Digital Remittances for Refugees in Jordan!


PHB Development Newsletter Spring/Summer 2015


PHB Development is currently working with GIZ to leverage access to remittances and other financial services through digital solutions in Jordan.

The project is planned to start in October 2015 and to last three years with a total contribution of up to 2.3 million euros by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the involvement of other potential stakeholders.

Refugees from neighboring conflict-affected countries (mainly Syria) as well as Jordanians will be the beneficiaries of this project, which is part of the German development cooperation’s special initiative "Tackling the root causes of displacement, reintegrating refugees." GIZ’s initiative aims to increase the targeted populations’ revenues and improve their capacity to manage their money and develop productive activities, thanks to formal digital means, which are more efficient and better fit their needs.

PHB Development is providing inputs to support the transition to digital transfers and financial inclusion through mobile wallets. Among other tasks, this consultancy includes facilitating the dialog between the Central Bank of Jordan and stakeholders to mitigate the risks related to the development of digital channels in a practical way. PHB will also give support to pilot initiatives related to digital payments and social payments (through mobile wallets), as well as support for improving financial literacy, digital payment adoption and capacity building to develop economic activities.


PHB Development Newsletter Spring/Summer 2015
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Moving Forward – Operationalisation of the Dashboard



1.   Concept Note - Operationalisation of PICMD Indicators
2.   Powerpoint Presentations from the Meeting
  a. Conceptualising Policy and Institutional Coherence for Migration and Development (PICMD)
  b. The Role of Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development in the Post-2015 Framework
  c. Aggregating Indicators and Objective Areas
  d. Policy and Institutional Coherence for Migration and Development: A Dashboard
3.   Final List of Participants
4.   General Presentation on Dashboard of PICMD Indicators


Amy Hong
Policy Analyst - Migration and Skills Unit
OECD Development Centre
2 rue André Pascal - 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France
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Growth From Asia Drives Surge in U.S. Foreign Students


Drew DeSilver
Fact Tank

As the last of this year’s crop of U.S. college graduates march across the stage to receive their diplomas, more of them than ever are likely to be from overseas. In fact, a new Pew Research Center analysis of degrees granted by American colleges and universities shows that foreign students earn more than half of the advanced degrees in many science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

june19 1Foreign students earned just 11.6% of all doctorates conferred by U.S. colleges and universities in the 2012-2013 academic year, but they comprise 56.9% of all doctoral degrees in engineering; 52.5% of all doctorates in computer and information sciences; and half of all doctorates in mathematics and statistics, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

At the baccalaureate level, foreign students still are overrepresented in STEM degrees, though the numbers are smaller. In 2012-2013, foreign students received just 3.5% of bachelor’s degrees from U.S. colleges and universities, but they earned 10.2% of all degrees in mathematics and statistics, 7.9% of all engineering degrees, and 6.7% of all bachelor’s degrees in architecture and related services.

We examined foreign students’ growing presence on U.S. campuses, their countries of origin and their fields of study. During the 2013-2014 year, more than 886,000 students from other countries were enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities or doing “optional practical training” – work related to their field of study. The foreign student population grew 72% from 1999 to 2013, according to the New York-based Institute of International Education; nearly all the increase came from Asian countries.

june19 2

China, as you might expect, is the single biggest source of foreign college students, and most of the increase over the past decade and a half can be attributed to Chinese students. In 2013-2014, according to the IIE, 274,439 Chinese students were studying in the U.S. – 31% of the total, and more than five times the number from 15 years ago. Put another way, 15 years ago, just over one of every 10 foreign students was Chinese; last year, nearly one of every three were. According to a report in the journal Science, many Chinese families see U.S. higher education as a high-quality, affordable alternative to “the rigid undergraduate training offered by most Chinese universities.”

june19 3Following China is India, with 102,673 students in the U.S., and South Korea, with just over 68,000. The Asian country with the biggest percentage increase over that same period? Vietnam, which sent more than seven times as many students in 2013-2014 (16,579) to U.S. institutions of higher learning as it did in 1999-2000 (2,266). Among non-Asian countries, the most significant increase was Saudi Arabia, which sent nearly 10 times as many students to U.S. colleges and universities in 2013-2014 (53,919) as it did 15 years earlier (5,156).

