SEMPRE (Social Empowerment in Rural Areas):
Outward migration and economic downturn adversely affect the provision of service infrastructure and quality of life in many of the Baltic Sea region’s rural areas. To counteract this downward spiral, SEMPRE enables social service providers to test empowerment tools and co-create new services in rural areas.
Ensuring social service provision in fields such as education, health and mobility has become a growing challenge in rural areas of the Baltic Sea region, affecting in particular economically disadvantaged people such as migrants, elderly, disabled and long-term unemployed. Being increasingly excluded from social, cultural and economic activities, SEMPRE ensures their inclusion by adopting an empowerment approach. On the other hand, the project also addresses social services providers to whom the benefits of such an empowerment shall be demonstrated and explained in the project.
The project partners created networks at the local, regional and transnational level in order to identify suitable empowerment approaches in a joint endeavour. The aim of the project is to help social service providers and disadvantaged groups to identify gaps and needs in the social service system. Such kind of initiatives are promoted in the form of “micro projects” and supported by consulting services with a low-level threshold, activating measures as well as access to financing opportunities. At the same time, the micro projects shall demonstrate how social innovation can strengthen the economic dynamic and attractiveness of rural areas.

As outlined above, SEMPRE developed several so-called micro projects showcasing the added value of empowerment and user involvement in the creation of social services. The most promising of these micro projects will be further strengthened in the follow-up project SEMPRE Accelerators. Additionally, SEMPRE produced several publications:

  • Empowerment – Making it Happen: A handbook on user involvement is social service design and delivery
  • Practicing User Involvement – An Organisational Roadmap For Social Service Providers
  • The SEMPRE Guidebook for Empowerment Training
  • Towards Innovative Social Service Provision in the Baltic Sea Region – Policy Recommendations

SEMPRE project website
Project Publications

SEMPRE Accelerators


Funding Programme: Interreg Baltic Sea Region
Lead Partner: Diaconie of Schleswig Holstein, Germany, Nicole Rönnspieß (Email)