Sauharda Rai

Ph.D. Student (2018 Cohort)
Sauharda Rai

Professional Background

Research and intervention coordination in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC): Nepal, South Africa, and Ethiopia. Project management working with populations impacted by conflict and natural disasters; conflict and global mental health.


Qualitative and quantitative methods, Nvivo, cross-cultural research, training field level researchers, Nepali and Hindi



Sauharda Rai’s interest of work lies in the intersection of conflict and mental health. Before coming to UW, Sauharda worked for 6 years with children and adolescents affected by conflict including child soldiers in Nepal.  He also worked at Duke University and The George Washington University as a Research Supervisor for 4 years. At Duke and The George Washington University he was managing an array of studies examining the effect of conflict and disaster on mental health, building mental health systems in post-conflict societies and conducting researches to drive mental health interventions. Sauharda has helped build academic and institutional partnerships among universities and NGOs in Nepal, the US, South Africa and Ethiopia to facilitate cross-cultural research. Together with teams at The George Washington University, Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO Nepal), King’s College London, and Addis Ababa University, Sauharda is coordinating a study to develop an intervention looking at reducing mental health stigma by involving mental health service users to improve the quality of care in primary healthcare settings. Sauharda has experience in managing federal and institutional grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO), HopeLab, and the Jacobs Foundation.

At Duke University, Sauharda developed and taught within a global mental health training program with a focus on culture and language for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students going to Nepal for their fieldwork abroad. He is also conducting an independent study evaluating ethnic stigma and discrimination in Southern Nepal in the light of Nepal’s national restructuring and federalism process.

Sauharda received his Master’s degree in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies and Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.


  • Rai S, Adhikari SB, Acharya NR, Kaiser BN, Kohrt BA. Elucidating adolescent aspirational models for the design of public mental health interventions in conflict affected population: a mixed-methods study in rural Nepal Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2017 1(1), 65. doi: 10.1186/s13034-017-0198-8
  • Rai S, Gurung D, Kaiser BN, Sikkema KJ, Dhakal M, Bhardwaj A, Tergesen C, Kohrt, BA, Family member’s perspectives on mental health service user co-facilitation of anti-stigma trainings for primary care providers: Qualitative findings from the RESHAPE program in Nepal. Families, Systems, and Health 2018 June; 36(2):198-209. doi: 10.1037/fsh0000338
  • Kohrt, B.A., Rai, S., Maharjan, S.M., 2015. Child Soldiers. In: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 3. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 430–438
  • Kohrt BA, Jordans MJ, Rai S, Shrestha P, Luitel NP, Ramaiya MK, Singla DR, Patel V: Therapist competence in global mental health: Development of the ENhancing Assessment of Common Therapeutic factors (ENACT) rating scale. Behaviour Research and Therapy 2015, 69:11-21. PMC4686771. PMID: 25847276. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2015.03.009
  • Kohrt BA, Ramaiya MK, Rai S, Bhardwaj A, Jordans MJD: Development of a scoring system for non-specialist ratings of clinical competence in global mental health: A qualitative process evaluation of the Enhancing Assessment of Common Therapeutic Factors (ENACT) scale. Global Mental Health 2, e23, doi:10.1017/gmh.2015.21
  • Kohrt BA, Yang M, Rai S, Bhardwaj A, Tol WA, Jordans MJ: Recruitment of child soldiers in Nepal: Mental health status and risk factors for voluntary participation of youth in armed groups. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 2016, 22(3):208-216. PMC4980080. PMID: 27524877. doi: 10.1037/pac0000170
  • Kohrt BA, Jordans MJ, Turner EL, Sikkema KJ, Luitel NP, Rai S, Singla D, Lamichhane J, Lund C, Patel V. Reducing stigma among healthcare providers to improve mental health services (RESHAPE): Protocol for a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial of a stigma reduction intervention for training primary healthcare workers in Nepal. Pilot and Feasibility Studies 4(1), 36. doi:10.1186/s40814-018-0234-3
  • Bhardwaj A, Bourey C, Rai S, Adhikari R, Worthman C, Kohrt BA. Interpersonal violence and suicidality among former child soldiers and war-exposed civilian children in Nepal. Global Mental Health, 2018 5, E9. doi:10.1017/gmh.2017.31
  • Langer J, Ramos J, Rai S, Kohrt BA, Burkley M, Gender and Child Behavior Problems in Rural Nepal: Differential Expectations and Responses. Submitted at Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health

Grants & Fellowships

  • Excellence Award and scholarship for academic excellence, Tribhuvan University 2009
  • Henry M. Jackson Doctoral Fellow, University of Washington, 2018

Dissertation Committee