How consensus is built – an important step informing the success of breastfeeding scale-up

  • News
  • 24 Apr. 2023
2022 18 Project FLRF

The Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly (BBF) initiative was successfully completed in Samoa in 2018, leading to breastfeeding friendly hospital policies and lactation rooms in government ministries.

So how did the BBF Samoa committee build consensus and make decisions?

The team shares its findings in an open-access article, Consensus-building during the Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly (BBF) initiative in Samoa: A qualitative content analysis, published in PLOS Global Public Health.

In a qualitative content analysis of the BBF initiative in Samoa, audio recordings of meetings, meeting protocols and meeting notes were carefully examined. For the consensus-building framework, these different components of the consensus-building a priori  themes originally defined by Judith E. Innes and David E. Booher were used:

  • Diverse perspectives are incorporated
  • Adaptive and self-organizing discussion
  • Stakeholders are actively engaged
  • Challenges to status quo & creative solutions
  • Unified interpretation of high-quality data
  • Seeking consensus only after extensive discussion

From this analysis, the team identified a list of meta-themes, themes, and subthemes on key consensus components and how overall consensus was reached on policy recommendations .

“The detailed manualization of the BBF process, its reliance on data, and its transparent and engaged committee were key for reaching consensus on BBF scores and recommendations in Samoa,” write the authors.

This study contributes to a better understanding of how effective breastfeeding policy consensus recommendations are made. FLRF is a proud supporter of BBF.

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