What We Do

Our Mission is to contribute to the reduction of poverty and improvement of public health outcomes for youth and families in low-resource communities, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on utilizing and evaluating savings-led economic strengthening interventions.

ICHAD employs the following specific strategies to advance this mission:


It houses a broad range of applied intervention research studies and supports Center staff as they design, seek funding for, and implement studies that expand the Center’s core research agenda.

Public Awareness

The Center increases public awareness and support for asset-based social programs that address: (a) multiple reinforcing stressors; (b) the specific challenges faced by developing country youth; and (c) the need to generate new public-private partnerships to advance programming

Research Training

The Center develops and implements enhanced research training programs and mentorship opportunities for doctoral and postdoctoral students at Columbia University and developing country investigators.

Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Professor Fred Ssewamala of the School of Social Work joins forces with John Santelli of the Mailman School of Public Health to explore the connection between school retention and health in Uganda, and develop interventions for youth in danger of dropping out.