Explore4Action looks at how young people experience sexual development and how gender norms and sexuality education positively and negatively affect these experiences. This insight is used to advocate for better health education and services for young people in Indonesia.

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Programme information

Indonesia (Sumatra, Bali & Java)

Youth-centred research to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Indonesia

Length of programme

Partner organisations 

John Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health

Indonesian Family Planning Association (PKBI)

Karolinska Institutet

Centre for Reproductive Health of Gadjah Mada University.

Supported by
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Improving sexuality education in Indonesia

Our pioneering youth-centred research programme aims to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Semarang (Java), Bandar Lampung (Sumatra) and Denpasar (Bali).

It is a key pillar of Rutgers’ wider work in Indonesia, which provides access to sexuality education and health services, promotes diversity and tolerance, prevents violence against women and children.

Explore4Action investigates how sexual and reproductive health attitudes, behaviours and outcomes are impacted by Rutgers’ comprehensive sexuality education for adolescents (called SETARA in Indonesia). The study considers what is possible and appropriate in health promotion in Indonesia.

Young people at heart of programme

Youth participation is a key part of both the advocacy and research aspects of Explore4Action.

Youth Voices is a qualitative participatory study which sees young people trained and engaged as co-researchers. It explores how adolescents experience sexual and gender socialisation and how this influences their vulnerabilities and needs.

They explore experiences around sexuality, talk openly about sensitive issues and how messages and expectations around gender and sexuality influence their behaviour and sexual health needs.

Septy is a young researcher who worked on the Youth Voices Research in Denpasar, Bali.

‘I have learned a great deal about healthy sexual behaviours and applied them in my life,’ she says. ‘Gender norms, sexuality, and mental health issues are some of the tenets that I now live by.’

Explore4Action also includes the Indonesian part of the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS), which tracks the quality of sexuality education and factors that influence this, as well as the cost-benefits.

GEAS follows adolescents over a longer period of time to study how gender norms, their background and development through puberty influences their sexual behaviour, health and wellbeing. We use the GEAS to measure if and how comprehensive sexuality education can positively contribute to this.

Gathering information from the point of view of young people themselves and creating a youth-friendly environment improves the quality of the research and allows young people to take real ownership of the programme and its results.

Rutgers realises the need for working with young people, instead of only working for young people. Meaningful and inclusive youth participation is infused in our way of working.

Young people are also involved in dialogue and advocacy with key stakeholders, which also boosts their career prospects.

Visit the resources page to watch a video about the GEAS and learn more about the programme, or find out more about our comprehensive sexuality education, youth participation, advocacy and research work.


Check out the resources to watch a video about the GEAS and learn more about the programme.

All resources

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