GLOBAL FORUM 2016, organized by ITEMS, an international firm in Information & Communication Technologies strategies, just took place this past September. The WeObservatory is traditionally moderating the Digital Communities Session and we have had the chance to sit down and talk to some of the session’s speakers.
Here’s the interview with midwife, reasearcher and developer Franka Cadée on her project:
“My name is Franka Cadée, I am a Dutch midwife although not practicing any longer. I’m here at the Global Forum today to speak at the Digital Communities session about my twin2twin project.
I have developed a method where midwives can work together across cultures which is different from development aid. It’s a system whereby you learn from each other. I think we’ve learned through the ages that there are certain sides to development aid that simply do not work because it’s dominating from one culture to the other. So this is an answer to that.
What we are doing is working between midwives and at the beginning of the project try to see what the other culture has to offer: it’s like a barter system. We discuss with one another what we want from each other and then start a partnership. And the partnership is based on reciprocity, which means that you give and you learn how to receive and you learn how to give back, it has to be an equal exchange. So it has lots of challenges, but through those challenges you find that midwives really get to know each other. I also believe that by giving you actually gain power, you don’t gain power by only receiving – what I think is often wrong with development aid.
We do find that it is especially the “giving” aspect of the project that really makes the midwives feel strong; and strong midwives means that they work well and they take care of strong women that give birth.
We’ve developed a whole method that takes 4 years (although you can adapt it) with a series of workshops, people with similar interests are twinned with each other. We match people slightly on age, but mainly on interest so we have teacher midwives with teacher midwives, students with students, researchers with researchers. They work with each other and develop a small project together. What we’ve been fighting hard is the communication: language-wise it’s hard, cross-cultures it’s hard, but also Skype often doesn’t work or phoning is expensive, we’ve been using WhatsApp a lot, but that is also hard sometimes.
Getting the methodology across, how we work and when we meet has been hard to figure out.
So having a Mobile App for this is really fantastic.
It really helps the twins to understand what is the project, what is it about, what and when they can expect and we are hoping that they’ll be able to communicate through the App at some point.
Fo how long was the App idea around ?
It’s been around for about a year and a half, before that we did a book – that is outdated by now since we re-developed the methods. And in the last few months with the help of the WeObservatory it’s come to life. And it’s really amazing to see and I do believe that in certain countries midwives that don’t have good Internet access all the time can download the App when they do have access and have it on their phone.
Somehow it’s really inspiring to see it this way, it’s quite different having it for yourself than just only hearing about the methodology. Anyone who wants to do a twinning project can basically download the method.
You mentioned you are doing a PhD. Can you please talk about the research you’ve been doing ?
I’ve been researching twinning in general (every single article on twinning is in the App). People have twinned for ages since the Second World War. But what you find in Healthcare is very unclear. People don’t know what it is and what it stands for. I’ve done a concept analysis of the word twinning and it’s about to be published in a Journal called Globalization and Health. Basically we’ve come up with a new definition of what twining in Healthcare is and what are the basic ingredients of twinning in Healthcare. I’m also doing a study with all midwives who’ve done twinning, it’s about 50 people. I’m asking them what are the critical success factors in twinning. And I’m doing some work on network analysis and results of their projects . I hope that in the future we’ll be able to really compare the projects by their outcomes.”