Promotion

Effective facility and community-based training as well as delivery of breastfeeding programs drives promotion efforts to communicate key breastfeeding messages and facilitate behavior change.  Promotional strategies use a variety of methods -social media, national and local events, campaigns, community activities, interpersonal skills- to convey breastfeeding messages to targeted audiences. Messages should be informative, culturally appropriate, motivational, accurate and concise so that they can be easily understood and readily accepted. 

The two themes for this gear:

  • National Breastfeeding Promotion Strategy
  • Government and civic breastfeeding promotion

All benchmarks reference “the past year” unless otherwise noted.

National Breastfeeding Promotion Strategy

Description: This benchmark assesses the existence and quality of a national breastfeeding promotion strategy. The national breastfeeding promotion strategy can include formal campaigns, (including one or more) targeting specific or entire population. It can also include the relaying of messages through one or multiple channels including mass media campaigns, interpersonal communication, posters, educational materials etc. If a national promotion strategy exists, to be considered grounded in the country’s context, it has to be:

a) based on formative research;
b) pre-tested within the country; and
c) be culturally, socially, economic, and literacy appropriate. 

It must also be time bound, i.e. have a specified time frame or have an implementation deadline, for it to be completely effective.

Possible data sources: Interviews with national level government officials should reveal the existence of this strategy.  A desk review of government reports and documents within the area of behavior change communication and breastfeeding should be able to reveal the expected activities of the national breastfeeding promotion strategy, the development of it (based on formative research and pre-testing), and if it specifies a time frame.

How to score: The scoring for this benchmark reflects: a) if a national breastfeeding promotion strategy exists, b) if it is grounded in the country's context, and c) if it is time bound.

☐ No progress: There is no national breastfeeding promotion strategy. 

☐ Minimal progress: National breastfeeding promotion strategy is not grounded in the country’s context nor is it time bound. 

☐ Partial progress: National breastfeeding promotion strategy is grounded in the country’s context but it is not time bound. 

☐ Major progress: National breastfeeding promotion strategy is grounded in the country’s context and is time bound.

Description: This benchmark builds off of PG1 and assumes that there is a national breastfeeding promotion strategy. The national breastfeeding promotion strategy can include formal campaigns, (including one or more) targeting specific or entire population. It can also include the relaying of messages through one or multiple channels including mass media campaigns, interpersonal communication, posters, educational materials etc.

Possible data sources: Interviews with national government officials within the area of infant/young child feeding, national level nutrition or infant feeding coordinators, or trainers should yield national breastfeeding promotion strategy implementation information.  To assess effectiveness and level of coverage, country level data on breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors can be used.  To assess coverage, use media sources, reports, or other documentation that indicates where the promotion strategy has been targeted.

How to score:  The scoring for this benchmark reflects the effectiveness and coverage of the implementation of the national breastfeeding promotion strategy.

Coverage: national (implemented to entire population) or full (complete coverage of a subpopulation) depending on goals of the strategy.

Effectiveness: degree to which the promotion strategy has raised breastfeeding awareness and practice.  

☐ No progress: There is no national breastfeeding promotion strategy or, if there is, it is not being implemented. 

☐ Minimal progress: National breastfeeding promotion strategy is being implemented but its effectiveness is unknown or has limited coverage at local level only. 

☐ Partial progress: National breastfeeding promotion strategy is being implemented and it is effective but has partial coverage at local and subnational level only. 

☐ Major progress: National breastfeeding promotion strategy is being implemented, is effective and has high coverage at national, subnational, and local level.

Government or Civic Breastfeeding Promotion Theme

Description: This benchmark assesses whether government or civic organizations have raised awareness about breastfeeding through various activities or actions. Government and/or civic organizations' promotion campaigns, activities, or actions designed to raise awareness about breastfeeding should be considered under this benchmark.  

Possible data sources: Audio, television, or written materials either documenting or advertising the campaigns/activities from media, government, or civic society sources should be consulted for measuring this benchmark.  Use any country level data on breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors to assess level of awareness about breastfeeding.

How to score:  The scoring of this benchmark reflects the level of awareness raised about breastfeeding by actions taken by government or civil organizations.
 

☐ No progress: Government or civic organizations actions have not raised awareness about breastfeeding. 

☐ Minimal progress: Government or civic organizations actions have raised minimal awareness about breastfeeding reaching local level only. 

☐ Partial progress: Government or civic organizations actions have raised some awareness about breastfeeding reaching local and subnational levels. 

☐ Major progress: Government or civic organizations actions have raised strong awareness about breastfeeding reaching local, subnational, and national levels.