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Gina Chowa

Associate Dean for Global Engagement
Johnson-Howard-Adair Distinguished Professor
Director, Global Social Development Innovations

Gina Chowa, Ph.D.


Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building

Room 402-C

325 Pittsboro Street

Chapel Hill, NC 27599

O: 919-843-8453

F: 919-843-8562

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Dr. Gina Chowa first joined the UNC School of Social Work staff in 2008 as an assistant professor and now serves as a full professor and as Associate Dean for Global Engagement.  Dr. Chowa is the founding director of Global Social Development Innovations, which launched in 2017.

Informed by more than two decades of experience and practice, Dr. Chowa conducts research at the intersection of economic security, workforce development, social protection, and financial inclusion and its impact on marginalized individuals in the Global South. She has served as a principal investigator of large-scale, cluster-randomized projects such as Siyakha and YouthSave Ghana Experiment. Additionally, Dr. Chowa piloted GSDI initiatives such as AssetsAfrica in Uganda and an innovative intervention study in Zambia called Chuma na Uchizi, dedicated to improving the health outcomes of individuals living with HIV.

Dr. Chowa’s honors include the prestigious Ruth and Philip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement (2014), the Wallace Kuralt Early Career Distinguished Professorship (2016), and more recently, the Johnson-Howard-Adair Distinguished Professorship (2020). Her work has been published in various interdisciplinary and social work journals, including Child and Youth Services, Children and Youth Services Review, International Journal of Educational Development, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Journal of Socio-Economics, and more.

Dr. Chowa also has faculty appointments at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and the Centre for Social Development Africa at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Degrees and Licenses

Ph.D., Washington University
MSW, Washington University
BSW, University of Zambia

Primary Program

Global Social Development Innovations

Research and Professional Interests

Global Social Development
Economic Security
Workforce Development
Social Protection and Financial Inclusion

Principal Investigator

Siyakha Youth Assets
YouthSave Ghana Experiment
Assets Africa: Wealth Effects of an Asset-Building Intervention in Rural Households
Chuma na Uchizi (Health and Wealth): Impacts of Integrated HIV and Livelihoods Programs

Recent Publications

Masa, R., Khan, Z., & Chowa, G. (2020). Youth food insecurity in Ghana and South Africa: Prevalence, socioeconomic correlates, and moderation effect of gender. Children and Youth Services Review, 116. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105180

Chowa, G., (2019). The next frontier for social development: Deepening our understanding, discovering new solutions, and forging ahead. Global Social Welfare, 6 (1): 1- 3. doi: 10.1007/s40609-019-00145-4

Gichane, W.M.*, Mutesa, M, & Chowa, G. (2019). Translating Evidence Into Policy Change: Advocacy for Community-Based Distribution of Injectable Contraceptives in Zambia. Global Social Welfare, 6 (1): 41-47. doi: org/10.1007/s40609-018-0115-y

Masa, R., & Chowa, G.,  (2019). The association of material hardship with perceived stress and medication adherence among people living with HIV in rural Zambia. Global Social Welfare, 6 (1): 17-28. doi: 10.1007/s40609-018-0122-z

Masa, R., Chowa, G., & Sherraden, M. (2019). An evaluation of a school-based savings program and its effect on sexual risk behaviors and victimization among young Ghanaians. Youth & Society. doi:10.1177/0044118X18824730