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Stephen Thompson

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Stephen Thompson is a social scientist who has worked in international development for over fifteen years. He is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Participation Inclusion, and Social Change research cluster.

His current research mainly focuses on disability and inclusion. He works mainly on the Disability Inclusive Development and Inclusion Works programmes, which consider how people with disabilities in low income contexts can be included in various aspects of everyday life. He also has research interests in education (with a particular focus on inclusive education and tertiary education), nutrition and health. He is currently interested in participatory methodologies and sustainable development.

He has worked for both research institutes and non-government organisations in both Europe and Africa. He completed his doctorate at the Technological University Dublin in collaboration with University KwaZulu Natal, as an African Vision Research Institute Scholar, focusing on the social and economic impact of visual impairment in Mozambique.

He has completed a number of research consultancies in international development for various aid agencies including those belonging to the UK, Irish, Swiss, Australian, and Norwegian governments, as well as for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, and various non-government organisations. Stephen is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is a teaching assistant for the Ideas in Development Module at IDS. He has also lectured at the University of Brighton for the Global Social Policy module of the Social Science degree. He sits on the Editorial Steering Committee for the IDS Bulletin research journal. He is a Trustee for the non-government organisation Vision Aid Overseas.



Inclusion Works

The Inclusion Works programme is testing innovative ways to improve economic empowerment and inclusion for people with disabilities, enabling them to find employment and earn a living. Launched in June 2019, Inclusion Works runs in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. Funded by UK aid, the...



What does Covid-19 mean for people with disabilities?

The global Covid-19 pandemic has starkly exposed the fragility of our supposedly connected world. Everyone, including those who lead secure and comfortable lives, has been rapidly catapulted into health, social and economic challenges of exceptional scale and severity. However, what is clear...

Image of Mary Wickenden
Mary Wickenden & 3 others

27 April 2020

Development Frames

In Small Places

First runner up Dust in his eyes. Dirt under his nails. Debris in his hair. As the smoke rose and the ash settled, Amjad made the decision then and there that he had to get out. He had been sitting on the remains of a low wall, two blocks from where the maternity hospital was hit. Shrapnel had...

1 December 2016



Developing Disability-Inclusive Higher Education Systems

International Higher Education;100

It has been 25 years since the first issue of International Higher Education was published. By coincidence, it is also 25 years since the Salamanca Statement called on the international community to endorse the approach of inclusive education, including at the tertiary level. The past quarter...

1 January 2020

Journal Article

The Political Economy of Food

This issue of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) Bulletin on the political economy of food puts power squarely in the spotlight in the efforts to address the challenges of our prevailing food systems. It explores the main debates and discussions that emerged from a workshop on the...

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Winson Tan & 2 others

23 October 2019


SDC Thematic Working Aid: Education

Education is integral to the inclusive, peaceful and sustained development of a society. If education is equitable and of good quality, it can ensure the participation of marginalised groups in the development process more broadly, thereby reducing social inequalities. Without attention paid to...

1 January 2019

Stephen Thompson’s recent work