Frontlines of Health


Refugee Health Workforce

Deploying blockchain tech to recertify refugee healthcare workers

Team Lead

Franklin Shaffer

Hear the Pitch

The Problem

Thousands of trained healthcare workers sit idly in refugee camps because they lack formal credentials. These healthcare credentials are often destroyed or left behind as refugees flee their home countries. Meanwhile, the shortage of healthcare workers is projected to reach 12.9 million by 2035. Currently, that figure stands at 7.2 million.

The Solution

To boost the healthcare workforce while expanding access to care in refugee camps, Refugee Health Workforce (RHW) enables refugees to practice by recertifying their healthcare credentials internationally.

First, RHW verifies basic knowledge through a rigorous evaluation procedure. Once workers pass this evaluation, they earn a certificate that provides international comparability. RHW also deploys blockchain technology to securely store professional identities and support the ongoing employability and international mobility of refugee healthcare workers.

Market Opportunity

  • In Jordan, an additional 2,886 hospital beds, 22 comprehensive medical centers, and 866 nurses are needed to cope with the impact of refugees on the health system.
  • UNHCR has identified up to 3,000 potential candidates for recertification in Jordan among Syrian refugees. Once procedures for restoration of Syrian degrees are in place, this system can be used for Syrian refugees in other hosting countries.
  • A similar program resulted in a total of 201 Syrian doctors and 103 nurses regaining credentials in Turkey.

Organization Highlights

  • Launching a pilot project to recertify 100 to 500 refugee healthcare professionals in Jordan
  • Formed partnership among technical, philanthropic, and legal organizations to develop pilot

Existing Partnerships

Refugee Health Workforce is a partnership between:

  • Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International, a healthcare certification body in the US
  • The Humanized Internet (THI), a nonprofit in Switzerland with expertise on blockchain and its use in credentialing
  • Andan Foundation in Switzerland, which promotes private sector initiatives focused on developing sustainable solutions for refugees

Organization Goals

Refugee Health Workforce aims to:

  • Develop a feasibility plan and cost model for a three-year pilot project to recertify and securely store credentials of 100 to 500 healthcare professional in Jordan
  • Secure seed funding to support project development costs and later pilot-project funding for project implementation

Partnership Goals

To reach the goals mentioned above, Refugee Health Workforce seeks partnerships to:

  • Develop an efficient blockchain architecture
  • Raise funding from philanthropists concerned with global health and global forced migration issues
  • Create a network through which qualified, recertified refugees can be employed


Refugee Health Workforce has identified up to 3,000 potential candidates in a Jordan pilot project.

Solver Team

Organization Type:
Not registered

Philadelphia, PA, USA


Working in:


Solution Team:


Recertifying Refugee Health Workers

Solver Refugee Health Workforce, which deploys blockchain tech to recertify refugee healthcare workers, received a $10,000 grant from Solve in 2018 for being selected as a Frontlines of Health Solver.

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