Creating Connections

Project contact

Prof. Helen Cahill

Project Details

Creating Connections is a life skills program targeted at adolescents and parents of adolescents.

It aims to teach adolescents about sexual and reproductive health and gender rights, and promotes social and emotional skills that can help adolescents to make informed decisions, communicate effectively, look after their own safety and wellbeing, and provide support to peers.

It also includes a focus on:

  • violence prevention
  • drug and alcohol safety
  • resilience
  • mental health
  • positive coping
  • help-seeking.

Creating Connections also provides a parent program, which aims to facilitate inter-generational dialogue to ensure that parents are better informed about how to communicate with their children and partners about sexual and reproductive health.

Creating Connections has been fashioned for use in community settings in a range of countries across the Asia Pacific Region.


Lead author and contact

Associate Professor Helen Cahill
Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne


Dr Tu Anh Hoang, Michelle Pose and Ian Seal contributed to the development of original Vietnam program. Sally Beadle has contributed to the development and implementation of adaptations in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

A range of other people and organisations have contributed to country adaptations of the Creating Connections program.

Research Outcomes

Creating Connections has been modified for use in a number of different countries across the Asia-Pacific region. In each setting, the program is adapted in response to community consultation.

For more information about country-specific versions, please contact the project team.


  • Adolescent girls and adolescent boys program (2013)
  • Mothers and fathers program (2014).

Funded by: UNICEF Bangladesh in partnership with Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.


Adolescent girls and mothers program (2011).

Funded by: UNESCO and UNFPA in partnership with Ministry of Women’s Affairs.


Parent program (2014).

Funded by: UNESCO China in partnership with China Family Planning Association.

Indonesia (Papua Province)

Adolescent girls, adolescent boys, mothers and fathers programs (2012).

Funded by: UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (partners: UNFPA, UN Women, UNICEF, Papua Bureau of Women’s Empowerment, Papua Office for Education).


Adolescent girls and mothers program (2010/11).

Funded by: UNICEF and UNFPA in partnership with the Laos Women’s Union.


Adolescent girls, adolescent boys and mothers program (2012).

Funded by: UNESCO Bangkok in partnership with Ministry of Education.


Adolescent program (2014).

Funded by: UNICEF in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Health and the Commission on Population.


  • Adolescent girls and mothers program (2009)
  • Adolescent boys program (2010).

Funded by: Ford Foundation in partnership with Vietnam Womens’ Union, World Health Organisation and UNAIDS.

Published Research

Downloadable publications


  • Beadle, S. & Cahill, H. (2012) Talking about sexual and reproductive health: Promoting better communication between parents and children in Asia. Good policy and Practice in HIV and Health Education: Gender Equity, HIV and Education (PDF, 13.2 MB). Paris: UNESCO.
  • Cahill, H. (2010). Re-thinking the fiction/reality boundary: investigating the use of drama in HIV prevention projects in Vietnam. RIDE, 15(2), 152-172.
  • Cahill, H. (2015). Playing at being another we: using drama as a pedagogical tool within a gender rights and sexuality education program. In M. Finneran & K. Freebody (Eds.), Drama and Social Justice (pp. 155-167): Taylor and Francis.
  • Cahill, H. (2015). Rethinking role-play for health and wellbeing: creating a pedagogy of possibilty. In K. Wright & J. McLeod (Eds.), Rethinking Youth Wellbeing: Critical Perspectives (pp. 127-142). Singapore: Springer.
  • Cahill, H. (2016). Playing the inside out: using drama as an embodied medium through which to work on changing gender norms. In J. Coffey, S. Budgeon, & H. Cahill (Eds.), Learning Bodies: the body in youth and childhood studies (pp. 223-240). Singapore: Springer.