Collaborative approaches towards building midwifery capacity in low income countries: A review of experiences

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Midwifery, 2014, 30 (4), pp. 391 - 402
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Objective: to explore collaborative approaches undertaken to build midwifery education, regulation and professional association in low income countries and identify evidence of strategies that may be useful to scale-up midwifery to achieve MDG 5. Design: an integrative review involving a mapping exercise and a narrative synthesis of the literature was undertaken. The search included peer reviewed research and discursive literature published between 2002 and 2012. Findings: fifteen papers were found that related to this topic: 10 discursive papers and five research studies. Collaborative approaches to build midwifery capacity come mainly from Africa and involve partnerships between low income countries and between low and high income countries. Most collaborations focus on building capacity across more than one area and arose through opportunistic and strategic means. A number of factors were found to be integral to maintaining collaborations including the establishment of clear processes for communication, leadership and appropriate membership, effective management, mutual respect, learning and an understanding of the context. Collaborative action can result in effective clinical and research skill building, the development of tailored education programmes and the establishment of structures and systems to enhance the midwifery workforce and ultimately, improve maternal and child health. Key conclusions: between country collaborations are one component to building midwifery workforce capacity in order to improve maternal health outcomes. Implications for practice: the findings provide insights into how collaboration can be established and maintained and how the contribution collaboration makes to capacity building can be evaluated. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
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