Fred Ssewamala leads innovative, interdisciplinary research that informs, develops and tests family-based economic empowerment and social protection interventions to improve life chances and long-term developmental impacts — including health, mental health and educational outcomes — for youth impacted by poverty and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). His research engages collaboratively with local institutions to ensure scale-up and sustainability.
Prior to joining the Brown School, Ssewamala was a tenured professor at Columbia University, where he established the International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD). Now at the Brown School, ICHAD contributes to the reduction of poverty and improvement of health outcomes for youth and families in low-resource communities in SSA. Ssewamala is also the director of the SMART Africa Center, which is aimed at reducing gaps in child and adolescent mental health services and research in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.
Currently, Ssewamala is conducting four NIH-funded longitudinal randomized trials in SSA: 1) Suubi4Her, evaluating the impact and cost of a combination intervention for adolescent girls; 2) Suubi+Adherence, seeking to improve adherence to medication by HIV-positive youth; 3) Kyaterekera Project, addressing sexual risk-taking behaviors among vulnerable women in Uganda through a combination intervention; and 4) SMART Africa studies. Additionally, he is a co-principal investigator on a NIH-funded training grant entitled, “Researcher Resilience Training.”
Ssewamala teaches International and Social Development, Global Health, Evaluation of Programs and Services, and Theory Formulation and Testing. His academic work has been published in the Lancet, American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Adolescent Health, Prevention Science, Social Services Review, and Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Ssewamala was recently selected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.
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