U.S. colleges and universities have long sought to attract top students from abroad, for both academic and financial reasons. As The Washington Post noted a few years back, “[i]nternational students are particularly coveted by public universities, where they pay two or three times the tuition charged to state residents.” Many schools use commissioned agents to recruit international students, a practice that was formally endorsed by the National Association for College Admission Counseling in 2013.

Foreign students at U.S. colleges are more concentrated in STEM fields than U.S. college students as a whole. Among foreign students at all academic levels, business was the most popular field of study in 2013-2014 (188,179). But the next-most-popular fields were engineering (160,128) and computer and information sciences (65,291). By contrast, the most popular fields of study for U.S. students at all levels were health professions, business, liberal arts/humanities and education; computer sciences and engineering ranked seventh and 10th, respectively.

But that doesn’t mean all foreign students have similar academic profiles. About three-fourths of Indian students (74%), for example, were studying some form of science, math or engineering in 2013-2014, a share exceeded only by Iranians (77.4%). Business was the single most popular area of study for Vietnamese (37.5%) and Chinese (28%) students, while the countries with the highest share of students studying intensive English (not typically a degree program on its own) were Kuwait (28.2%) and Saudi Arabia (24%).






Drew DeSilver
Fact Tank


Two Centuries of Filipino Immigration to the US


Ray and Kira Del Rosario
Positively Filipino

june18 10
Fil-Ams celebrate Philippine Independence Day in San Francisco (Photo by Raymond Virata)
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Top 25 Totals of Persons Obtaining Legal Permanent Residence by Country of Last Residence (1820-2013)

Filipinos are the 12th largest population of foreign nationals who have obtained legal permanent residence in the US from 1820 to 2013.

June 2015 marks the second anniversary of the Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM) in the United States.

The nonprofit organization Welcoming America initiated the celebration in 2014 “to encourage every American to tell the story of how they first felt welcomed to the American experience.” 

This year, President Barack Obama, a known supporter of immigration reform, acknowledged IHM in his weekly address. In his speech, he not only promoted the sharing of individual success stories but lobbied for the ongoing need to fix the broken immigration system. 

We join the IHM celebration by tracing Filipino immigration to the US and visualizing Filipino patterns of emigration here. The graphs here are based on US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data. 

june18 12
Total number of Filipinos Gaining Lawful Permanent Residence, 1940 - Present (est. by 2019)
june18 13
Total number of Filipinos Gaining Lawful Permanent Residence, 1870 - 2009
june18 14
Philippines is among the top 8 countries for total number of people gaining lawful permanent residence in the US, 1990-2013

The data reflects different nationalities obtaining legal permanent residence in the United States starting in 1820, a year after the American Congress passed the Steerage Act of 1819 that required ship captains to keep track of immigrants who came to the US. However, it is not until 1870 to 1879 that a tally of Filipinos appear on the list, although researcher Eloisa Gomez Borah has been able to trace the presence of Filipinos in the US from 1587 to the 1850s. 

It could also be assumed that ranking does not take into account the undocumented TNTs (tago ng tago or illegal immigrants in hiding). 

The non-government organization Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) also said that there were four waves of Filipino migration, the second wave of which took place from early to mid-20th century, ushering in more than 100,000 Filipino plantation workers in Hawaii who were at that time considered US nationals because the Philippines was a US colony. This was also not in the DHS data. 

From the 1950s to present, DHS data showed a consistent rise of Filipino immigration to the US. This corresponds with CMA’s third and fourth waves of increased immigration to the US when the country lifted the ban on Asian immigration in 1952 and Martial Law drove Filipinos to seek stable opportunities outside the country, respectively. 

The original of this article appears in


Ray and Kira Del Rosario
Positively Filipino


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