Service integration across sectors in Europe: Literature and practice

Sarah van Duijn*, Nick Zonneveld, Alfonso Lara Montero, Mirella Minkman, Henk Nies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: To meet the needs of vulnerable people, the integration of services across different sectors is important. This paper presents a preliminary review of service integration across sectors in Europe. Examples of service integration between social services, health, employment and/or education were studied. A further aim of the study was to improve conceptual clarity regarding service integration across sectors, using Minkman’s Developmental Model for Integrated Care (DMIC) as an analytical framework. Methods: The study methods comprised a literature review (34 articles) and a survey of practice examples across Europe (44 practices). This paper is based on a more comprehensive study published in 2016. Results: The study demonstrates that although the focus of integration across sectors is often on social services and health care, other arrangements are also frequently in place. The review shows that integration may be either tailored to a particular target group or designed for communities in general. Although systems to monitor and evaluate social service integration are often present, they are not yet fully developed. The study also highlights the importance of good leadership and organizational support in integrated service delivery. Discussion: The study shows that the DMIC can work as a conceptual framework for the analysis of service integration across sectors. However, as this is an exploratory study, further in-depth case studies are required to deepen our understanding of the processes involved in service integration across sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2018


  • Collaboration
  • Cross-sector service delivery
  • Integrated care
  • Service integration
  • Social services


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