Cooperative Action – Guidelines for Leaders
MIXING CAUSES STATEMENT
Helping mothers worldwide to breastfeed, so that they can learn mothering through breastfeeding, is the main focus of the work of La Leche League as defined by the LLLI Mission Statement and Bylaws, ARTICLE II. PURPOSE. The main focus of LLLI does not prevent interaction with other organizations whose purposes are compatible with the LLLI mission. LLLI and all its representatives have the option of taking advantage of opportunities to cooperate with others who support, promote and protect breastfeeding in accordance with established guidelines.
The La Leche League Group is not to be used as a forum for a Leader’s non-LLL interests or to do the work of organizations other than LLL. Leaders may not use their Leader status for commercial gain derived from non-LLL activity or to promote their personal non-LLL interests.
QUESTIONS FOR LEADERS TO CONSIDER PRIOR TO AGREEING TO COOPERATIVE ACTION ACTIVITY
A Leader is expected to discuss these questions with her LLL support person before agreeing to any cooperative action. The PL Program should also be consulted for anything involving health care providers and legal issues.
SHOULD LLL BE INVOLVED IN THIS VENTURE?
1. What are the goals of the proposed Cooperative Action?
Are they specific? Measurable? Achievable? Compatible with LLL?
2. Who are all the parties involved?
Are their missions and purposes compatible with LLL?
3. How will LLL benefit from involvement in this venture?
What are the benefits to mothers and babies? The local LLL Group? LLLI? Does it help LLL to achieve its mission?
4. Will LLL be compensated either directly or indirectly?
Will my participation result in expense to my Group or Area in terms of either money or resources?
Will LLL be offered payment or an honorarium for my participation?
Will LLL materials be used/purchased? As LLL’s representative, will my expenses be paid?
(Note: Compensation is not a requirement of LLL participation. However, costs and potential income need to be considered.)
SHOULD I BE INVOLVED IN THIS VENTURE AS LLL’S REPRESENTATIVE?
1. What specifically am I being asked to do?
Attend meetings, generate ideas, write, speak, organize activities, give one-on-one help? What is the required time commitment?
2. Am I the best-qualified Leader available?
Do I have the experience, abilities, qualifications, expertise needed for my participation? Am I aware of and willing to access LLL resources available to me that would assist me with this work?
3. Do I have enough time and energy to fulfill my primary Leader responsibilities and to participate fully in this cooperative venture?
Does it merit Leader time and energy being channeled away from regular LLL work?
Will my LLL Group suffer if I become involved?
TO DECLINE PARTICIPATION IN COOPERATIVE ACTION
At no time is an LLL Leader required to participate in cooperative action even if it is determined that her participation would be beneficial to LLL.
If you decide to decline participation, be honest and courteous, taking care to protect LLLI’s image and promote our mission and purpose. Discuss your approach with your LLL support person. If appropriate, use a graceful statement that leaves the door open for possible future involvement like, “after consultation with other Leaders, I have decided to decline your offer at this time.” You do not need to offer a justification for your decision, particularly if it is personal (e.g., lack of time). If you are declining because you feel that LLL participation is inappropriate, you may want to cite LLL policies in a non-confrontational style.
If you decline participation with a letter, discuss it with your LLL support person prior to sending it and provide her with a copy of the final letter for her files.
GUIDELINES FOR LEADERS INVOLVED IN COOPERATIVE ACTION ACTIVITIES AS LLL REPRESENTATIVES CONSULTATION/REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
Under most circumstances, authorization is not required for a Leader to engage in Cooperative Action activity. However, every Leader engaged in a Cooperative Action activity is expected to establish a consult/report relationship with her appropriate LLL support person before and during her participation. Specific reporting guidelines are determined by each Division or Affiliate. LLLI retains the final authority over all Cooperative Action activity including the right to terminate any activity that is not in compliance with written guidelines.
These are typical consulting/reporting relationships:
Local level: A Leader contacts DA, who reports to the ACL.
