SDG land indicator 1.4.2 (Kopie) [ID: 442]


The objective of this page is to share timely information about the efforts to reclassify SDG land indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 from Tier II to Tier I by October 2020. Land tenure and land use is also part of other indicators such as SDG 2 (food security, which refers for data collection to 1.4.2), SDG 11, SDG 15 (reducing land degradation as covered by target 15.3 and indicator 15.3.1 among other important targets on forestry), and SDG 16.

Multiple stakeholders in the international land community, including the Global Donor Working Group on Land, are working towards reclassification to tier I of SDG land indicator 1.4.2, as well as the a second land indicator 5.a.1 which is particularly focusing on women in agriculture , and advocating for their inclusion in voluntary national reviews. In March 2017, the Group decided to set up an informal committee – the Friends of the Custodians (FoC) – to support the custodian agencies of SDG indicator 1.4.2 (World Bank and UN-Habitat) in achieving the reclassification through an inclusive process. Members of the FoC are: Chris Penrose-Buckley (DFID), Everlyne Nairesiae (The Global Land Indicators Initiative), Jennifer Lisher (The Millennium Challenge Corporation), Caleb Stevens (USAID) and Ward Anseeuw (The International Land Coalition).

Our goal is 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. The two indicators will enable countries, civil society, 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.

Latest Updates

The Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) meeting in October 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia sustained SDG Land indicators, 1.4.2 and 5.a.1, current Tier II statuses and called for countries, with the support of the indicators’ custodians (FAO, UN-Habitat and World Bank) to speed up data collection and reporting.

The Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) meeting in October 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia sustained SDG Land indicators, 1.4.2 and 5.a.1, current Tier II statuses and called for countries, with the support of the indicators’ custodians (FAO, UN-Habitat and World Bank) to speed up data collection and reporting.

The joint module by the custodian agencies was published and released in 2019 (see below for a PDF in English). A French version is being finalized with facilitation from GLTN and will be made available soon (please check back for updates). FAO is facilitating the translation of the module in other languages (Spanish, Arabic, and Russian), but other languages are still needed, including Mandarin, Portuguese, and others.

The module is already integrated already in ongoing surveys, for example, in the 50x30 initiative, the Agricultural Integrated Survey (AGRIS), Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS), UEOMA harmonized household surveys, the UN Habitat Urban Observatory, the UN Women Gender Disaggregated Data Collection, and the module has been added to several labour force surveys. DHS will update the question on documentation in line with the SDGs. Land indicator variables are being integrated in the global monitoring data base (set up to calculate the global poverty indicators), which is based on national statistic organizations’ household surveys.

The custodian agencies have submitted a request for session during the upcoming 51st session of the UN Statistical Commission, 29 February to 6 March 2020, in New York to further ensure targeted dissemination of the joint module to NSOs and increase the political leverage around the land data agenda–if successful, the joint module for monitoring indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 will be presented/launched.

Custodians are working with country NSOs, registries, and cadastre systems to drive the generation of data. List of potential countries scheduled to report on SDGs indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 in 2020 to be shared by custodians in due course. Report on indicator 5.a.2 will also be included in consultation with FAO.

The road to Tier I by 2020

The 1.4.2 custodians work closely with the custodians for 5.a.1 (FAO) on harmonizing methodology, capacity building of National Statistical Organizations (NSO) and reporting.

The custodians for the two land indicators (FAO, UN Habitat and World Bank) developed methodology and tools for measuring land indicators and organized capacity building for NSO.

Nationally representative household surveys are a key source of data for both 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 and a joined consolidated module has been developed for use by NSO. In addition, SDG indicator 1.4.2 will also use administrative data supplied by land agencies. 

Land indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 need to reach tier I by 2020, which is the last step in ensuring that land tenure security is firmly part of the global SDG agenda and annual policy reviews. SDG indicators are universal. Reaching tier I requires 50 per cent of the countries and 50 per cent of the total population for each region to regularly report back to the data custodians and UN. This 50 % bar corresponds to a total of 99 countries: of which 27 in Africa, 27 in Asia and the Pacific, 13 in Central and Eastern Europe, 17 in Latin America and 15 in Western Europe and other OECD countries.

The custodians have prepared a global inventory to assess progress with data collection for reporting on the two indicators, gaps, and priorities for reaching tier I.

The good news is that particularly in Africa significant progress is being made and many NSO have included the key questions required for reporting on the SDG indicators, in line with the methodology approved by the IAEG-SDG. In addition, a number of countries regularly undertake surveys, collect a wide range of administrative data and have complete and accessible land records. They will be able to report on the land indicators by compiling the required data from these sources. The main gaps is in Asia/Pacific and Latin America.


As of June 30th, 2018, the status was as follows:

The challenge now is to mobilize enough support to help develop the capacity of NSO in these strategic countries to collect all the necessary data.

Relevant resources

Special website sections: The custodians are setting up website with methodological guidance and technical advice, and form 2019 onwards also progress with reporting on the indicators. Both the Donor Platform and the Land Portal, jointly with GLTN, are preparing special website sections to share updates on the SDG land indicators as well as all other advocacy and implementation towards tenure security for all. While the Donor Platform will focus on 1.4.2, the Land Portal/GLTN page will provide a broader overview of all indicators related to land tenure security and sustainable land use (related indicators are included also under Goals 2, 5, 11, 15 and 17, which shows again the cross-cutting nature of land).

If your organisation is also keen to share info on the SDG land indicators and help us increase visibility to this topic in the Internet, please contact or

Downloads SDG Land Indicator [ID: 399]



  • Reclassification step-by-step (PPT, 2.2 MiB) This PPT from Robert Ndugwa (UN-Habitat), prepared in March 2017, provides a quick and easy-to-understand overview of the reclassification process of indicator 1.4.2. Although the timeline is slightly outdated for 2017, the PPT shows the key milestones to be achieved in 2018.
  • Strategies for compiling administrative data (PDF, 215.2 KiB) A readout from this EGM will be shared soon by the custodian agencies. The FoC had access to at least one presentation – by Klaus Deininger (WB) – on strategies for compiling administrative data.

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