ICM is using ‘Twinning’ as a capacity building strategy to facilitate the development of collaborative relationships among Midwives Associations. The overall aim is to create a platform for sharing of ideas and skills and learning from each other through information and technology transfer.
Twinning is a two-way mutually beneficial exchange between two member Midwives Associations. It is a formal and substantive collaboration between two organizations (WHO, 2001). According to the WHO twinning guidelines (2001), formal means that there is a verbal or written agreement between the two associations. Substantive means that the interaction is significant and its lasts for a period of time i.e. it is not only a one-time interaction. Collaboration means that the two associations work together on a specific project, or to exchange information or skills. The period of interaction, the areas of exchange and the actual processes are determined by the associations.
Benefits of Twinning programmes include:
- Capacity building: Twinning can help strengthen the organizations involved through a transfer of skills and knowledge.
- Exchange of best practices: Twinning provides opportunities to identify policies, techniques and interventions that have worked and to spread the word about them.
- Effectiveness: Twinning that involves collaborating on a specific initiative results in stronger and more effective programmes.
- Relationship building: Twinning can help build stronger relationships among organizations for mutual support.
- Networking: Twinning can contribute to greater networking i.e. both associations involved in the twinning project are exposed to each other’s existing networks.
- Solidarity: Twinning helps to create a feeling of belonging to a larger community. Associations involved in twinning are often inspired by the work of their partners.