Investing in nursing and midwifery enterprise: Empowering women and strengthening health systems--A landscaping study of innovations in low- and middle-income countries.

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Publication Date: 
Jan 27, 2016

Women's empowerment and global health promotion are both central aims in the development agenda, with positive associations and feedback loops between empowerment and health outcomes. To date, most of the work exploring connections between health and empowerment has focused on women as health consumers. This article summarizes a much longer landscape review that examines ways in which various health programs can empower women as providers, specifically nurses and midwives. We conducted a scan of the Center for Health Market Innovations database to identify how innovative health programs can create empowerment opportunities for nurses and midwives. We reviewed 94 programs, exploring nurses' and midwives' roles and inputs that contribute to their empowerment. There were four salient models: provider training, information and communications technologies, cooperatives, and clinical franchises. By documenting these approaches and their hallmarks for empowering female health workers, we hope to stimulate greater uptake of health innovations coupled with gender-empowerment opportunities globally. The full report with expanded methodology and findings is available online.