Explore4Action

Explore4Action - Youth-centred research to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Indonesia

Explore4Action is a pioneering research programme investigating 12-24 year olds’ experiences of sexual development and factors influencing these experiences positively and negatively. These important insights will be used to make the case for better health education and services for young people in Indonesia.

LocationIndonesia (Sumatra, Bali & Java)
ObjectiveYouth-centred research to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Indonesia
Length of programme2018-2021
Partner organisations
(joint initiative)
 
John Hopkins School for Public Health
Indonesian Family Planning Association (PKBI)
Karolinska Institutet
Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM)

Investigating experiences of sexual development

Explore4Action investigates 12-24 year olds’ experiences of sexual development and factors influencing these experiences positively and negatively. We study this from the point of view of young people themselves, as well as through the lens of health promotion and what is possible and appropriate in the Indonesian context.

The programme includes an exploration of how sexual and reproductive health attitudes, behaviours and outcomes are impacted by Rutgers’ comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) for young adolescents (SETARA).

Evidence is gathered at three sites across Indonesia: Semarang (Java), Bandar Lampung (Sumatra) and Denpasar (Bali). The research is supported by an advocacy track to make the case for better health education and services for young people across Indonesia.

Three research tracks

Explore4Action includes three research tracks:

  • Youth Voices, qualitative participatory research engaging young co-researchers to explore the experiences of 12-24 year olds in relation to sexuality and how messages and expectations around gender and sexuality influence their behaviour and sexual health needs.
  • The Indonesian arm of the longitudinal Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS) identifies factors that predispose young people to sexual health risks or promote healthy sexuality. The GEAS will compare schools implementing SETARA with control schools and measure the impact of CSE on young people’s health and wellbeing.
  • Implementation research will show what is needed for successful implementation and the scale-up of comprehensive sexuality education.

Putting young people at the forefront of our research

In Explore4Action, young people play a central role in both the advocacy and research tracks, acting as co-researchers and advocates. Within the programme young people are trained and engaged as co-researchers in qualitative, participatory research in order to reduce barriers to talk about sensitive issues. Young people are also involved in dialogue and advocacy with key stakeholders, which works to both improve the research capacity of young people and also strengthens their early career prospects. By creating an enabling and friendly environment for adolescents and young people, they are able to openly share their experiences, which improves the qualitative research track of the programme and also allows for young people to take ownership of the transformational results.

Joint initiative

Explore4Action is a joint initiative of Rutgers, the Centre for Reproductive Health of Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta (Indonesia), local branches of the Indonesian Family Planning Association (PKBI), Johns Hopkins University (USA) and Karolinska Institutet (Sweden). Explore4Action is made possible by generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Further reading

Visit the resources page to watch a video about the GEAS and learn more about the programme.

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