About the Center

The Center for Social Well-Being and Development is a university-based research center that promotes the understanding and use of a social-ecological approach to support positive health and social outcomes to reduce vulnerability worldwide.

We are located at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

About Our Services

Our Statement on Racism


Villagers sharing a meal.

What is Social Well-Being?

Social well-being means that there is a social fabric that enables people to live healthy, productive, safe and respected lives. It strengthens people's assets to respond to opportunities and risks, and minimize vulnerability.

Social Well-Being


The Social-Ecological Approach

The social-ecological approach is rooted in public health. We use it to understand and address the web of factors influencing health, social problems, and related human rights issues, and to advance social well-being.

Our Approach

Who We Are

Our Mission

We support the understanding and use of a social-ecological approach to address global health and social development through research, program planning, evaluation, communication, dissemination of what works, and training or technical support services.

Full Mission

Our Experts

The Center is trans-disciplinary such that faculty, staff and students from the Milken Institute School of Public Health and other George Washington University Departments and Schools can be involved in projects, as appropriate. Learn more about our team.


Our Supporters

Our supporters—from federal government to global organizations to national medical research centers and public health institutes—inspire us to do more.  They empower us to continue our efforts and allow us to impact a growing number of people throughout the world.

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CSWD Services



Assess contributing factors for health and social development problems. 


Integrate program planning across sectors to address multiple contributing factors with efficiency.


Develop tailored program approaches and/or identify evidence-based programs that can be used to intervene at strategic points in a web of contributing factors.



Evaluate to determine whether a program or policy is effective in improving the targeted health or social development problem and changing the contributing factors.


Disseminate the results and best practices from effective programs.


Build local or indigenous capacity to scale sustainable programs.

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