Consensus Meeting on a Global Indicator to Measure Women’s Dietary Diversity

USAID's Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project (FANTA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hosted a technical meeting on July 15–16, 2014, to reach consensus on a global dietary diversity indicator to use as a proxy for assessing the micronutrient adequacy of women’s diets. The meeting, held at the FHI 360 Conference Center in Washington, DC, builds on research carried out by the Women’s Dietary Diversity Project (WDDP). FANTA, with support from USAID, led the first phase of the WDDP project (from 2005–2010) to develop and validate a simple indicator to reflect the micronutrient adequacy of women’s diets. The resulting publications from this research include seven articles published as a Special Supplement in the Journal of Nutrition. A second phase of research (2012–present), led by FAO with support from the European Union, used more data and additional analyses, with an aim to identify and propose a dichotomous indicator for global use. New results from this research will be presented and discussed at the meeting.

Meeting participants included representatives from USAID; FANTA; FAO; the Agriculture-Nutrition Community of Practice; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Bioversity International; the Department for International Development; Demographic and Health Surveys Program; Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition; the International Food Policy Research Institute; the International Fund for Agricultural Development; International Research for Development; Iowa State University; the Pan American Health Organization; the Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally project; Tufts University; UNICEF; University of California, Davis; the World Food Programme; and the World Bank.

A new women's dietary diversity indicator was unanimously agreed upon by the end of the meeting.  Please check back for further updates.