Parul Bakhshi is a social psychologist and an assistant researcher professor at the Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University in St. Louis. As a social psychologist, the majority of her work has been in the field of human development, with specific focus on inclusion of vulnerable populations and education policies in LMICs. Understanding the dynamics of exclusion and the conditions for participation of vulnerable individuals and communities has been a leitmotiv of her research over the past 10 years. She is currently conducting research on stigma and social exclusion of destitute groups that impede participation in the field of inclusive education as well as poverty and mental illness. Her work also consists of a strong impact assessment component; she aims to look beyond the exercise of ‘assessment’ and explore more ways of engaging users to identity issues, devise solutions and use evidence in their work. Her research portfolio consists of projects that analyze the dynamics of social exclusion and identify the conditions required to trigger sustainable inclusion and participation. In order to better grasp the various factors, ranging from community-based to individual perspectives, she is developing an innovative cross-disciplinary theoretical and methodological framework. This framework draws upon diverse disciplines (social psychology, human development, occupational therapy as well as disability studies) as well as complementary methodologies (mixed methods, Participatory Action Research (PAR), Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), systems dynamics) in order to propose a model that captures the complexity of the phenomenon of exclusion and offer a new lens for designing equitable social policies.