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Communique of the Incoming International Confederation of Midwives Board Meeting
Date Posted: 15/Oct/2017

The first official meeting of the incoming ICM Board, elected in Toronto in June was held in The Hague from 2nd – 6th October 2017. The ICM Board comprises 13 members: ten regional Board Members (Africa: Dicko Fatoumata S Maiga and Jemima Dennis-Antwi; Americas: Emmanuelle Hébert and Sandra Oyarzo-Torres; Asia Pacific: Rafat Jan, Emi Nurjasmi Indomo and Hatsumi Taniguchi; Europe: Trude Thommesen, Serena Debonnet and Rita Borg-Xuereb), and three executive committee members, the President (Franka Cadée), Vice President (Mary Kirk) and Treasurer (Ingela Wiklund).

This first meeting of the incoming Board at ICM’s Head Office allowed members to familiarise with global trends and issues in midwifery, nuances of ICM’s brand and operations, and getting to know one another, whilst also concretising the Strategic Directions in accordance with the priorities set and decisions made by the ICM Council at Congress in Toronto

Day 1: Orientation

The first day of meetings allowed the new Board to learn about ICM, familiarise themselves with the team at Head Office, determine their working methods and begin discussion and strategy on specific policies and action points.

The President’s priority for the coming Triennium is to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and institute a less hierarchical meeting process for the Board, and accordingly, conversations were held about how best to utilise the strengths of this diverse and capable Board to support midwives and midwifery globally. The division of responsibilities between the Board and the Head Office team was explored, and consideration was given to the ways in which the Board could support the lean ICM Head Office team in their work.

At the end of the first day the Board committed to work as a team in partnership with both Member Associations and external stakeholders and to lead boldly for midwifery globally.

Day 2: Strategic and Financial Planning

With a strong focus on the sustainability of ICM, Board members were briefed on Member Association responses to the member survey conducted earlier this year, the current financial position of the organisation, plans for Head Office reorganisation and plans for revenue diversification. This informed the process of further developing the 2017 – 2020 ICM Strategic Plan drawing on the ICM Council’s three strategic directions: Quality, Equity and Leadership.

The Board developed themes and activities that will now form strategic goals and high-level activities in the new Strategic Plan. The Board intends to disseminate a final draft to Member Associations for feedback before the end of 2017. Formal adoption of the final plan will take place early in 2018. 

Day 3: Leadership and Team-Building

ICM’s Council determined that strong leadership was necessary from ICM and its Board to achieve its objectives over the coming Triennium, and so professional development for Board members was incorporated into this session through a leadership workshop led by Sharon D’Agostino.

In this workshop, the Board gave thought to its commitment to leadership and discussed the core elements of effective leadership such as effective listening. 

Day 4: ICM Business

ICM’s operations and events were presented in detail to gain a thorough understanding of ICM’s expansive network of Member Associations, governmental partners and civil society stakeholders. The Board discussed the Toronto Congress report and decided that this Triennium would be a transitional period for the ICM Regional Symposia and Meetings. The Business Plan for the first two quarters was reviewed and Head Office staff reported on ICM funded projects with drive and passion. The Board gave particular thanks to Nester Moyo, for whom it was the last Board meeting before her retirement. Nester’s commitment to women, their newborns and midwives has created considerable impact throughout her long and storied career.

Day 5: Decisions and Commitments

On the final day of the Board meeting key contacts within the Board to liaise with each of ICM’s Standing Committees were decided. Adapted Terms of Reference for Board Members, Treasurer, Vice President and President were accepted. Updates on the attendance of the President and Chief Executive at different events such as the United Nations General Assembly and World Health Organisation were shared. Council’s decision on the adoption of the six World Health Organisation regions for ICM were discussed and Board members were allocated to the new regions.

The Board finalised and signed a Board Commitment Charter where each member personally committed to working collaboratively and with decisiveness over the coming Triennium with the interests of women, newborns, midwives and their associations at the heart of all their activities. 

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