Applying complexity science to improve outcomes for migrants and refugees during pandemics

Kia Niwha Leader Fellow
DR NADIA CHARANIA

Nadia Charania photo compre v2
Principal Investigator
Dr Nadia Charania
AUT
Public Contact
Te Niwha
teniwhacomms@otago.ac.nz
Project Timeframe/Status
-
In Process

Whakarāpopoto Rangahau Summary of Research

Priority Theme: Prevention
Discipline: Public health

Migrants and refugees face a myriad of challenges as they settle in a new country, including language barriers, cultural differences, and limited access to employment and health services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant and refugee communities were disproportionately impacted as infectious disease outbreaks amplify existing inequities.

As part of the Kia Niwha Leader Fellowships, Dr Nadia Charania will undertake a one-year project using a complexity-informed research approach. Unlike traditional research approaches, a complexity informed research approach recognises dynamic relationships, unpredictability, and uncertainty within systems. Research in this area is limited and, to the researcher’s knowledge, complexity science has not been applied to improve pandemic outcomes among migrants and refugees.

Dr Charania will harness the principles of complexity science to improve pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, focusing on migrants and refugees who are often overlooked in preparedness efforts. Narratives will be qualitatively collected from multiple stakeholders, including community members, organisation leaders, and pandemic planners, to analyse the interconnected factors and produce complexity-informed recommendations that reflect the realities of migrants and refugees over the phases of a pandemic.

Given the disproportionate burden faced by Māori and Pacific Peoples during pandemics, the results may also support improved outcomes as the focus is on more equitable and inclusive pandemic preparedness and response.

He Kōtaha Kairangahau Researcher Profile

Dr Nadia Charania
Principal Investigator
AUT

Dr Nadia Charania is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Co-Director of the Migrant and Refugee Health Research Centre at the Auckland University of Technology. Originally trained as a respiratory therapist, she completed her doctoral studies in environmental sciences and public health in Canada before migrating to Aotearoa New Zealand. Nadia is an applied public health researcher who specialises in qualitative and participatory action research methodologies. She is primarily interested in addressing health inequities related to infectious diseases among marginalised populations. With equity and social justice at the core of her research programme, she is passionate about addressing locally relevant issues in partnership with communities. She has primarily engaged with migrant and refugee background communities, in addition to Māori, Pacific, and Asian communities. The aim is to achieve meaningful outcomes and advocate for systems-level change to improve the health and wellbeing of marginalised communities. She is currently collaborating on research related to access and utilisation of health and immunisation services, vaccination attitudes and behaviours, and community-based pandemic planning.

Project Status

In Process

 

Media Contact 

Te Niwha
teniwhacomms@otago.ac.nz