Area level: Contact ACL who reports to the appropriate Regional personnel, DD or Affiliate Head.
National level: Contact DD/Affiliate Head and/or ED.
COOPERATIVE ACTION REPORT
When a Leader accepts the responsibility of representing LLL in a Cooperative Action activity, she needs to file a written Cooperative Action Report with her LLL support person that includes the following information:
The name of the organization(s) seeking LLL cooperation with pertinent information about the activity. Include the organization’s name, address, phone/fax number and contact person.
The name(s) and positions of LLL personnel participating.
Proposed goals, plans and timeline for the joint project(s).
Reason(s) LLL/LLLI was asked to participate.
Methods to be used in publicizing what the organization is doing to promote breastfeeding and related subjects.
Way(s) in which LLL/LLLI will benefit through participation.
Costs/Compensation to LLL/LLLI, if any.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF LLL PARTICIPATION
In any written listing of the participants that includes credentials, “LLL Leader” needs to appear beside the name of LLL representatives.
LIMITATIONS OF COOPERATION
An LLL Leader representing LLL/LLLI on a board, panel, task force, committee, or other similar group is authorized to speak for LLL only on subjects within the scope of LLLI expertise which includes providing mother to mother support for breastfeeding and helping mothers worldwide to breastfeed so that they can learn mothering through breastfeeding.
SIGNING A DOCUMENT ON BEHALF OF LLLI
Special caution should be used when a proposal requires a Leader to sign anything intended for publication or distribution to the public. Any LLL representative who signs a document on behalf of LLLI must have it reviewed by the ACL or her designate (for example, Outreach Coordinator) and, if legal or health care issues are involved, by the APL. A Leader should be aware that she is not obliged to sign anything, even after having participated in groundwork, unless that part dealing with breastfeeding is accurate according to LLLI resources. A mandatory disclaimer must be prominently included in the document to the effect: “La Leche League International agrees with the breastfeeding information contained in ( ). All other information is outside LLL’s scope of expertise” The Leader is to send a copy of any such document to her LLL support person.
BREASTFEEDING PROMOTION PROJECTS FUNDED BY FORMULA MANUFACTURERS
Neither LLLI nor any of its representatives may accept direct funding from formula manufacturers for any activity.
SHARING LEADER LISTS
Lists of Leader names, phone numbers, addresses may be shared with organizations LLL is involved with in Cooperative Action Activities if such a sharing will help to facilitate common goals.
When Leader lists are shared, the Leaders involved are to be notified.
Leaders will have the opportunity to have their names excluded from such lists. These requests should be noted in Area Leader Directories which are to be updated annually.
Requests for sharing Leader lists are to be reviewed by the appropriate LLL administrator (within Area – ACL, Division – DD, Affiliate – Affiliate Head, LLLI – ED). Permission for use of lists will be withdrawn if the proposed activity is found to be incompatible with LLLI’s mission, purpose, or policies.
LLL ENDORSEMENT OF JOINTLY DEVELOPED MATERIALS
Materials and/or projects that are jointly developed through cooperation with other organizations may be endorsed either by LLLI or one of its units (Group, Area, country). The wording of the endorsement should reflect the level of LLL involvement and responsibility for the project: “LLL of (Group, Area, country) endorses…”, “Co-sponsored by LLL of …”, “in cooperation with LLL of…”
Jointly developed materials for which endorsement is sought are to be reviewed through normal LLL review processes by the LLL administrator at the level that the materials will be used (within Area – ACL, Division – DD or designate, Affiliate – Affiliate Head, LLLI – ED). Final copies of any such materials/project descriptions are to be sent to LLL administrators and kept on file for a minimum of five years.
Upon favorable review of written materials, the Leader will be authorized to include the statement, “La Leche League International agrees with the breastfeeding information contained in (). All other information is outside LLL’s scope of expertise.”
In no instance will any materials supported by companies which manufacture or distribute infant formula receive LLLI endorsement.
(Feb 92; rev May 89, Oct 90, Oct 91; completely replaced Feb 95; rev Feb 98)