Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on young people in South Sulawesi

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A new project will bring together Australian and Indonesian researchers to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on young people.


The Australia-Indonesia Centre is pleased to launch this, the first pilot project from the Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research (PAIR).

Read the latest updates from the PAIR Pilot Projects [September 2020]

An interdisciplinary team of Australian and Indonesian researchers will unpack the social, health and economic issues affecting communities and their households related to COVID-19 in the province of South Sulawesi.

Indonesia is facing a high infection and fatality rate from the virus. This project will focus on understanding the impact of that on communities, and better equipping leaders to respond.

All research will be undertaken remotely, with no travel required.


Official figures show over 31,000 Indonesians have tested positive for COVID-19, with over 1,800 deaths. In South Sulawesi, there have been 2,194 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19,  97 confirmed deaths and 704 recoveries. South Sulawesi is among the worst hit of Indonesia’s provinces. The National Government has prioritised support for the province of South Sulawesi, along with the other most affected provinces including the special capital region of Jakarta, East Java, West Java, South Kalimantan and South Sumatra.

It is known that a high proportion of COVID-19 patients requiring critical care are those with existing comorbidities such as cardiovascular and lung diseases and diabetes.

To assist public health measures better target and mitigate the spread of the disease, it is important to understand which groups are most at risk from it.

The research will explore some of these challenges and COVID-19’s relationship to poverty, jobs, and the health of young people in South Sulawesi. To gain a better understanding of this group, and to ensure improved delivery of healthcare, the team will:

  • undertake a geospatial mapping of “COVID-19 hotspots” to build a profile of at-risk populations in three districts – Maros, Pangkajene and Barru – and reveal any patterns with COVID-19 patients elsewhere.
  • map the existing socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the province to identify the social and economic impact of COVID-19 on access to services for young people.
  • identify challenges faced by community health clinics at the district (puskesmas), sub-district (posyandu) and village level.

Understanding the capacity of local health systems and the challenges they face in responding to the pandemic is crucial.

The research team

PAIR domain: Young people, health and wellbeing

This is the first of four PAIR pilot projects, with the other three to be announced in the coming weeks.


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 PAIR

PAIR is the flagship program for the AIC’s new research model, supported by the Australian Government, the Indonesian Government, the South Sulawesi Provincial Government and the AIC’s eleven university partners.

Focused on South Sulawesi, PAIR explores the western coastal region of the province where a new 145-kilometre railway line is being built, connecting two major cities and three regencies: Makassar, Maros, Pangkajene, Barru and Parepare.  It will explore four key areas: seaweed as a major commodity; transport, logistics and supply chain; young people health and wellbeing; and young people skills and development.

Visit the PAIR website for more information.


About The Australia-Indonesia Centre

Through its In Conversation webinars, the Australia-Indonesia Centre has dissected the impacts of COVID-19 from perspectives including public health, economics, governance, international trade and international education. PAIR research will add to these efforts as we continue to seek ways to work together towards recovery and continued development.

The AIC is a consortium of 11 leading research universities in both countries. Its mission is to advance people-to-people links in science, technology, education, innovation and culture.

Visit the AIC website for more information.

Photo by pisauikan on Unsplash.