Global Index

India Spotlight Index

Global Index 2016

Research approach

BMS 1: Corporate Profile

How the Corporate Profile research was undertaken

All six companies assessed were informed two months prior to the initiation of research of their inclusion on the BMS assessment. The assessed companies were invited to take part in an online briefing regarding the methodology and the research process. Two companies – Heinz and Mead Johnson – declined to engage in the research process. The Corporate Profile assessment of these companies therefore is based solely on the information available in the public domain. The research process followed was:

  • ATNF uploaded company information in the public domain onto the assessment platform, indicating in the comments section where information was inadequate or missing.
  • Companies were given four weeks to upload further information and comments to the platform, under a non-disclosure agreement where requested.
  • An ATNF staff member reviewed all the material and allocated provisional scores for each indicator. ATNF’s Senior Advisor then reviewed this analysis. A list of questions was drawn up for each company to identify any additional information necessary to fully assess each indicator.
  • Companies were given one week to provide the additional information requested. At this point, the platform was ‘closed’ and companies could no longer add information or view their records.
  • ATNF reviewed the additional material and allocated final scores.
  • Individual scores were calculated and the corporate profile section of the scorecards drafted, noting areas of compliance and non-compliance, and improvements needed.
  • Companies were given the opportunity to identify any factual inaccuracies in this part of the research prior to launch, which were corrected.


BMS 2: In-country assessments

How the two countries were selected for the in-country assessments 

ATNF had sufficient funding to undertake two in-country assessments on a pilot basis for the 2016 Global Index. To be considered for selection, countries needed to meet two criteria:
1. Score as a higher-risk country on a risk rating system used by FTSE4Good, based on data from UNICEF and other organizations’.
2. All six of the BMS companies to be assessed on the BMS Index had to be present in the market. Only four countries satisfied these criteria: China, Vietnam, Russia and Indonesia.

With guidance from the Expert Group, ATNF selected Vietnam and Indonesia. Selection of these two countries was mainly because of positive initiatives to support breastfeeding in these countries and for logistical reasons. It was noted that ideally countries from two different continents would have been selected – particularly an African country. However, as there was no African country where all, or even most, of the BMS companies chosen for assessment were present, the inclusion of an African country was ruled out for this first pilot.

All companies selling BMS products, and other products within the scope of The Code (teats and bottle) or local regulations (e.g. pacifiers in Vietnam) were included in the research.

How the in-country assessments were undertaken

Research methodology 

The IGBM Protocol (the Protocol) required several types of research be undertaken in order to assess companies’ compliance with five Articles of The Code (Articles 4,5,6,7 and 9). Required research includes interviews with pregnant women and mothers of infants in health facilities, interviews with healthcare workers in health facilities, identification of informational materials produced by BMS manufacturers available in health facilities and retail stores, identification of sales promotions by BMS manufacturers in retail stores, analysis of product labels and inserts of all available products on the local market, and monitoring of media advertising.

Research process 

The research process is outlined in detail in Westat’s reports. In summary, Westat and its local partners, with the guidance of ATNF and its Technical Advisor:
1. Identified the cities in which the research would be undertaken (Hanoi and Jakarta) and gathered information from the appropriate sources and authorities on the location, type and size of health facilities in those cities. These were then sampled in accordance with the Protocol guidance.

2. Undertook a comparative analysis of The Code and applicable national regulations governing BMS marketing in each country to identify any differences. Where the national regulations were stronger than The Code, changes needed to each of the model data collection forms provided in the Protocol were identified.

3. Adapted the six data collection forms provided in the Protocol, for each country, to ensure that data could be collected by product type, company and in relation to Article 5 for new media as well as traditional media.

4. Bought as many products as possible from a range of retailers available in each city and classified those products according to age range and manufacturer.

5. Made arrangements in each country for data collection, review and entry. Data was entered into Epi Info (software package) using double data entry methods to ensure quality control.

6. Ran one-week training programs for data collectors and supervisors. Pre-tested the forms and data entry system.

7. Organized and undertook visits to sampled healthcare facilities. During visits data collectors interviewed women and healthcare professionals, chosen using a random sampling technique, and assessed any BMS marketing materials within those facilities.

8. Visited three retailers near each health care facility in order to assess in-store BMS marketing and promotions. In each country the types of retail stores expected to sell the greatest volume of products were selected.

9. Arranged for specialist media monitoring companies to provide data on adverts on the two traditional forms of media that accounted for most advertising spending. Media monitoring was carried out in Vietnam between June 1st and July 31st and in Indonesia between May 1st and 31st and then August 1st to 31st, due to Ramadan and Eid. Local staff then monitored the selected new media channels (companies’ own websites, Twitter feeds and YouTube channels as well as online retailers and magazines intended for pregnant woman and mothers) for one month.

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