Dr Paul Lynch

Dr Paul Lynch

School of Education
Senior Lecturer in Inclusive Education

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Paul is a member of the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) which sits within the Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs Department (DISN) at the University of Birmingham.

Paul started as a Research Fellow conducting commissioned research for Sightsavers into the educational and social inclusion of children with disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa before moving onto a senior lecturing position in 2016. He conducts different types of ethnographic and participatory research into early childhood development and disability including children with vision impairment in sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. children with albinism). He also has a strong interest in using participatory action research to better understand early childhood development, education and disability in the Global South (principally sub-Saharan countries). Paul continues to provide research and technical support to Sightsavers on a regular basis.

Paul is principal investigator on a three year ESRC/DFID funded project into early childhood development, education and disability in Malawi. He is also a co-investigator on a MRC Rapid Response Research funded project which is creating a network and analysis of diagnostic abilities of tools to identify children with neurodevelopmental disorders in low and middle income settings.


  • PhD (Queens University Belfast).
  • MSc (Trinity College Dublin)
  • B Ed (Hons.) Middlesex
  • Maitrise (Paris VII)


Upon successful completion of a Masters at Trinity College Dublin (2000), Paul applied to Queen’s University Belfast to take a PhD and was fortuitous in winning a three year scholarship from the Northern Ireland Department of Education. He has carried out a series of consultancies for the Department for International Development (DFID) in Ghana specifically aimed at working closely with the Ministry of Education and Science to develop an ICT and SEN policy as well as an Inclusive Education strategy. 


Paul is the lead tutor on the MA programme Management of Special Education in Developing Countries programmes

He lectures on the MA Programme International Studies in Education leading a module on ‘Education as an International Issue’. He also lectures on other taught modules on this programme as well as on ‘Development and Disability’ run by the International Development Department, College of Social Sciences.

Postgraduate supervision

Paul welcomes students who are interested in the following areas:

  • Early childhood development and education
  • Education of children with visual impairments in developing countries
  • Education of children with disabilities in developing countries
  • Assessment of young children with developmental delay and disabilities 


Other activities

Paul is external examiner for the Certificate in Higher Education ‘Working with people with visual impairment’ at Worcester University and for the MA in Special Needs at the School of Education, University of Nottingham (and Malaysia campus).

He is a member of the British Association of International and comparative education (BAICE) and the Early Childhood Development Thematic Forum (ECDtf).


Recent publications


Lynch, P, Singal, N & Taneja Johansson, S (eds) 2018, Education and Disability in the Global South: New Perspectives from Africa and Asia. 1st edn, Bloomsbury Academic, London.


Soni, A, Lynch, P, McLinden, M, Mbukwa-Ngwira , J, Mankhwazi , M, Jolley, E, Virendrakumar , B, Bedford , J & Gercama, I 2020, 'Facilitating the participation of children with disabilities in early childhood development centres in Malawi: Developing a sustainable staff training programme', Sustainability, vol. 12, no. 5, 2104. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052104

Murphy, R, Jolley, E, Lynch, P, Mankhwazi, M, Mbukwa, J, Bechange, S, Gladstone, M & Schmidt, E 2020, 'Estimated prevalence of disability and developmental delay among preschool children in rural Malawi: Findings from “Tikule Limodzi,” a cross-sectional survey', Child: Care, Health & Development. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.1274

Lynch, P, Gladstone, M, McLinden, M, Douglas, G, Jolley, E, Schmidt, E & Chimoyo, J 2018, '‘I have learnt to love the child and give opportunities to play with peers’: A feasibility study of the training programme to support parents of young children with visual impairment in Malawi', Journal of Early Childhood Research, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718x18761219

McLinden, M, Lynch, P, Soni, A, Artiles, A, Kholowa, F, Kamchedzera, E, Mbukwa, J & Mankhwazi, M 2018, 'Supporting Children with Disabilities in Low- and Middle- Income Countries: Promoting Inclusive Practice within Community-Based Childcare Centres in Malawi through a Bioecological Systems Perspective', International Journal of Early Childhood, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 159. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13158-018-0223-y

McLinden, M, Douglas, G, Hewett, R, Cobb, R & Lynch, P 2017, 'Facilitating participation in education: The distinctive role of the specialist teacher in supporting learners with vision impairment in combination with severe and profound learning difficulties', Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, vol. 7, no. 2. <https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/jbir/jbir17/jbir070203.html>

Lynch, P & Jolley, E 2017, 'Education and social inclusion of people with disabilities in five countries in West Africa: a literature review', Disability and Rehabilation, pp. 1464-5165. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2017.1353649

Gladstone, M, McLinden, M, Douglas, G, Jolley, E, Schmidt, E, Chimoyo, J, Magombo, H & Lynch, P 2017, '‘Maybe I will give some help…. maybe not to help the eyes but different help’: an analysis of care and support of children with visual impairment in community settings in Malawi', Child: Care, Health & Development, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 608-620. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12462

Yousafzai, A, Lynch, P & Gladstone, M 2015, 'Moving beyond prevalence studies: Screening and interventions for children with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries', Archives of Disease in Childhood. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2012-302066

Lynch, P, Lund, P & Massah, B 2014, 'Identifying strategies to enhance the educational inclusion of visually impaired children with albinism in Malawi', International Journal of Educational Development, vol. 39, pp. 226–234. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.07.002

Lynch, P, McLinden, M, Douglas, G & McCall, S 2012, 'Developing Participatory Approaches for Use in an Action Research Project with Teachers Who Support Children with Visual Impairment in Kenya and Uganda: reflections on the relational praxis between participants and research institutions', Research in Comparative and International Education, vol. 7, no. 3. https://doi.org/10.2304/rcie.2012.7.3.282

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

McLinden, M, Douglas, G, Hewett, R, Thistlethwaite, J & Lynch, P 2019, Evidence-based practices for teaching learners with vision impairment. in Oxford Encyclopedia of Inclusive and Special Education. Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Education, Oxford University Press.

Commissioned report

Vargas-Baron, E, Small, J, Wertlieb, D, Hix-Small, H, Gomez Botero, R, Diehl, K, Vergara, P & Lynch, P 2019, Global survey of Inclusive Early Childhood Development and Early Childhood Intervention programs. RISE Institute, Washington.

Wittemeyer, K & Lynch, P 2016, A qualitative study of the experiences of people with disabilities and their families on enablers and barriers to inclusive education and social inclusion in Mali. VICTAR.

Lynch, P & Wittemeyer, K 2015, A qualitative study of the experiences of people with disabilities and their families on enablers and barriers to education and social inclusion in Senegal. VICTAR.

View all publications in research portal