International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleImproving student midwives’ practice learning in Uganda through action research: the MOMENTUM project
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sJoy Kemp, Eleanor Shaw, Sarah Nanjego and Kade Mondeh
ReferenceVolume 8, Issue 1, Article 7
Date of PublicationMay 2018
Keywordsaction research, appreciative inquiry, mentorship, midwifery, practice development, practice learning environment, twinning, Uganda, workbased learning


Background and context: The Royal College of Midwives is engaged in a long-term twinning partnership with the Uganda Private Midwives Association. Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world and only 27% of women and newborns have their needs met (UNFPA, 2014). A well-skilled, competent midwifery workforce is required to meet these needs yet Ugandan student midwives often receive poor-quality clinical education. The Ugandan Nurses and Midwives Council approached the Royal College of Midwives for assistance in designing a system of mentorship for Ugandan midwifery to address this gap. The project was funded by UK-Aid through the Tropical Health and Education Trust.

Aims of the project: MOMENTUM was a 20-month action research project that aimed to develop and pilot a model of mentorship for student midwives in Uganda. This article focuses on one workstream relating to practice development, a twinning project that used workbased learning and appreciative inquiry, embedded in an action research approach, to facilitate practice development.

Conclusions: This project added to the body of knowledge about midwifery twinning for building capacity in mentorship, research, and cross-cultural competence. MOMENTUM created a powerful community of practice that was enabling, fulfilling and transformative. Replication of this would require funding, management capacity and sufficient lead time for participatory planning and piloting. MOMENTUM’s audit tool was a bespoke design for this pilot project and so may not be transferable to other settings without further development, testing and validation.

Implications for practice:

  • Twinning, action research, appreciative enquiry and workbased learning can be effective in enabling practice development
  • The impact of midwifery twinning on leadership development requires further investigation, together with greater evidence on the reciprocal impact of twinning on the sending country

This article by Joy Kemp, Eleanor Shaw, Sarah Nanjego and Kade Mondeh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

In this section