Fred Ssewamala leads innovative, interdisciplinary research that informs, develops and tests family-based economic empowerment and social protection interventions. This work aims to improve life chances and long-term developmental impacts — including health, mental health and educational outcomes — for children and adolescent youth, particularly those impacted by poverty and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. His research engages collaboratively with local institutions (schools, health clinics, financial institutions, government and non-governmental organizations) to ensure scale-up and sustainability.
Prior to joining the Brown School, Ssewamala was a professor at Columbia University, where he established the International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD). Now based at the Brown School, ICHAD contributes to the reduction of poverty and improvement of health outcomes for children, adolescent youth and families in low-resource communities, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa.
Currently, Ssewamala is conducting three large-scale, NIH-funded longitudinal randomized controlled trials (R01s) in Uganda: Bridges to the Future, to evaluate the long-term impact and cost-effectiveness of a family-based savings-led intervention for adolescent orphans; Suubi+Adherence, which seeks to improve adherence to medication by HIV-positive children and adolescents; and Suubi4Her, evaluating the long-term impact and cost of a combination intervention comprised of Youth Savings Accounts and family-strengthening groups for adolescent girls.
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