Universities in unique web-based education project

Somali students in Hargeisa. Photo: Dalarna University

Somali students in Hargeisa. Photo: Dalarna University

Over the last 15 years, Dalarna University (DU) has been developing and implementing web-based education in its higher education and research: this is termed next generation learning (NGL). The use of NGL allows 24 students from Amoud University and Hargesia University, Somaliland, to enrol in a web-based master’s programme in Sexual and Reproductive Health with support from DU. The project is Sida-funded and addresses new trends in teaching that use modern pedagogical methods and information and communications technology (ICT).

The participants will be examined in August 2015, having over the course of two years developed their skills and ability to teach evidence-based maternal and newborn care. Their skills will be useful in strengthening midwifery through investment in the training of future midwives. The increased number of midwives educated as a result of this initiative will mean a cost-effective, affordable and sustainable solution that will reduce both maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity.

The main objective is to develop a model for web-based learning using ICT in order to rebuild capacity within midwifery training institutions in Somaliland. The model may be applicable to other conflict and post-conflict settings where access to higher education is poor for security reasons. Another component is to explore, promote and safeguard the sustainability of the development of the midwifery profession and education in Somaliland. The Somaliland Nursing and Midwifery Association (SLNMA) was established in 2004 and assists in the development of high quality care through education, regulation and association. The long-term goal is to increase the number of appropriately trained and qualified midwives who will contribute to strengthening the workforce and reducing maternal and newborn mortality in Somaliland.

Being a post-conflict setting, Somaliland has one of the highest maternal mortality rates globally. One key issue is shortages of qualified midwives. Educated, licensed, regulated midwives integrated into the health care system have showed positive effects on maternal and child health (Renfrew et al, 2014).

Midwifery-led care including family planning could avert 83% of all maternal deaths globally (Homer et al, 2014). In Somaliland there is an urgent need to train midwifery educators who can teach evidence-based midwifery care considering the context of Somaliland and across the continuum of care. Scaling up access to midwifery education and training and thus improving women’s access to midwifery-led care in post-conflict settings such as Somaliland is essential to reduce maternal and newborn mortality (Renfrew et al, 2014). Due to the insecure situation, web-based techniques and pedagogy would be of high importance in order to scale up the capacity-building of midwifery education in Somaliland and other post-conflict settings.


Marie Klingberg-Allvin
Midwife, associate professor Dalarna University

Professor Roda Ali Ahmed, vice chancellor Edna Adan Hospital together with Marie Klingberg-Allvin, associate professor Dalarna University. Photo: Dalarna University

Professor Roda Ali Ahmed, vice chancellor Edna Adan Hospital together with Marie Klingberg-Allvin, associate professor Dalarna University. Photo: Dalarna University



Renfrew MJ, McFadden A, Bastos MH, Campbell J, Channon AA, Cheung NF, et al. Midwifery and quality care: findings from a new evidence-informed framework for maternal and newborn care. Lancet. 2014.

Homer CS, Friberg IK, Dias MA, Ten Hoope-Bender P, Sandall J, Speciale AM, et al. The projected effect of scaling up midwifery. Lancet. 2014.

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