Research & Biography

Fred Ssewamala is a Research Associate (Associate Professor) in the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. He is currently on leave.  

Ssewamala is a former Senior Research Fellow with New America Foundation and has several years of practice in the International Social Development field. His practice experience includes serving at the Red Cross (Uganda), where he acted in several programmatic positions related to designing projects and programs for poverty alleviation and community development, and at Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation a 501(c) (3) Missouri (USA) not-for-profit corporation that assists low-to-moderate income individuals and families become homeowners, access financial institutions, start their own micro-businesses, and accumulate assets.

His current research on Africa is funded by a consortium of organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the MasterCard Foundation, and New America Foundation. This research focuses on asset-ownership development, financial management, and creating life options through economic empowerment and innovative financial inclusion models for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Ssewamala is also currently researching the acceptability and feasibility of economic empowerment interventions in poor African immigrant communities in the urban U.S.


Research Interests:

  • International Social and Economic Development
  • Comparative Social Welfare Policy
  • Anti-Poverty Policies [with emphasis on asset-building and asset-based policies, such as microentrepreneurship, homeownership, youth and children's educational savings accounts, & individual development accounts (IDAs)].
  • Asset Ownership Opportunities among orphaned children in Sub Saharan Africa.
  • Gender and Development
  • Civil Society, Civic Participation, and Social Networks
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Evaluative Research


Awards and Honors:

  • Ford Foundation Research Fellow
  • Recipient of George Warren Brown School of Social Work Dissertation Scholarship
  • Social Development Scholar, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Recipient of the Paulo Freire Scholarship, Washington University in St. Louis


Current Grants & Projects: