Launching two new Orange Knowledge Programme Nuffic programs in Ethiopia: Gender[e]Quality and Emergency[e]Response

Last week Lisa Gullbransson and Nadine Pakker traveled to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, for the official launch of the recently awarded Orange Knowledge Programme TMT and TMT+ projects.

Anchored in the long-term successful collaboration with the Ethiopian Midwives Association (EMwA), we are privileged to continue our joined efforts to strengthen the health system in Ethiopia, ultimately improving the lives of pregnant women, mothers and babies. 

On the 5th of October, esteemed representatives from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, Nuffic, actors and program partners gathered to officially initiate two Nuffic programs, TMT and TMT+, funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Fueled by the fact that leadership positions in the Ethiopian health system are disproportionately filled by men compared to women (60.8% vs. 39.2%,) as well as the fact that only 3% of the leadership positions are held by midwives and only 1% of these being female midwives, the aim of the TMT program, called Gender[e]Quality, is to equip EMwA staff members with knowledge and skills to facilitate equal opportunities for women  within and outside of EMwA as well as to promote gender balanced leadership & equality within the health system. Via digital learning, EMwA chapter office staff in five regions in Ethiopia will be trained in women’s leadership, representation, and rights, which will have extensive influence in female empowerment across Ethiopian health and policy sectors.

The TMT+ program focuses on one of the core priorities of the Dutch Government and Nuffic as well as Health[e]Foundation and EMwA, which is Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). As midwives are key to provide both maternal and SRHR-related care, the low passing rate of midwife graduate students in Ethiopian universities (31.6% pass) is of concern. The Emergency[e]Response program aims to increase midwifery instructor teaching competency via e-modules focused on capacity building for midwifery instructors to better teach their students. In addition, instructors receive e-modules on emergency SRHR services, including Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP), Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention and mental health. This knowledge will be passed on to their students in order to improve upon these services particularly in crisis-affected populations.  

Unfortunately, todays’ reality is that Ethiopia is affected by multiple emergencies, including conflict, humanitarian crisis, drought and instability. Both Nuffic programs will be implemented in regions that are heavily affected by crisis. Even though the setting will be challenging for the implementation of activities, we feel confident that the strong partnership with and motivation of our team, EMwA, the universities and the chapter offices, will lead to the successful conduct of both programs. Stay tuned for more exciting news!