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Global Projects

Global Projects

The Royal College of Midwives has a long history of supporting midwives and midwifery associations globally with the aim of improving outcomes for mothers and babies.

A founding member of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the RCM are committed to supporting our sister midwives around the world and continuing to advocate for midwives and women on the global stage.

Current projects

The RCM is twinned with the Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS), and the project aims to strengthen BMS to advocate for the midwifery profession and to create demand for midwifery services. With more than 1,400 members, the BMS has great potential to support midwives, advocate on their behalf and strengthen midwifery services, and capacity building interventions will initially focus on three main areas;

  1. Strengthening BMS’s organisational capacity in order to function effectively as a professional association
  2. Strengthening BMS’s approach to advocacy and stakeholder engagement in order to advocate for the midwifery profession in Bangladesh 
  3. Improving BMS’s communications to raise their visibility amongst stakeholders and midwives

The RCM has received funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), funded by DFID, to implement part of a major project called 'Strengthening the National Midwifery Programme', supporting the Bangladesh Government's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to produce competent midwives. The programme will improve the quality of midwifery education and create an enabling environment for the provision of a midwifery-led continuum of care for pregnant women and their babies. UNFPA invited The Royal College of Midwives UK to contribute to one aspect of this programme ('National capacity for professionalising midwifery increased') through the development of a partnership between the RCM and the Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS).

The aim of the project is to strengthen the national midwifery association to advocate for the midwifery profession and create demand for midwifery services.

Currently in its initial pilot phase, the first year of the project will prepare BMS for a twinning relationship with the RCM. Workshops have been held to explore the twinning concept, identify strengths and opportunities for development in both partners and develop work plans for the first year of this exciting new project.

Specific activities have included an assessment of the BMS’s organisational capacity, which highlighted areas for improvement and determined an action plan. Interview skills workshops were held which lead to the recruitment of BMS’s first paid member of staff in October. In the coming months there will be a big focus on developing key messages, identifying important stakeholders, engaging with them, and developing advocacy materials. There will also be a review of their governance and member communication systems, leading to an annual general meeting and election at the end of the first year. This will lay the foundations for BMS to begin advocating on behalf of midwives.

We hope to provide many volunteering opportunities for RCM members throughout this project, so do keep an eye out for advertisements.

Women 4 Health (W4H) Northern Nigeria Twinning Project

The RCM is partnering with Save the Children and Health Partners International in northern Nigeria to address the acute shortage of female health workers in five states. Women 4 Health will address the critical human resource challenges by empowering women as service providers. Women 4 Health collaborates with the Ministry of Health and health training institutions to improve women’s access to healthcare. The Royal College of Midwives is linking 14 midwifery educators across the UK with midwifery teachers in northern Nigeria to provide mentorship, mutual support, and information sharing through virtual twinning. Find out more here or read this factsheet about the W4H project.

Midwifery & Health Partnership volunteering

UK midwives who volunteered with the Global Midwifery Twinning Project reflect on their time overseas, the challenges local midwives face, and how their experience has informed their practice in the UK.

What would the world be like without midwives?

In this video UK Midwives who volunteered with the Global Midwifery Twinning Project answer the question, what would the world be like without Midwives? 

Past projects

MOMENTUM: Developing a Model of MENTorship for Ugandan Midwives

MOMENTUM aims to address the poor quality of mentorship for student midwives in Uganda. The project runs for 20 months from the 1st of September 2015 and will develop:

  • 4 clinical pilot sites as centres of student mentorship excellence,
  • A national standard for midwifery mentorship, and
  • A module to prepare midwives to become mentors.

For more information on MOMENTUM, click here

Nepal Campaign

The earthquake in Nepal on 25th April 2015 killed over 9000 people and injured more than 23,000.  The RCM launched a fundraising campaign which raised more than £20,000. The RCM continues to support our partner MIDSON with these funds to ensure women have access to midwives now and in the future. The SUSTAIN project is currently running in Nepal to transition MIDSON’s activities from earthquake response to long-term activities.

To read more about the Nepal campaign, please click here

Malawi Start Up Funding

The RCM received funding from THET to undertake a 6 month start-up project, including a scoping visit, to explore the potential for undertaking joint projects in Malawi. To read more about the project, please click here

The Global Midwifery Twinning Project

The Global Midwifery Twinning Project (GMTP) was a three-year multi-country partnership in the Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) funded by the UK government and managed by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), running from 2012 to 2015.

The RCM formed twinning partnerships with midwifery associations in Uganda, Cambodia, and Nepal, all low-income countries with a high maternal mortality burden. GMTP sent midwife volunteer RCM members to each twinned country, ran workshops every six months and provided institutional support from RCM staff to address the ICM’s three pillars of midwifery: education, regulation and association. Find out more here

Voluntary Service Overseas

The RCM worked with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) on their ‘Bringing together midwives and nurses to improve maternal health in Malawi through volunteerism and partnership’ project, alongside the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Malawian Initiative for National Development (MIND). The project aimed enable the sharing, developing and improving of skills between UK and Malawian health professionals, in order to improve the quality of maternal health services for poor and rural women in Malawi. Find out more about the volunteer’s experiences here or watch this video to see how the project helped save mothers and babies in Malawi.


The Mangala Devi Birth Centre, Tribhuvan Teaching Hospital, Nepal

Global Midwifery Twinning Project