Multiple stakeholders in the international land community, including the Global Donor Working Group on Land (GDWGL), supported the inclusion of land issues in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework. This resulted in the inclusion of:
SDG land indicator 1.4.2  for monitoring the global status of land tenure security under SDG 1 on poverty eradication
SDG land indicator 5.a.1  under SDG 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
In 2019, the custodian agencies of SDG indicator 1.4.2 (UN-Habitat and the World Bank) and SDG indicator 5.a.1 (FAO), with the approval of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG (IAEG-SDGs), developed a joint global methodology to enhance collection and reporting of disaggregated and comparable data at national level.
The goal of these indicators is to measure and track global progress towards tenure security for all, by 2030. Measurement of the land indicators, thus, goes hand in hand with scaling implementation and identifying innovation and good practice to accelerate progress. The two indicators will enable countries, civil society, and the private sector as well as development partners to track progress and identify more quickly promising innovation as well as regions and groups that are left behind in securing of land tenure rights.
Leveraging critical questions from the joint consolidated module, nationally representative household surveys conducted by National Statistical Organizations (NSOs) are a key source of data for both SDG indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1. In addition, SDG indicator 1.4.2 leverages administrative data supplied by land agencies at national level.
Land ownership, use and tenure security are also part of other indicators such as:
SDG 2 (food security, which refers for data collection to 1.4.2)
SDG 5 (gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, covered by target 5.a and indicator a.2)
SDG 11 (Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, as covered by target 11.1 and indicator 1.1)
SDG 15 (reducing land degradation as covered by target 15.3 and indicator 3.1 among other important targets on forestry)
SDG 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions).
Leveraging the IAEG-SDGs-approved methodology, the co-custodian agencies of SDG indicator 1.4.2 (UN Habitat and World Bank), in collaboration with the custodian for SDG indicator 5.a.1 (FAO), have dedicated and sustained efforts for capacity-building of National Statistical Organizations (NSOs) and other relevant national agencies on data collection and reporting on the indicators.
To ensure wider dissemination and adoption by NSOs, translations of the methodology have since been provided in French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.
The land module continues to be integrated in ongoing surveys inter alia:
The 50×2030 initiative
The Agricultural Integrated Survey (AGRIS)
Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS),
UEOMA harmonized household surveys
UN-Habitat’s Urban Inequity Surveys
UN Women’s Gender Disaggregated Data Collection, Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS)
Labour force surveys
Since mid-2020, capacity-building initiatives culminating into assessment of pre-existing data, and adoption of the methodology have been conducted by UN-Habitat in Kenya, Rwanda, Tunisia and Iraq with efforts ongoing in Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Morocco, Zambia and Ethiopia – supported by the UN Development Account’s (UNDA) 13th Tranche.
Custodians are equally working with country NSOs, registries, and cadastre systems to drive the generation of data and reporting on the two indicators to the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). According to the UNSD Global SDG Indicators Platform, as of 25 March 2022, 33 countries reporting on SDG indicator 1.4.2 (a), 22 on 1.4.2 (b) and 34 on SDG indicator 5.a.1. Other partners are advocating for the inclusion of land indicators in the annual voluntary national reviews.
The good news, particularly from Africa, is that significant progress is being made and many NSOs are including the key questions required for collecting data for reporting on the SDG indicators in relevant nationally representative surveys. Currently, the main data gaps are in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe regional groups, as well as in Asia and the Pacific, and Western Europe regions. This calls for upscaled efforts in mobilizing additional financial as well as technical support to help develop the capacity of NSOs in these strategic countries to collect and report the requisite data on the two SDG indicators.