Study Site

This study is being conducted in Kiambu County, one of the 47 counties of Kenya. Kiambu is divided into 14 subcounties. The study will be carried out in Lari Subcounty, which borders the Rift Valley County to the west. In this subcounty, Kikuyu is the local language in addition to Kiswahili (the national language). The primary source of income is agriculture, with principal crops being maize, beans, and Irish potatoes. In addition to farming, there are also small-scale businesses established by both men and women. Lari subcounty has 66 primary schools, the highest number of government-sponsored primary schools among all sub-counties.

The University of Nairobi Department of Psychiatry is partnering with local government-sponsored primary schools to implement the study. SMART Africa-Kenya team is building a partnership consortium which includes, among others, Ministries of Health and Education, Kenyatta National Hospital, and NGOs such as Basic Needs Kenya.


In partnership with government-sponsored primary schools, the SMART Africa-Kenya team is working with 180 families, including children and their guardians. Similar to the SMART Africa-Uganda study, participants in Kenya will receive the adapted version of the evidence-based Multiple Family Group Intervention (known as 4Rs and 2Ss). This intervention has been successfully implemented in the U.S. among families with children from resource-limited settings experiencing behavioral health challenges, including Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder. The 4Rs and 2Ss manual has been revised and adapted to the Kenyan context in collaboration with key stakeholders including teachers. The intervention is called “Familia Pamoja” (Family Togetherness in Swahili, the language spoken in the country).

This manualized intervention includes 16 sessions that cover topics including but not limited to: building on family strengths, respectful communication, behavioral health knowledge, stigma, dealing with stress at home, and problem-solving strategies to address broken rules.

Over the past two years, the Kenya Team has organized and facilitated several stakeholder meetings, including discussions on manual adaptation with Ministry officials and key NGO partners as well as several consultation meetings with teachers. SMART Africa team member Dr. Keng-Yen Huang has been integral to these stakeholder meetings.

Study Partners

Government sponsored primary schools provide basic education to children aged six to fourteen years old from first grade to eighth grade. The schools are located in peri-urban Kiambu County and follow public school national curriculum.

University of Nairobi- Department of Psychiatry  The University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences is located on the Kenyatta National Hospital Campus.  It consists of the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dental Sciences, Nursing Sciences, Public Health and 4 Institutes. The Department of Psychiatry is one of the thirteen departments of the School of Medicine.

Research Team

Meet the SMART Africa Kenya Research Team

Contact Information

For more information, please contact our Kenya Study project manager Ms. Sylvia Nyamache at