Impact of COVID-19 on the sexual & reproductive health of vulnerable communities in Indonesia

Project Details

Woman wearing Indonesian Mask - looking worried

COVID-19 affected millions of people’s income and employment in Indonesia, dramatically reducing their ability to access health care. Morbidity & mortality rates related to sexual & reproductive health (SRH) were also expected to increase due to depleted health system resources resulting from the COVID-19 response.

The Nossal Institute in collaboration with HIV-AIDS Research Centre at Atma Jaya University in Jakarta, Indonesia conducted a qualitative study exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the SRH of vulnerable urban communities in Jakarta & Yogyakarta.

The goals were to:

  • understand the impact on the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of vulnerable urban communities
  • understand the impact of the pandemic on frontline workers who provide SRH care for these  communities
  • generate evidence to inform pandemic planning and responses that are inclusive of the perspectives and needs of vulnerable communities, and that ensure essential SRH services continue during pandemics.

The communities  focused on in this study were young people (particularly street dwelling youth), female sex workers, transwomen and HIV positive Indonesians. The study sites included Jakarta and Yogyakarta, and a total of 40 participants took part. Ten of the 40 participants were both members of vulnerable communities and frontline workers.

We conducted 20 interviews and four focus group discussions, and triangulated the data from both methods. Data collection was undertaken remotely from June to September 2020 using Zoom and WhatsApp.


Project lead
Professor Linda Bennett

Project team

Setiyani Marta Dewi


Hanum Atikasari, Leiden University

Evi Sukmaningrum, HIV-AIDS Research Centre at Atma Jaya University

Ignatius Praptoharjo HIV-AIDS Research Centre at Atma Jaya University

Lydia Verina Wongso


This research was undertaken with funding IdeHari’s Collaborative Research Grant.

Research Outcomes

Findings from the study have been disseminated in a conference paper, and in an online validation meeting with stakeholders in Indonesia including ministry of health, UN agency, community-based organisations and non-profits organisations working in HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health sector as well as research institutes.

Research Publications

The project has produced a peer reviewed book chapter in a volume edited by international leaders in the discipline of anthropology, published by University College London Press.

A full report of the study including policy recommendations is available in Indonesian and can be downloaded via PPH Unika Atma Jaya website

Research Group

Social & Cultural Dimensions of Health Systems

School Research Themes

Prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (including cancer), and promotion of mental health, Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care, Data science, health metrics and disease modeling

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Nossal Institute for Global Health

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