International Confederation of Midwives

Member profile

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is an accredited non-governmental organization that works closely with the WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and other organizations worldwide to achieve common goals in the care of mothers and children. Its beginnings center around a group of Belgium midwives in 1919 that decided to communicate with other countries’ midwives on a regular basis. ICM has grown to a major confederation of more than 90 autonomous member associations from countries in every part of the globe. ICM envisions a world where every childbearing woman has access to a midwife's natural medical care for herself and her newborn, in order to enhance the reproductive health of women and the health of their newborns and their families.

Main activities

The Safe Motherhood Initiative was launched by the World Health Organization and other international agencies in 1987 and was immediately supported by ICM. At that time the number of women suffering maternal deaths worldwide was estimated to be at least 600,000 each year - with 99% of deaths occurring in the developing world.

The following tools for strengthening Midwives Associations are available:

  • Twinning -- a formal and substantive collaboration between two organizations.
  • Capacity Assessment – the process by which the efficiency and effectiveness of components of an organization are measured to determine the level of development.
  • Positioning and Profiling midwifery -- an event where the midwives are guided through the process of establishing their identity, mission, vision, strategy and resources.
  • Leadership development materials – guides to strengthen and support member leadership and advancement of field.

Links to the health workforce crisis

ICM provides linking and learning-enabling knowledge exchange on midwifery and reproductive health issues. The programs and projects develop and coordinate action aimed at strengthening midwives associations, tackling major health issues for child bearing women to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. ICM, also, works to professionalize midwifery through legislation and regulation of practice, as well as provides advocacy and lobbying for the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality.

Call for knowledge information:

Alliance Members are invited to submit any relevant knowledge products such as documents, reports, tools, multimedia, links to specific project web sites by sending an email to ghwa@who.int. The Alliance Secretariat will publish relevant products on the Member's page.

Visit our Knowledge centre.