Professor Lynn Davies PhD, MEd, B.A.)Hons), PGCE, LRAM

Professor Lynn Davies

School of Education
Emeritus Professor of International Education

Contact details

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

Lynn Davies is Emeritus Professor of International Education in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. 

Her background is in teaching at primary, secondary and teacher education levels, in Mauritius and Malaysia as well as UK.  Research and consultancy interests lie in the broad field of education governance and equity, but with a particular focus on conflict, extremism and security across a range of international contexts.  This involves consultancy and evaluation work in capacity development, in rights and in school democracy, to build education for resilience and social cohesion, particularly in contexts of fragility.  

She is also a Director of the social enterprise ConnectFutures, which is engaged in community based solutions to extremism and exploitation, working with the police, and training hard-to-reach youth.  


  • PhD in Pupil Deviance and Gender 1980, Awarded George Cadbury Thesis Prize 1981
  • MEd in Sociology, Psychology and Research Methods 1973
  • BA (Hons) in German with French 1965
  • PGCE 1967
  • LRAM (Pianoforte Teachers Diploma) 1966


Lynn has worked with UNESCO and OSCE on developing manuals relating to preventing violent extremism and countering racism, and with GIZ on social cohesion in Sri Lanka and gender in Afghanistan.  She was on the Board of UNICEF UK for 6 years, and is currently on the Boards of the Africa Educational Trust and the Georg-Ekert Institute for international textbook research. In 2014 she was given the Sir Brian Urquhart award for service to the UN and its goals by a UK citizen.

Currently, Lynn’s key focus is on education and conflict and extremism, and she has published and lectured widely on this. She helped in the development of Sri Lanka’s National Policy on Education for Peace and Social Cohesion, and continues to assist with evaluation of the impact of the policy. In UK, she works with police and local government agencies on preventing violent extremism and on mentoring those at risk of radicalisation. She also works with UNICEF on children’s rights; with British Council as a senior advisor on governance; and with GIZ and European Training Foundation on capacity development in fragile contexts.

Work on extremism has led to an interest in religion and education. She is working with OSCE on the production of guidelines for teachers in countering Islamophobia in schools and with colleagues in Israel and Palestine on an international edited collection on Gender, Religion and Education. A book is in preparation on Secularism, Security and Schooling which makes the case for an inclusive secularism as best promoting security and religious freedom.


Recent Research and consultancy

2016         Review of the 2008 Sri Lankan National Policy on Education for Social Cohesion and Peace (UNICEF funded)

2016         Evaluation of the Speak for Yourself youth empowerment programme (West Midlands Police)

2015         Evaluation of the GIZ supported programme Education for Peace and Social Cohesion In Sri Lanka

2014-5     Research project on the family background of former extremists in UK (EU funded)

2013         Consultancy to Ministry of Education, Afghanistan, to develop modules for the new Gender and Human Rights      curriculum for pre-service teacher education (GIZ funded)

2013         Consultancy to Bangladesh on Quality Education for Hardest to Reach Children  (EuropeAid)

2012         Synthesis for GIZ of 6 case studies of countries in conflict: Afghanistan, DRC, Guatemala, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka.  Preparation of the Sri Lanka case study.

2012         Consultancy to Ministry of Education, Afghanistan, to work on school development   and school shuras (GIZ funded)

2011-12   Member of team conducting evaluation of curriculum reform in Turkey (World Bank funded)

2011         Consultancy to Afghanistan to work on capacity development in education (GIZ funded)

2011         Consultancy with Save The Children to produce a Global Evaluation synthesis of work in Afghanistan, Angola, Nepal and Southern Sudan

2010-11   Preparation of a manual Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims  OSCE/ODIHR/Council of Europe/UNESCO

2010-11   Situational analysis synthesis for INEE of Education and Fragility in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia and Liberia 

2010-11     Consultancy to GIZ to produce an evaluation of GIZ’s programmes on education for peace and social cohesion in Sri Lanka

2010          Evaluation of 1-2-1 Mentoring Project for mentoring those at risk of violent radicalisation; evaluation of materials for schools on preventing violent extremism (West Midlands Police)

2010          Evaluation of GTZ’s programmes on peace and social cohesion in Sri Lanka, as part of a six country study on education and conflict

2008-9       Education in Emergencies and Risk Reduction for Vulnerable Groups. Research for UNICEF South Asia region. Eight country study (Nepal, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan). LD conducted the field work for the Nepal study


Recent publications

Davies, L. (2016) Lessons for a new policy in a post conflict context: Review of the 2008 Sri Lankan national policy on peace and social cohesion (UNICEF funded)

Gross, Z. and Davies, L. (2015) The Contested Role of Education in Conflict and Fragility. Sense Publishers

Davies, L. (2014)  Unsafe Gods: Security, Secularism and Schooling London: IOE/Trentham

Gross, Z., Davies, L. and Diab, A. (Eds) (2013) Gender, Religion and Education in a Chaotic Postmodern World Springer

Davies, L. (2012) Evaluation of the GIZ Education for Social Cohesion programme, Sri Lanka (German International Cooperation)

Davies, L. (2011) Understanding Education’s Role in Fragility: Synthesis of four situational analyses of education and fragility: Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Liberia. IIEP Research Reports, Paris: UNESCO 

Davies, L. and Spalek, B. (2010) Key Evaluation Findings of the West Midlands 1-2-1 Mentoring Project

Davies, L. (2009) (with C.Harber, M.Schweisfurth, H.Yamashita, C.Williams) Educating in Emergencies in South Asia: Reducing the Risks facing Vulnerable Children CIER/ UNICEF

Davies, L. (2008) Educating Against Extremism Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books

Davies, L. (2007) School Councils: School Improvement. Report of Action Research project

Davies, L. (2007) ‘Our Schools, Our Changes, Our Future’: Base-line Primary Education Research in Angola Report to CfBT

Davies, L., Williams, C and Yamashita, H. (2006) Inspiring Schools: Impact and Outcomes: Taking Up the Challenge of Pupil Participation Review for Carnegie Young People Initiative