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The PNG Midwifery Leadership Buddy Program: An evaluation

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posted on 2023-10-26, 03:36 authored by Helen HallHelen Hall, MA Mahmood, M Sitaing, PZ Aines, R Cant, K Crawford
Problem: Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a high rate of preventable maternal and neonatal deaths. Background: Developing midwifery leadership is vital to addressing the current deficits in health outcomes for women and their babies. The PNG Midwifery Leadership Buddy Program responds to this need through leadership training and partnering of midwives across PNG and Australia. Participants in the program undertake a workshop in Port Moresby and commit to a 12-month peer support relationship with a midwife ‘buddy’. Aim: To evaluate participants’ experiences of the Buddy Program and the impact of the program on leadership skills. Methods: All 23 midwives who had completed the program were invited to participate in the evaluation. The study used a concurrent mixed methods approach. Qualitative data were collected via interviews and then thematically analysed. Quantitative data were collected via a survey and analysed with descriptive statistics, then findings were triangulated. Findings: Participants reported increased confidence for leadership, action and advocacy. Numerous quality improvement projects were implemented in health services in PNG. Challenges to the success of the program included technological limitations, cultural differences and the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion: Participants reported the PNG Midwifery Leadership Buddy Program was successful in increasing their leadership skills and collaborative opportunities, as well as strengthening midwifery more broadly. While there were barriers, most participants valued the experience and believed it benefited them professionally and personally Conclusion: The Buddy Program provides a practical model for building midwifery leadership capacity that may be transferrable to other contexts.


This study received funding from the Rotary Club of Morialta, South Australia.


Publication Date



Women and Birth






8p. (p. e536-e543)


Australian College of Midwives



Rights Statement

© 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Australian College of Midwives. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

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