Impacts on Breastfeeding Practices of At- Scale Strategies That Combine Intensive Interpersonal Counseling, Mass Media, and Community Mobilization: Results of Cluster- Randomized Program Evaluations in Bangladesh and Viet Nam
This research article shows positive effects of intensive outreach campaigns on breastfeeding practices in Bangladesh and Vietnam. The authors conducted two cluster-randomized impact evaluations of at-scale programs in Bangladesh and Viet Nam (the Alive & Thrive initiative). They compared the population-level impacts on breastfeeding practices of (1) an intensive package consisting of interpersonal communication, a mass media campaign, community mobilization, and policy advocacy to create a supportive environment, and (2) a non-intensive package consisting of standard nutrition counseling and a limited campaign around mass media, community mobilization, and policy advocacy. In both countries, authors found higher rates of early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding, and lower use of prelacteal feeding and bottle feeding, in areas that received the intensive package compared to areas that received the non-intensive package.