with literacy and numeracy needs

Project Key words: adult literacy, capabilities approach, resilience 

About the project: In this project, TASC designed an alternative, cross-departmental policy framework that adopts a much broader understanding of the relationship between adult literacy and “resilience” through an assessment of how literacy contributes to individual agency and the capacity to respond to external events and forms of change. This project involved a mixed-method approach that included a roundtable with relevant stakeholders, focus group with adult learners, as well as intensive policy and academic research in Ireland and internationally.

TASC’s key output/impact: This research informed the development of a new 10-year (2020-2030) policy framework to support adults with unmet literacy and numeracy issues in Ireland. This framework engages directly with each of the nine government departments currently involved in adult literacy policy and highlights the gaps in services as well as the proposed outcomes and impacts of a new approach. The final publication will be used by NALA to push for more wholistic policy supports for adults with literacy needs.


The Legal Implications and Lived Experience of the Caravan Loan Scheme

Funded by IHREC and commissioned by Community Law & Mediation

Target Groups: Traveller community

Project Key words: human rights, housing, cultural rights

About the project: In Ireland, many members of the settled community are able to access loans to purchase or repair their homes, while many Travellers face great difficulty in accessing lending services. Section 25 of the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998 makes provision for Local Authorities to provide Travellers with access to credit to, among other things, buy or repair a caravan. The key objective of the research was to examine the appropriateness and adequacy of the Caravan Loan Scheme for the Traveller families who access it. To do this, TASC’s main role in the project involved conducting empirical research (surveys and interviews) with Irish Travellers and local Traveller organisations.

TASC’s key output/impact: This report formed part of an in-depth final report used by Community Law and Mediation to make practical recommendations to relevant policymakers.


Ensuring Good Future Jobs: A collection of essays published by TASC and Carnegie UK Trust

Funded and commissioned by Carnegie UK Trust

Target Groups: Those in precarious work, rural communities, Low-pay individuals, Persons with disabilities, migrant workers, young workers.

Project Key words: employment rights, quality work, the future of work

About the collection: The collection contributes to the renewed discussion of the future of work to understand the drivers behind the difference between what might constitute ‘good work’ and the everyday reality of working in Ireland. The collection features contributions from fifteen key social partners in Ireland, including business representatives, academics, the trade union movement and wider civil society.

TASC’s key output/impact: This Ensuring Good Future Jobs collection represents a coordinated response to the Future Jobs Strategy Report that was published by the Irish government in March 2019.

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