Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Strengthening quality midwifery education: Meeting report

WHO meeting report July 25-26 2016


Book cover image.

Publication details

Number of pages: 46
Publication date: 2017
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/FWC/MCA/17.12



The meeting was convened in the context of increasing evidence to indicate that a consistent barrier to the provision of quality midwifery care is inadequate midwifery education, often reduced to a matter of weeks without qualified faculty and lacking in practical application. There are potential links between poor education, poor clinical care and mistreatment of women in facilities. The State of the World’s Midwifery Report (SOWMy) 2014 notes that of the 73 countries from which data were gathered, only four countries have the workforce numbers to provide the care needed by women in their reproductive years, and by newborns.

The objectives of the meeting were:

  • to draft a coherent approach through which to strengthen evidence-based midwifery education,
  • to review existing monitoring and evaluation frameworks for quality midwifery education,
  • to agree a collective division of roles and responsibilities on how best to implement, monitor and evaluate the above.

The meeting agreed 5 urgent actions.

  • Establish a Global Platform for Action.
  • Develop a Global Strengthening Midwifery Education Action Plan 2016–30, to include monitoring and evaluation.
  • Global mapping of midwives educated to International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) midwifery competencies, and of existing education materials.
  • Draw up evidence based ICM updated competencies.
  • Clarify leadership roles and responsibilities for key partners at global, regional and country levels.

Related links