Advocacy, Education

Strengthening Midwifery Services with BMGF


The Strengthening Midwifery Services (SMS) project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) works to build national midwives’ associations’ (MA) capacity to advocate for and deliver high quality midwife-led services and to help MAs to be better equipped to manage the day-to-day operations of their associations.

SMS is one of ICM’s core projects, and includes a four-pillar approach:

  1. Assess the situation using the Midwifery Services Framework (MSF) tool
  2. Improve the capacity of MAs, bringing them into partnership with ministries of health to work together to integrate midwife-led services into health planning systems
  3. Assess and improve the quality of midwife training using the Midwifery Education Assessment Programme (MEAP)
  4. Promote midwives’ competencies and good practices

Each of these components is essential and by using a holistic approach quality of service begins to strengthen and, over time, leads to a reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity.

Four main components of SMS

This graphic shows inter-relationships between the above interventions and how the SMS project helps to improve maternal and neonatal health.