Different dietary diversity indicators have been developed to reflect household food security, infant and young child feeding practices and micronutrient adequacy for women of reproductive age, among other topics. Table 1 in Section 1 of Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women – A guide to measurement provides a comparison of several indicators.
Selection of an indicator depends on its intended use and the intended audience for results. Different indicator qualities are required and prioritised depending on whether the indicator is needed for assessment, accountability, advocacy, screening, targeting and/or evaluation. No single indicator will be best for all of these purposes.
The Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women of Reproductive Age indicator was developed for use in assessment when a simple proxy indicator is needed, and when it is preferable, for communication and advocacy purposes, to be able to express results as a proportion of a population meeting a criterion/threshold value.