Launch of the Code Monitoring Kit 2015

IBFAN-ICDC launched the new Code Monitoring Kit in Panama City on 31 August, at a Regional Code Implementation Course held by ICDC and IBFAN LAC, with the support of UNICEF and PAHO.

Code Monitoring is an essential activity of IBFAN, a network of over 270 citizen groups in 168 developing and industrialized countries. For many of these groups, checking on how companies are marketing their products has become second nature. In fact, many provisions in the International Code relied on evidence provided by IBFAN reports dating back to 1979 and 1980-81. Monitoring has also led to the adoption of several subsequent resolutions by the World Health Assembly.

Rapid changes in technology, marketing tactics, products, and global trade talks have created a sea change in how companies promote their products and corporate image – therefore IBFAN must change the way its groups do their surveys now.

ICDC, the IBFAN office tasked with coordinating Code monitoring for the global IBFAN network, has updated existing monitoring protocols and is proud to announce that the new Code Monitoring Kit is ready for distribution to IBFAN groups and supporters.  This 60-page kit guides on the “why, what, who, where and how” of Code monitoring. Together with a new Quick & Easy form, it contains 8 questionnaires; including a new section on products and tactics that undermine breastfeeding. This section explains how some of these tactics may not be covered by the Code, but should be reflected in monitoring reports to facilitate stronger national measures.

Despite these changes, what remains constant is the reciprocal support that makes “IBFAN-ers” who they are, then, now, and in the future. For monitoring to exert its fullest impact on helping countries enforce measures to protect the health of infants and young children, to combat the relentless marketing tactics, and to build a global monitoring network to hold companies accountable – IBFAN needs to work within the web of mutual global support.

ICDC hopes this new publication can act as a bridge for collaborative efforts within the network. It relies on partners to provide monitoring evidence, so that groups can help countries in concrete ways to implement the Code successfully – ranging from lobbying for national legislation, facilitating enforcement, capacity building, to maintaining a sustainable and ongoing monitoring system.