New approaches to health promotion in deprived neighbourhoods

​​This project investigates the development and implementation of health promotion activities in deprived neighbourhoods. In these areas, the residents are at increased risk of developing diabetes and other Non-Communicable Diseases (NSD’s) as inappropriate health behaviour is concentrated among socially disadvantaged groups.

Health promotion interventions targeting deprived neighbourhoods and socially disadvantaged groups hold the potential to reduce social inequalities in health. 

New innovative strategies building on partnerships among local professional stakeholders in deprived neighbourhoods and genuine participatory approaches may be one way to build action competences among residents and improve their health behaviour and, in the longrun, health outcomes.


The overall aim of this project is to develop innovative approaches to increase physical activity and well-being in deprived neighbourhoods by building local partnerships while targeting inequities. Working groups are being formed between public health professionals and private social housing employees in 11 deprived, urban neighbourhoods.

The specific aim is to initiate locally tailored interventions based on participatory involvement of residents. The content of activities is locally determined but has address five dogmas:

  1. Enhance physical activity
  2. Enhance well-being
  3. Increase social networks
  4. Genuine participation by residents
  5. Be innovative.

Design and method

The New Approaches project is a research-based, action-oriented development project that takes place in 11 deprived neighbourhoods.

The evaluation is based on a realistic evaluation framework and context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) configuration will be used as structure for analysis, based on a programme theory describing anticipated outcomes on individual (e.g. increase in physical activity) and partnership (e.g. development of Communities of Practice) level. Interviews and surveys will be used to assess the partnership level. Interviews, case stories, systematic monitoring of activities and participant-registration will be used to assess impact on the resident level.

Target groups

The project targets two levels:

  1. The local community level: Socially disadvantaged residents with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes or other non-communicable diseases
  2. Partnership level: Public health promoters and private social housing employees working in deprived neighbourhoods

Expected ending and outcome

The expected outcomes are:

  • Better mental health and physical activity among citizens in 11 deprived areas
  • Increased partner capacity and experience in running health promotion projects in deprived areas
  • Experiences and knowledge has been disseminated to municipalities, public housing organisations and research communities


The Ministry of Health is supporting the project by awarding a grant of DKK 5 million over three years. In addition to this, the partners contribute with own resources


  • Roskilde, Koege and Copenhagen municipality. The municipality of Copenhagen is owner of the project and responsible for project management
  • Eleven social housing organizations, represented by 11 social housing plans working with 11 deprived neighbourhoods across the three participating municipalities
  • SDCC Health Promotion Research – collaboration with project management and responsible for research and evaluation

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