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Iti Rearea Collective: Intervention research of a novel entrepreneurship and microfinance programme for resettled refugees

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Academic background
Humanities, Business
Host campus
PhD, Master’s
Social and Community Work
Dr Marissa Kaloga, Dr Sangeeta Karmokar


Iti Rearea Collective exists to remove systemic barriers that keep migrant communities from reaching their full potential in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our first Auckland-based initiative enables migrant entrepreneurs to achieve financial independence and social inclusion by creating profitable enterprises. The impact of this initiative includes increased confidence and wellbeing, job creation, improved livelihood, increased social cohesion and social inclusion and added value to Aotearoa’s society and economy in the long-term.

More information about IRC can be found at Iti Rearea Collective


Funded by Foundation North, IRC is a collective of organizations committed to driving systemic change to support positive outcomes for resettled refugees in Aotearoa who are aspiring entrepreneurs. We are currently implementing two programmes with six cohorts over a period of 3 years: NEST and SOAR (further information on website).

Dr Kaloga is leading research on this program with the following research aims:

  1. To evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of IRC’s refugee small business development and microfinance programmes: NEST, NEST II, and SOAR.
  2. To develop a deeper understanding of the experiences of resettled refugee participants in these programmes.

This project is currently completing its second pilot cohort and has full ethics approval via the University of Otago Research Ethics Committee. We are seeking a motivated individual to use this programme as the research component of their PhD. The successful individual will gain significant mentored experience in applied intervention and evaluation research across mixed methods.

The ideal candidate will have the following attributes:

  • Refugee background or experience working in resettlement
  • Collaborative
  • Excellent writing – writing samples required
  • Creative and analytical thinking skills
  • Completed Honours or Masters degree with a strong research component
  • Currently residing in Aotearoa New Zealand

Eligible for a University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship (PDF)


Eligible for a Auckland University of Technology Doctoral Scholarship

Methodologies to be used:

  1. Qualitative semi-structured interviewing
  2. Survey analysis using SPSS, including repeated measures ANOVA
  3. Possible opportunity to conduct egocentric social network analysis


Additional links

University of Otago article on Dr Kaloga’s involvement


Dr Marissa Kaloga