Behavioural change interventions for COVID-19

In Indonesia and across the world, governments have implemented public health education campaigns aimed at changing behaviours to curb the spread of COVID-19. Messages about social distancing, hygiene and hand washing have been promoted by governments in Indonesia, but how successful have they been?


A new Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC) Rapid Research project aims to understand the extent to which people have been following the new regulations, and why they may or may not have changed their behaviours.

Since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have become accustomed to hearing messages from health authorities about hand washing, hygiene and social distancing.

A team of researchers has been working on a project that measures how effective these messages have been in changing people’s behaviour in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Building on their existing framework, these researchers will expand their work into two areas of Indonesia: Jakarta and South Sulawesi.

The team will use a questionnaire to survey participants, then analyse the responses to develop advice for health authorities.

The project aims to understand the factors associated with compliance and lack of compliance with regulations in Jakarta and South Sulawesi.

“We are seeking to understand to what extent people living in these two major population centres comply with government regulations regarding social distancing and hand hygiene,” said project Co-lead Dr Ansariadi.

Several factors can impact the ability of people to understand public health messaging, including social, demographic and educational background; their previous experience with disease or illness; their perception around cost and efficacy of the required behaviours; and their trust in authority.

The study will examine these factors to help determine how compliance and risk perception is changed when the government presents and publishes information about disease.

“The research is designed to focus on factors that increase or decrease the effectiveness of government communication strategies to achieve behavioural change in the general population,” said Co-lead Dr Simon Reid.

The results of the study will be useful in measuring the health literacy of these populations. The research team will provide their findings along with actionable outputs to government stakeholders to assist them in their efforts to curb the spread of disease.


The research team


Australian Media enquiries

Marlene Millott
PAIR Program Officer
+61 427 516 851

Indonesian Media enquiries

Fadhilah Trya Wulandari
PAIR Program Officer
+62 8124 3637 755


About the Australia-Indonesia Centre

The AIC was established by the Australian and Indonesian Governments in 2013. It brings together 11 universities – seven Indonesian and four Australian – to advance people-to-people links in science, technology, education, innovation and culture. The AIC designs and facilitates bilateral research programs, taking research outcomes to policy and practice. It forms interdisciplinary teams that work collaboratively with stakeholders – policy, business and community – to find solutions to regional, national and global challenges.

Beyond research, the AIC’s outreach activities contribute to broader people-to-people links. It runs digital dialogues that seek to shed new insights. It supports the deepening of cultural exchange through a binational short film festival, explores respective national attitudes and perceptions towards each other, and brings together future leaders of both nations workshops, dialogues and other programs.

The Rapid Research program is part of the AIC’s Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research, funded by the Australian Government.  It is AIC’s front-foot response to a better understanding of COVID-19’s impact on Indonesia’s economy and society.  It brings together Sixty Australian and Indonesian researchers from the AIC’s consortium of 11 universities to explore three areas: COVID-19 People and Health; COVID-19, People and Connectivity, and COVID-19, People and Economic Recovery.


Photo by Peto Tj on Unsplash.