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 HPS was conceived to ‘improve health outcomes for poor people in DFID priority and other low income countries’. The scheme aimed to strengthen health systems through health service skills transfer and capacity development.

The RCM received a grant of £523,739 to form twinning partnerships with midwifery associations in Uganda, Cambodia and Nepal, all low-income countries with a high maternal mortality burden. The RCM interventions included:

  • sending midwife volunteers to each country
  • holding workshops in the UK, in each twinned country and at the ICM congress in Prague on topics such as midwifery advocacy and developing strategic plans
  • providing support and capacity development from the RCM staff, including the Country Directors

GMTP sent 67 volunteer midwives on 75 placements over three years. The volunteers worked with the midwifery associations but also key stakeholders and practising midwives to address the ICM’s three pillars of midwifery: education, regulation and association.

Volunteers worked alongside midwives, supporting them to provide quality midwifery care, build individual leadership capacity and transfer skills and knowledge. Volunteers worked with education providers to develop curricula, to improve teaching standards and to support student midwives in their learning. Volunteers worked with the associations and regulatory bodies to build leadership and advocacy capacity, to develop strategic planning capacity, to build networks and connections with stakeholders and to role model the potential of midwives associations to support a strong midwifery profession.

Key achievements of Global Midwifery Twinning Project

  1. Development of the Master's in Midwifery Curriculum at Uganda Christian University
  2. Established a multi-party advocacy group and midwifery research interest group; demonstrating greater commitment to midwives working together across private, public, non-profit and faith-based sectors
  3. Strengthening of private midwives clinical practice sites and pilot mentorship project with Kibuli School of Nursing and Midwifery
  1. Creation of a five-year strategic plan for the Cambodian Midwives Association (CMA)
  2. Formation of the Cambodian Midwives Council Competency Based Curriculum Assessment Tool for education providers
  3. Increased membership of Cambodian Midwives Association by 50% to over 4,000 members
  1. Development of a five-year strategic plan for the Midwifery Society of Nepal (MIDSON)
  2. Established the Mangala Devi Midwife-led Birthing Centre at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu
  3. Founded the first national midwifery conference in Nepal, September 2013, with over 300 participants

Hear from the volunteers

Midwives from Cambodia and Nepal talk about the Global Midwifery Twinning project at the ICM Congress in Prague, June 2014:

Read an account from a midwife who has volunteered abroad in Uganda:

To read more from our volunteers, visit the Global Blog which features the best of the GMTP volunteer blogs.

GMTP summary

The Global Midwifery Twinning Project ended in March 2015 and the RCM appointed an independent consultant to conduct an overall evaluation of the project, including project design, management and interventions.

We have produced a summary of the evaluation, alongside case studies from each country.

GMTP Midwives Feature

The Summer 2015 Midwives Magazine Edition included a four-page spread exploring the twinning relationships between England and Cambodia, Scotland and Nepal, and Wales and Northern Ireland and Uganda. In this feature, the RCM’s Country Directors discuss their involvement with the twinning project and some GMTP volunteers also speak of their experiences.

Read Supporting Midwifery Beyond Our Borders from Midwives Magazine.