Young Midwifery Leaders Programs: Capacity Building for the Future

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Abstract

This article describes the program components, program outcomes and challenges of two iterations of a leadership development program that was intended to contribute not only to individual capacity building but also to succession planning within midwifery professional associations. The young midwifery leaders programs were similarly designed, using self-study modules that focused on essential leadership knowledge and skills, and a mentor-mentee relationship to provide guidance and support to selected midwives early in their professional careers. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) implemented a 3-year leadership program conducted from 2004 to 2007 for five mentee participants. A collaborative United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)/ICM team in Latin America designed and implemented an 18-month program with 12 mentees that began in 2013. Examples of leadership outcomes in policy and education include assumption of elected offices in midwifery associations, integration of evidence-based topical content into an established midwifery education program, and development of a new preservice education program in a rural zone of a large country. The vision for the future is to expand this program globally while simultaneously adapting the program content and strategies to reflect the leadership needs of the regional context in which it is implemented.

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