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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.



Participatory Action Research with Disabled Adolescents in Nepal (PARDAN)

Intersecting vulnerabilities of disability, low socio-economic status, marginalisation and age indicate that children and young people with disabilities are likely to be uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yet, there has been limited research from low-and middle-income countries...


Inclusive Futures

Inclusive Futures is a Consortium programme of 16 global partners, led by Sightsavers, focussing on advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities. The project brings together a diverse range of NGOs and research centres with expertise in different areas. Together we're pooling our...



Covid-19 and people with disabilities in South Africa

The severity of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has starkly exposed the fragility of both national and global health, social and economic systems. Emerging evidence is showing that people with disabilities are being disproportionately affected, with it becoming clear that those who were...

11 December 2020



Taking a Disability-Inclusive Approach to Pandemic Responses

IDS Policy Briefing 175

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities globally, yet the impact has not been equal. People with disabilities were already often living with severe disadvantage and marginalisation and, as predicted by many disability-focused agencies, Covid-19 has exacerbated these inequalities.

Image of Mary Wickenden
Mary Wickenden & 3 others

25 March 2021

Stephen Thompson’s recent work


Health and Nutrition

Our health and nutrition work brings new understanding and action on health tackling epidemics, antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases. We generate new evidence and analysis on nutrition issues including dietary transition, globalisation of food systems, and responding to the ways that...