The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) frequently receives requests for technical advice from stakeholders in the midwifery, maternal, newborn, and global health sectors. However, a lack of human capital to meet this demand has limited ICM’s capacity to engage as often as needed.
Since 2018 ICM has been establishing a consultancy service that it intends to launch later in 2019. The main aim of the consultancy service is to build a database of midwife consultants that ICM can call upon to extend its own capacity and also refer to other stakeholders to meet demand. We believe it is important for all midwife consultants working in development to be aligned to ICM as the global voice for midwives. Through its Member Associations, ICM speaks for more than one million midwives worldwide. ICM’s global standards, competencies, definitions and positions are the result of consensus across ICM’s membership – they reflect how midwives wish to see their profession developing. If all midwife consultants use ICM’s resources in their work, we can work in unity towards the achievement of a shared vision for midwives and midwifery. By establishing a database of midwife consultants ICM will build internal capacity and meet global demand for technical expertise.
ICM’s Midwifery Consultancy Service has four aspects:
- A database of midwife consultants (their skills, experience and areas of work)
- A brokerage to assist midwife consultants to obtain consultancy contracts with external organisations and with ICM
- A consultancy training programme to support midwife consultants to know about ICM and our resources, including in-depth courses focusing on midwifery education, midwifery regulation and midwifery association strengthening
- An accreditation system whereby ICM can endorse and recommend certain consultants who meet quality measures
- Ensure that everyone is involved in the capacity building of midwives is working in a coherent and collaborative manner in line with ICM’s vision and mission
- Facilitate the operationalisation of global best practice
- Ensure the quality and consistency of ICM’s global standards, tools and resources in consultancy services
- Meet the demand from partners and other stakeholders for midwives’ technical expertise
- Build a sustainable financing model for ICM
- Expand the services available for ICM members and stakeholders
- Increase the visibility and credibility of midwives’ associations among stakeholders
- Create upskilling opportunities and jobs for Midwives
ICM’s Unique Position
Maternal and newborn health challenges vary from country-to-country and continent-to-continent. Many countries experience high numbers of preventable maternal and neonatal deaths, while in others the overuse of unnecessary, costly and potentially harmful medical interventions have become the norm. Regardless of the most pressing issues, these countries all have one thing in common: the need for change. There is now overwhelming evidence that all these issues can be addressed and improved through care by midwives.
There is an ongoing and urgent global need for the integration of high-quality midwifery care into health services and maternal health programming. ICM is uniquely placed to drive this critical midwifery agenda forward.
The provision of an online consultancy training programme for midwives that ensures an understanding of ICM’s core documents, resources and tools, will drive forward best practice and provide organisations, governments and programme implementers with a pool of accredited midwife consultants. In doing so ICM will better utilize the skills and knowledge vested in individuals, partners, stakeholders and midwifery associations to identify and respond to needs and capitalise on opportunities.
ICM’s training programme for consultants will be launched in late 2019 with initial courses. Further courses will be developed and made available through 2020.