ICM Board responds to the need for global and organisational change: Joyce Thompson, Director of the ICM Board of Management, writes of the Board's decisions taken at the July 2003 meeting--held in a different venue.


'Faith makes things possible--not easy'. (Anonymous)

The July Board of Management meeting was held in Michigan at the Director's new home, following her move there from Pennsylvania. It was a glorious time for reflection, creativity and renewing our energy for leading the Confederation forward.

We had great faith that we should achieve success in the tasks ahead of us: the process of appointing a new Secretary General, revising the Constitution and By-laws in accordance with Dutch law, and learning new ways to 'tighten the financial belt' in these difficult economic times for all. None of these tasks was easy or will be easy in the near future. And yet our faith in the midwives of the world carries us onward!

Constitution and by-laws

The members of the Board spent a full day on a line item review of the changes to the draft Constitution. We are now at draft #7, which will be sent to member associations shortly for review and comment.

The By-laws too are currently under review by the Board and will also be sent to member associations for review and comment. The final draft will be reviewed by the Executive Committee at the Mid-Triennium meeting in Trinidad, and then prepared for Council action in July 2005.

Financial status

One of the discussion items was the current financial status of the Confederation. In these difficult economic times, money is very tight everywhere and donors are less able to support the many projects that relate to women and their health. Unfortunately, this comes exactly at a time in the history of the Confederation when we have a clear agenda with project portfolios such as:

* Addressing HIV/AIDS

* Strengthening midwifery associations

* The Young Midwifery Leaders programme, and

* mapping midwifery globally.

Currently ICM has a Programme Manager and other staff ready to carry out the necessary work on these projects, as well as an eagerness to move ahead. However, in addition to the difficult economic times, unexpected expenses from the Vienna Congress, and Council's decision at that time to maintain dues at the 1999-2002 level, have made it vital that ICM re-consider its expenses and re-establish priorities.

The Board has suspended its November meeting in favour of discussion via conference calls, and has limited members' representation activities for the remainder of the year in order to reduce costs. This has meant not being able to accept invitations to special member association celebrations, such as the 50th...

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