The world is mobile, why isn’t our data?

The world is on the move. Over 164 million migrant workers make a living in a foreign country and they are joined by almost 26 million refugees who have been forced to flee due to conflict. While some would prefer to remain abroad, most want to return home at one point and restart their lives with additional skills or savings.

Unfortunately, while people are on the move, their data is not. Creating digital economic identities for refugees and migrant workers present a potential solution to this challenge. Educational certificates, employer references, and credit transactions, verified by the issuer and stored in a personal “digital locker” on the blockchain, can provide people with the performance history they need to improve their livelihoods, restart their lives when they return home, and potentially facilitate access to finance.

Together with Making Cents International and SANAD, FMO is testing this concept in Lebanon and Jordan with its MFI clients Al Majmoua in Lebanon and Tamweelcom in Jordan. 1500 Filipino migrant workers in Lebanon and Syrian refugees in Jordan have been enrolled in the digital identity system called Hawiyati (“My Identity” in Arabic). Through 2020, it will be tested whether the identity system will facilitate access to finance for migrant workers and refugees both because it provides future financial institutions with their credit history, but also because it mitigates flight risk, since identity holders will not want to bring a bad credit history record back with them to their home country.

MASSIF investment | JOD 0.9 million

Instrument | Risk-sharing facility and capacity development