Health and Local Community (SoL)

​Project SoL is a series of interrelated initiatives that are all based on the supersetting approach to mobilise local communities for public health and social action.

The supersetting approach is an intervention strategy for coordinated engagement of multiple stakeholders in multiple community settings characterised by the principles of

  1. participation to ensure that people are motivated to take ownership of processes of developing and implementing activities
  2. Integration to ensure that activities are implemented across the boundaries of specific settings
  3. action competence to ensure that people acquire skills and competences to express and act on their visions and aspirations
  4. context to ensure that everyday life challenges of citizens and professionals are respected and considered in developing activities 
  5. knowledge to ensure that scientific knowledge is used to inform action and that scientific knowledge is produced from action. We have demonstrated that the supersetting approach can deliver important behavioural and structural outcomes, and we recommend using this approach to promote health and prevent diabetes in cities around the world.

The first SoL project was carried out in the municipalities of Bornholm and Odsherred from 2012-2015. Based on the experience and outcomes of this project a number of new long-term SoL initiatives have been initiated, including:

  • Tingbjerg Changing Diabetes, an initiative carried out in a socially disadvantaged neighbourhood of north-western Copenhagen
  • Vores Sunde Hverdag [Our Healthy Weekday], an initiative carried out in the Danish municipalities of Frederikshavn, Hjørring, Høje-Tåstrup and Rødovre
  •  Northern Lights, an international partnership initiative carried out in the Nordic region
  • Network on Sundhed og Lokalsamfund, a national SoL network embedded in the Healthy Cities Network
  • SoL Aarhus, an initiative carried out in socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Aarhus
  • SoL NordParken, an initiative carried out in a socially disadvantaged neighbourhood of Rønne, Bornholm
  • SoL Soweto, an initiative carried out in socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods of the township of Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa

Most SoL projects include three basic elements, namely:

  1. a comprehensive characterisation of the involved local communities or neighbourhoods using the Local Community Analysis Tool
  2. the development and implementation of complex interventions using the supersetting approach,
  3. the evaluation of processes and effects of interventions using the Realist Evaluation approach and massive involvement of citizens   


Foxvig, I., U. Toft, H.C. Reinbach & P. Bloch. Projekt Sundhed og Lokalsamfund – SoL. Integrerede indsatser for at fremme sundheden blandt børnefamilier i udvalgte lokalsamfund på Bornholm og i Odsherred (2012-2015). Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark. March 2016.

Bloch, P. & B.B. Jensen. Supersetting: Integreret forebyggelse i lokalsamfundet. Chapter 25 in: Forebyggende Sundhedsfremme. Editors: B.B. Jensen, M. Grønbæk & B. Reventlow. 6th edition. 2016. Munksgaard.

Bloch, P., U. Toft, H.C. Reinbach, L.T. Clausen, B.E. Mikkelsen, K. Poulsen & B.B. Jensen. 2014. Revitalizing the setting approach – supersettings for sustainable impact in community health promotion. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity. 11:118. DOI: 10.1186/s12966-014-0118-8.

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