Coordination of village plans and municipal rural and health policies: Can low-hanging fruit be picked?

Annette Aagaard Thuesen*, Pernille Tanggaard Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper analyses how, and the extent to which, village plans and municipal rural and health policies have been coordinated in three Danish rural case locations. We applied a qualitative design through a document analysis of plans and policies as well as interviews in villages - with municipal administrations. Theoretically, the article builds on the coordination and bridging that have been undertaken between community-led planning and statutory planning. First, the study shows that although communities are expected to influence the successful implementation of health interventions, there is still a way to go before health and rural development planning are integrated in Danish municipalities despite innovative actions towards integration at the village level. Second, issues such as what we term ‘tame planning’, fear of municipal domination, difficulties in approaching village diversity, and silo-based strategy-making are identified as critical barriers to address.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)190-211
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • community development
  • coordination
  • health policies
  • rural health
  • rural policies
  • village plans


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