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Marissa Kaloga imageLecturer in Social Work

Contact details

Room 5C22a, Richardson Building
Tel +64 3 479 7652

Dr Kaloga is a lecturer at University of Otago's Social and Community Work programme, and coordinates the Communities and Organizations series. She received her MSW and PhD in Social Work with an Interdisciplinary Specialization in Global Health from The Ohio State University. As a US Fulbright Scholar, she led research on women's entrepreneurship at Sonfonia University's Center for Research on Society, Democracy, and Sustainable Development in Conakry, Guinea. In addition, she was Director of Innovation at the Economic and Community Development Institute, a leading microfinance non-profit in the US that focuses on entrepreneurship for minority populations.

Her research focuses on women's financial inclusion and economic justice, examining innovative grassroots strategies to support family and strengthen community. Through her mixed-methods research in Africa, Asia, and the U.S. she has worked with vulnerable and marginalized populations such as sex workers, refugees, and women in extreme poverty. She is currently focused on research that looks at dismantling inequality through sustainable community economic development both in West Africa and New Zealand, specifically the role of building formal and informal entrepreneurial ecosystems to promote inclusive entrepreneurship.


I have the capacity to take on new PhD students in 2020. I am interested in hearing about your doctoral research idea in the following areas:

  • Economic Justice and Financial Inclusion
  • Social Innovation/ Social Development
  • Community Economic Development
  • Women's Empowerment
  • International Social Work

If your project is in these or any related area of social work or community development, please contact me via email at Applicants with outstanding academic achievement are eligible to apply for University of Otago PhD full scholarships.


Kaloga, M. (2023). Developing a systems transformation action research approach: A qualitative cross-case analysis. Journal of Community Practice, 31(3-4), 450-465. doi: 10.1080/10705422.2023.2284192

Kaloga, M., & Camara, A. K. (2023). A case study of the emerging social work sector in Guinea, West Africa. Social Work Education, 42(2), 185-201. doi: 10.1080/02615479.2022.2153826

Kaloga, M., & Reno, R. (2022). SDG’s and systems science: Teaching beyond the micro-macro divide in social work education. Social Work Education, 41(7), 1489-1506. doi: 10.1080/02615479.2022.2109622

Kaloga, M. (2021). Social work and economic justice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 33(4), 5-13. [Commentary].

Stringer, R., Kaloga, M., Keddell, E., Proctor, L., & Vakaoti, P. (Eds.). (2021). Proceedings of the Sociology, Gender Studies & Criminology and Social & Community Work Postgraduate Symposium V. Dunedin, New Zealand: Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology Programme, University of Otago. 50p. Retrieved from

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