Apply to Attend the 2016 Midwifery Symposium


Deadline for receipt of applications: 15th January 2016

Deadline for selection: 15th February 2016

Successful Applicants to be notified by: 29th February 2016


The 2016 Midwifery Symposium

UNFPA, ICM, WHO and other multilateral, civil society and private sector partners are organising a Symposium for young midwife leaders (YML) at the occasion of the Women Deliver conference 2016. The Midwifery Symposium will serve as capacity building, policy and advocacy event.

30 scholarships are up for grab for the upcoming Midwifery Symposium 2016; “Young Midwives in the Lead”, 14-16 May, 2016 at the Women Deliver conference 16-19 May 2016, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The scholarship holders will receive leadership training and actively engage in discussions during the symposium and during the main Women Deliver to spread key messages on the crucial role of midwifery in enhancing the health and well-being of women and their newborns.

The Symposium will be preceded by a one day leadership orientation training on the 14th of May in collaboration with the Danish Midwives Association.

To attend this event and also Women Deliver, UNFPA and partners are offering 30 scholarships to fund young midwives with leadership potential. The young midwives would attend the capacity building, policy and advocacy event and actively engage in discussions during the main Women Deliver conference to spread key messages on midwifery to enhance the health and well-being of women and their newborns.

Symposium Objectives:

  1. Enhance the ability of young midwives with leadership potential to become powerful strategic leaders and advocates, and to engage in national policy dialogues with a stronger evidence-based voice.
  2. Highlight the role that midwives can play in achieving the new SDGs and to enhance their potential for fulfilling this role through increased knowledge about latest research findings and data (Lancet, State of the World’s Midwifery Report) as well as about emerging issues at national, regional and global level.
  3. Create a global network of young midwife leaders (YML) to serve as a forum for exchanging good practices in scaling up midwifery and latest innovations in improving quality of midwifery care in order to enable the YML to have a greater impact across the entire health and social care system.
  4. Showcase how investments in YML from both the South and the North can help improve quality of care within midwifery practice; highlighting the importance of  investment in midwifery research, advocacy, mentorship and leadership skills of young midwifery leaders.


Symposium Outcome:

  • Joint declaration of commitment from the young midwife leaders (YML) and the supporting global partners to enable the midwives to serve as advocates and providers of quality midwifery care in their countries
  • YML will also identify the support midwives needed from the global community, regional and national partners to fulfil the commitment

Broad Selection Criteria

  • Fully qualified[i]midwives, who are practising midwifery, or who work in midwifery research, education, policy or service delivery are eligible to apply
  • Age: 35 years or below at the time of application
  • Should have some basic knowledge of English to be able to participate in Women Deliver and to disseminate key messages of the Symposium.
  • The majority of the 30 scholarships (at least 2/3rds) are reserved formidwives from LMIC countries

Individual criteria:

  • Identified leadership potential, such as: exemplary achievements in her/his current or recent position, interest in or effective use of evidence in their work, active advocacy in national public consultations/high level meetingson midwifery.
  • Demonstrated availability and commitment to dedicate the time towards midwifery in their respective countries wherever needed.
  • The mid or long term vision of the candidate to apply and help institutionalize the knowledge gained during this event to their countries and region.
  • The support of professional association/s, universities and other educational bodies at the national level they can count on after return.
  • Submission of a proposal that demonstrates commitment to quality midwifery; understanding of key challenges; and ideas on how to overcome theses.
  • Background confirmation(through partner agency team at national level) and letter(s) of recommendationfrom recognized national midwifery, or other relevant health or related organization.
  • Commitment to completing a leadership module to accompany the application and follow-up training

Application Process:

The applicants will be asked to submit, in their preferred language (English, French or Spanish) a 1000 word proposal/essay that includes the following:

  1. A mission statement on their personal commitment towards women and their newborns and quality midwifery care.
  2. Personal vision for midwifery in their country.
  3. Provide a brief description of their work in the community (service delivery, advocacy, etc.) and what makes them a potential leader.
  4. Describe briefly what leadership qualities they would like to strengthen and improve.
  5. Personal views on leadership challenges in improving quality midwifery care in their country and what strategies they would employ (e.g support of national midwifery association, partners etc) to effectively advocate for strengthening quality midwifery care and services, improving distribution and working conditions of midwives in their countries.


Applicants can submit their contributions in the form of written submissions or in the form of 5-7 minute audio/video statements.

Applications will be reviewed by a Selection Committee who will develop a short-list of applicants to be interviewed. Based on final recommendations from countries, the Selection Committee will draw the final list of scholarship holders and will also consider the geographical distribution of scholarships in their final selection.


[1] As per ICM standards


Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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