Informing the global midwifery education agenda

News article 30 Jul 2018

CMNH’s Hannah McCauley, Senior Research Associate (Midwifery), attended a seminar on global midwifery education at the University of Oxford in July 2018. The seminar, which brought together 30 academics, women's advocates, national and global organisations, as well as midwives and students, was supported by the Sheila Kitzinger Programme at Green Templeton College. Hosted by Professor Mary Renfrew, Professor Billie Hunter, Dr Ethel Burns and Fran McConville and with Lord Crisp attending, the group shared knowledge and perspectives, debated current issues, and made recommendations for this important topic, which has such potential to save the lives of women and newborn infants globally, and to improve the quality of care. 

The seminar focused on evidence-informed practical solutions, drawing both on research evidence and country case studies. Central to the workshop was including women’s own perspectives regarding midwifery education which was very much in line with the Sheila Kitzinger’s lifetime commitment to women’s empowerment, human rights, and evidence-informed decision-making. It also focussed on practical strategies to address the realities in low- and middle-income countries. Hannah is writing the report from this seminar, which will be made widely available, and will directly contribute to the development of the global report on strengthening midwifery education.

The timing is auspicious as this meeting has built upon the joint WHO-ICM-UNFPA global consultation on “Strengthening quality midwifery education to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) 2030” which was convened in March this year. This consultation will inform the developing global report for midwifery education. The report from this consultation will be focussed on providing governments and implementing partners with the evidence and guidance to enable them to invest and move forward on quality midwifery education.

Hannah McCauley, Senior Research Associate (Midwifery) at the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health:
“A strategic global approach to midwifery education is so important as it will provide a framework by which programmes of education can be developed and then measured. An internationally agreed approach will lead to a more consistent output from different programmes of education internationally, developing a new generation of midwives who will positively impact not only on maternal mortality and morbidity rates worldwide but also the experiences of women having babies, their families and communities.”

You can find more information about the Sheila Kitzinger Programme here: