The Framework for Action combines evidence and findings from a series of global multi-stakeholder consultations, and a final online survey. The Framework was created by the ICM, UNICEF, UNFPA and the WHO.
The consultations addressed five key questions: what are the three strategic priorities; what is new, radical thinking; what will the impact be at country level; how will this be achieved, and how is this relevant to humanitarian emergencies? Through these consultations consensus has been reached on three strategic priorities for strengthening midwifery education:
- Every woman and newborn to be cared for by a midwife, educated and trained to international standards and enabled to legally practise the full scope of midwifery. The title “midwife” should only be used for providers who are educated to international standards.
- Midwifery leadership to be positioned in high-level national policy, planning and budgeting processes to improve decision-making about investments for midwifery education to help achieve UHC.
- Coordination and alignment between midwifery stakeholders at global, regional and country levels to align education and training processes, knowledge, research, evidence-based materials, indicators and investment.
A seven-step action plan to strengthen quality midwifery education is introduced, with each step informed by the evidence and global consultations. The action plan can be used to develop and/or strengthen a national midwifery education plan, embedded within the national human resources for health plan. This action plan recognizes the wide variation in midwifery education provided across many countries and acknowledges that whereas some countries can rapidly move to a high-quality cadre of midwives, other countries will have more investment to make before this strategic priority can be reached.