man leest krant

Rutgers research to investigate drivers of adolescents’ positive and healthy sexual development in Indonesia

Explore4Action is a pioneering research programme, exploring how adolescents experience ‘growing up’ at three locations in Indonesia (Sumatra, Bali and Java) and what can support their positive and healthy sexual development. These important insights will be used to make the case for better services and health education. Young people will be at the forefront of the research and play a central role in the advocacy for better services and health education.

launch explore4action (photo: RutgersWPF Indonesia)A positive and healthy transition from childhood to adulthood

In collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University, Karolinska Institutet, the Centre for Reproductive Health of Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta, and PBKI (Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association), Rutgers investigates what role sexuality education can play in empowering and supporting adolescents to make a positive and healthy transition from childhood to adulthood. And what is needed to go from building competencies to empowered action so that adolescents become competent users of contraception in the future.

Young people at the forefront of the research

Young people are trained and engaged as co-researchers in qualitative, participatory research – to reduce barriers to talk about sensitive or taboo issues, and get as close as possible to adolescents and young people’s real experiences and perspectives. The qualitative research explores how adolescents and young people deal with mixed messages and expectations around gender and sexuality and how that influences their behaviour and sexual health needs. Through the Indonesian arm of the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS), Explore4Action studies the factors in early adolescence that predispose young people to sexual health risks or that promote healthy sexuality. The GEAS follows and compares adolescents (12-15 years) who receive Rutgers comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) intervention and those who do not. We will learn if CSE can have a positive impact on sexual development and health outcomes over time and what more is needed to meet the lived realities and actual challenges of young people with diverse backgrounds in Indonesia.

Explore4Action is a 4-year research programme running from 2018 to 2021. The program is a joint initiative with generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

More information about Explore4Action