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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Various, Various
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Restrictions: WashU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:

Faculty Research: Dr. Fred Ssewamala

Bio:  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.

Sector of Work: Microfinance; asset-based social programs; disadvantaged children; social and economic development policy; children and adolescent health

Region/Country:  Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya



Language Requirement: None

Possible Projects: 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.

Breakdown of Possible Projects:
SMART Africa - a global transdisciplinary center focused on reducing child mental health service and research gaps. SMART Africa-Uganda is a major scale-up study that examines the impact and implementation of an evidence-based multiple family group intervention for children experiencing behavioral problems and their families in Uganda. ICHAD research staff is co-leading this scale-up study in the Greater Masaka region of Uganda with 3000 children (ages 8 to 13) and their families across 30 schools

SUUBI4Her - examines the impact and cost associated with Suubi (hope) for Girls (hereafter, Suubi4Her), which is an innovative combination intervention that aims to prevent HIV risk behavior in communities heavily affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS in Southern Uganda. This is done through economic empowerment and promotion of behavioral health. This study combines two evidence-based approaches: 1. a youth monetary savings program that supports adolescent girls in secondary school education and family small-business/microenterprises development and 2. a family-based dialogue and training that strengthen family relationships to address mental health challenges which frequently accompany adolescent girl’s transition to adulthood.

Sex Workers Study - examines the impact of and costs associated with Kyaterekera, an innovative combination intervention that adds economic empowerment components to traditional HIV risk reduction sessions to reduce new incidence of sexually transmitted infections and HIV among female sex workers in the greater Masaka region, and provide alternative means of safe and sustainable income to replace sex work. 

Skills Required: Qualitative and Quantitative Research Skills, GIS

Cost: Flights, potential visa fees, and other meals and expenses are up to the student. Students are required to purchase purchase WUSTL travel insurance for the duration of their practicum for $40/month.

Travel Immunizations or preventative medication is recommended and may be required for your program participation. Students are responsible for covering all associated costs. Please refer to the CDC for more information. 

Brown School Contact: Dr. Fred Ssewamala. You should talk with Dr. SSewamala before you rank this as one of your choices.

To apply and rank research with Dr. Ssewamala as one of your Brown School practicum choices, please click here.