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. Read about Twinning in action


The new Twinning Manual is now available for download in English here. The Manual is also available in French and Spanish.


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ICM Triennial Report


 International Day of the Midwife 2017


32nd ICM Triennial Congress 2020 - Bali, Indonesia 21-25 June