Bakhshi, Parul, PhD, DEA (M.Phil)

Research Interests

As a social psychologist, Dr. Bakhshi has worked on various issues linked to international development: disability, inclusive education, processes that create vulnerability and definitions of well-being. Her recent research addressed Equity and Quality in Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP), focusing specifically on processes of social exclusion of disadvantaged and marginalized groups that impede participation within society. Her work focuses on assessment of impact of various programs and provide recommendations for international policies that support human rights and social justice.

Teaching Roles

Dr Bakhshi collaborates and guest lectures on various courses to address specific sessions that focus on international perspectives of occupational therapy: global health and pandemics; climate chaos and inequalities; human rights and policy; stigma and social psychology; disability and health policies, community-based rehabilitation (CBR), global mental health and examining the validity of “evidence” across countries and cultures.


2003: PhD in intercultural social psychology, René Descartes University, Paris V
1998: M.Phil in social psychology (DEA), dual-degree, René Descartes University, Paris V and EHESS, Paris (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)
1997: MS in social psychology (Maitrise), René Descartes University, Paris V
1996: BS in psychology (license), René Descartes University, Paris V


Dr Bakhshi earned her doctorate from René Descartes University in 2003 in intercultural social psychology, looking specifically at identity of young Indian women and social changes. She then worked as a consultant for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, where she contributed to the work of the quality education sector and life skills programs. In 2004, she joined an international organization, Handicap International as a researcher and collaborated in the National Disability Survey in Afghanistan (NDSA) that was carried out over a period of two years in all 34 provinces of the country. Since 2007, she became an international consultant and carried out short-term mission for various agencies: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Bank, Save the Children-UK, Australian Aid Agency (AUSAID). She also continued to teach and conduct research as a visiting associate with the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre at University College London, as well as with the University Degli of Florence, Italy. Her work from 2007-2011 has taken her to Egypt, Djibouti in West Africa, India, Italy and Afghanistan. She joined the Program in Occupational Therapy in January 2012. She continues to serve as an international advisor for educational policies on inclusion of vulnerable children.

Selected Publications

Bakhshi, P., Babulal, G. M., & Trani, J. F. (2021). Disability, poverty, and schooling in post-civil war in Sierra Leone. The European Journal of Development Research, 33, 482-501.

Trani, J. F., Fowler, P., Bakhshi, P., & Kumar, P. (2019). Assessment of progress in education for children and youth with disabilities in Afghanistan: A multilevel analysis of repeated cross-sectional surveys. PloS one, 14(6), e0217677.

Burns, A., Eshalieva, D., & Bakhshi, P. (2019). Bringing sunshine children into the light: Exploring a role for occupational therapy with a parent association in Kyrgyzstan. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, 75(2), 90-93.

Trani, J.F., Bakhshi, P., Mozaffari, A., Sohail, M., Rawab, H., Kaplan, I., Ballard, E., & Hovmand, P. (2019) Strengthening inclusion in learning through empowerment of rural school stakeholders in Pakistan and Afghanistan: Study protocol for community-based system dynamics. Research in Comparative and International Education, 14(1), 158-181.

Trani, J.F., Bakhshi, P., &  Ballard, E. (2016) Participatory System Modeling as a participatory method for real time decision-making process: A case study for Global Mental Health Intervention in Afghanistan, Conflict and Health, 10 (25).
Trani, J.F., Bakhshi, P., & Babulal, G. (2015) A 34-item disability screening questionnaire (DSQ-34) for use in low and middle income countries epidemiological and development surveys: Validation in India and Nepal, PLOS One, 10 (12).

Trani, J. F., Bakhshi, P., Tlapek, S. M., Lopez, D., & Gall, F. (2019). Disability and poverty in Morocco and Tunisia: A multidimensional approach. In Health, Disability and the Capability Approach (pp. 46-75). Routledge.

Taff, S. D., Bakhshi, P., & Babulal, G. M. (2014). The Accountability–Well-Being–Ethics framework: A new philosophical foundation for occupational therapy: Le cadre Accountability–Well-Being–Ethics: un nouveau fondement philosophique pour l’ergothérapie. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81(5), 320-329.

Trani, J. F., & Bakhshi, P. (2013). Vulnerability and mental health in Afghanistan: looking beyond war exposure. Transcultural Psychiatry, 50(1), 108-139.

Trani, J. F., Bakhshi, P., & Nandipati, A. (2012). ‘Delivering’education; maintaining inequality. The case of children with disabilities in Afghanistan. Cambridge Journal of Education, 42(3), 345-365.

Trani, J. F., Kett, M., Bakhshi, P., & Bailey, N. (2014). Disability, vulnerability and citizenship: To what extent is education a protective mechanism for children with disabilities in countries affected by conflict?. In Disability, Poverty and Education (pp. 141-157). Routledge.

Trani, J. F., Bakhshi, P., & Rolland, C. (2011). Capabilities, perception of well-being and development effort: Some evidence from Afghanistan. Oxford Development Studies, 39(4), 403-426.

TTrani, J. F., Bakhshi, P., Bellanca, N., Biggeri, M., & Marchetta, F. (2011). Disabilities through the Capability Approach lens: Implications for public policies. Alter, 5(3), 143-157.

Groce, N. E., & Bakhshi, P. (2014). Illiteracy among adults with disabilities in the developing world: A review of the literature and a call for action. Disability, Poverty and Education, 107-122.

Trani, J. F., Bakhshi, P., Noor, A. A., Lopez, D., & Mashkoor, A. (2010). Poverty, vulnerability, and provision of healthcare in Afghanistan. Social Science & Medicine, 70(11), 1745-1755.

Trani, J. F., Bakhshi, P., Noor, A. A., & Mashkoor, A. (2009). Lack of a will or of a way? Taking a capability approach for analysing disability policy shortcomings and ensuring programme impact in Afghanistan. The European Journal of Development Research, 21, 297-319.

Trani, J. F., & Bakhshi, P. (2008). Challenges for assessing disability prevalence: The case of Afghanistan. Alter, 2(1), 44-64.


2015-Present: Research Fellow of the Economic and Social Research Council (UK)
2007: New School Graduate Program Scholarship for the 2007 International Conference of the Human Development and Capability Association in New York
2005: Handicap International fellowship for the 2005 International Conference of the Human Development and Capability Association in Paris, UNESCO
2004: Handicap International fellowship for the 2004 International Conference of the Human Development and Capability Association, Universita degli studi, Pavia

Bakhshi, Parul

Bakhshi, Parul, PhD, DEA (M.Phil)

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Surgery

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Phone: (314) 286-2970
Fax: (314) 286-0631


Social Exclusion

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