United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) UNFPA logo

The jointly executed ICM UNFPA Investing in Midwifery Programme is funded by Sweden and The Netherlands. The programme aims at building national capacity in low-resource countries to increase skilled attendance at all births by scaling up the capacity of midwives.

It will contribute to the achievement of two of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): improving maternal health (MDG 5) and reducing neonatal mortality (MDG 4). It is also in line with the ICPD and the international community of donors' call for investing in sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

The Goal of the Programme

The overall goal of the programme is to increase and improve skilled attendance at birth in low-income countries through the creation of a "critical mass" of advisors who will work both nationally and regionally to promote and enhance the role and impact of midwives and others with midwifery skills. The programme focusses on ICM's Three Pillars

  • strengthening regulatory mechanisms,
  • developing and strengthening education and accreditation mechanisms, and
  • promoting the development and role of midwives associations.

Given the specific gender issues around midwifery, women's empowerment and gender equity will strongly influence the choice of advocacy methods, working practices and interventions for the work in each country.


Read the September 2011 update on the ICM-UNFPA programme.

Read the September 2010 update on the ICM-UNFPA programme:

World Bank Strategy for Health, Nutrition and Population Results

MDG 5: "Improve Maternal Health"

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 International Day of the Midwife 2017


Check out the DVD Midwives Work


ICM Triennial Report


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