SDG land indicator 1.4.2 [ID: 396]

Updates on the SDG land indicator 1.4.2

This page is based on a bulletin regularly prepared by the Friends of the Custodians Committee. The objective is to share timely information about the SDG land indicator 1.4.2 and support its reclassification from Tier III to Tier I by October 2018. Every month this page will be updated with the key achievements and next milestones towards the reclassification.

The Friends of the Custodians (FoC) is an informal committee established in March 2017 by the Global Donor Working Group on Land 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), Nicole Meier (Global Affairs Canada), Yuliya Panfil (Omidyar Network) and Ward Anseeuw (The International Land Coalition).

SDG land indicator 1.4.2

Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, with legally recognized documentation and who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure.

Infobox [ID: 397]

How does the Tier system work?

This is a classification system used by the Inter-Agency Expert Group (IAEG) on the SDG indicators, which is the decision-making body on the various sets of SDG indicators. Tier I means that the indicator is conceptually clear, with established methodology and available standards, and data is regularly produced by countries. Tier II means the indicator is also conceptually clear, but data is NOT regularly produced by countries. Finally Tier III refers to indicators for which there is NO established methodology, and methods and standards are still being developed and tested. For the reclassification, IAEG requires evidence on Expert Group Meetings (EGMs), member states consultations, methodology improvements and data collection.

Interviews Land Indicator [ID: 406]

Interview | Chris Penrose Buckley, DFID

“There is a lot of people that have a stake in this (SDG land) indicator and want to be part of the process of making sure that the methodology is robust and it gets to the stage when it is a formal SDG indicator.”

Interview | Oumar Sylla, UN-HABITAT

“This indicator will give us opportunity to track progress made on adressing the issue tenure security.”

SDG land indicator 1.4.2 [ID: 398]

Latest updates

Achieved Tier II status

The land community celebrated in November 2017 the decision by the IAEG-SDGs to re-classify the land indicator 1.4.2 to Tier II, approving the use of the data collection methodology as proposed the custodian agencies. Achieving the tier II status was the product of a joined effort by the land community, coordinated by GDWGL and GLII, working in close collaboration with the custodians for 1.4.2. Now the work continues for the re-classification of both 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 indicators to Tier I until 2020 for integration in the SDG framework.

Road Map to Tier I

A road map was developed by the custodians on actions required for reaching tier I and discussed with the Friends of the Custodians, including with regard to resource requirements. One of the key actions is to raise awareness of and build partnerships with technical experts working on data collection – which is why the custodians together with the GDWGL/Friends of the Custodians will host a SDG coordination meeting ton 19 March, in Washington-DC, to discuss the data gaps and other issues to achieve re-classification of both 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 indicators to Tier I. The results will be reported to the GDWGL meeting on Friday, 23 March.

Joint strategy for 1.4.2 and 5.a.1

  • SDG 5.a.1 has a specific focus on agriculture and gender and its custodians are FAO and UN Women. Requirements to achieve Tier I are that at least 50% of all countries in all regions regularly collect and report on these two indicators to the UN Statistical Division. 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 National Statistical organizations (NSO). SDG 1.4.2 also requires administrative data, and therefore regular reporting by land agencies.
  • Strategy: The priority is to implement the country level strategies for data collection and reporting, meeting the requirements identified in the metadata. Supporting National Statistical Offices (NSOs) – which also have to deliver on other SDG indicators –, as well as the land agencies in this important endeavour, requires engagement of the both the land and data communities respectively. The effectiveness of this global effort depends on smart coordination and working in synergy, under the guidance of the custodians for the two indicators. NSO and land agencies have clearly signaled that this work needs to be embedded in general strategies for building NSO capacity for data collection, analysis and policy dialogue, and strengthening land agencies’ ability to monitor and report on progress and performance.

Dissemination at the Arab Land Conference

On 26-28 Feb, during the First Arab Land Conference in Dubai, a session was held on monitoring of the SDGs with a focus on the Arab region. The session was co-organised by GLII-UN-Habitat, World Bank, FAO, the Global Donor Working Group on Land and the Dubai Land Department.

Household Survey Data

  • A combined data collection methodology for National Statistical Offices (NSOs) covering indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 – including specific modules for the range of survey instruments – is developed and now going through a round of comments (FAO, GLII, UN, UN-HABITAT, WB), and will be available in time for the World Bank Land Conference.
  • USAID is commissioning a study on options for improving and expanding land data collection in the next DHS round
  • An information management tool (expanded excel sheet) is being developed to enable custodians and partners to identify upcoming surveys/census for integrating the land modules, progress with integration, key contacts etc. It will enable partner collaboration and coordination (through a sharepoint), track progress and identify gaps/ priorities. Hosting it on GDWGL platform is explored. It will serve both 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 indicators and the intention is to have this ready in time for the World Bank Land Conference 2018.
  • A key priority for guiding data collection is to identify the legally recognized documentation in each country with its photo ID. The custodians are developing a second data collection tool, which will make it possible for land agencies and other stakeholders to upload these documents. The product will be a country specific data base available to NSO and other partners

Leveraging the WB land conference

  • Given that many land agencies from around the world will attend the Land Conference, a “SDG Data Drive” is being developed, starting with identifying all legally recognized documentation (see above). Participants will be invited to submit examples of legally recognized documentation for their country before and during the conference. A special booth may be set up as well.
  • A special session on the SDGs is planned with the Organization of the American States (OAS) targeting Latin American land agencies
  • Special SDG sessions are also planned to discuss progress on indicators 1.4.2, 5.a.1, as well as under Goal 15, on land degradation neutrality. The conference will end with a plenary on gender & data, and announcements during the closing session about progress with the land indicators

Upcoming meetings

Last week of March 2018 (tbc): Training to support household data collection
ESCAP and UN-Habitat will hold a training for NSOs on settlement indicators (including indicator 1.4.2)

19 March, Washington-DC: 1st bi-annual SDG Coordination Meeting: Making Progress to Tier 1 for indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1
Co-hosted by the custodians and the GDWGL/Friends of the Custodians. The meeting is targeted at technical experts working on data collection and will discuss the data gaps and other issues to achieve re-classification to Tier I.

9-12 April, Vienna Austria: 7th meeting of the IAEG-SDG
There will be a Members meeting taking place during the first day (9 April) and a Plenary Session taking place during the following three days (10 - 12 April). During the plenary session, all countries, international and regional agencies and entities, and other stakeholders are invited to attend.

Achievements & next steps

The list/graph below provides an overview of what needs to be achieved until the next milestone

Tasks/milestones Achieved March April May
Milestone: 7th Meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, Vienna, Austria     9-12 April  
Re-classification of indicator 1.4.2 from Tier III to Tier II at the 6th Meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, Bahrain (11-14 Nov 2017) Check      
First bi-annual coordination meeting – towards achieving Tier I for indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1, Washington-DC   19 March    
World Bank Land Conference – several special sessions on all land indicators, Washington-DC   19-23 March    

Relevant resources

Special website sections: Both the Donor Platform and the Land Portal, jointly with GLTN, are preparing special website sections to share updates on the SDG land indicators. 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 (under Goals 2, 5, 11 and 15). 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.

Event reports

Docs & Data


  • Policy Brief No. 14: SDG land indicator (PDF, 573.0 KiB) During the last years, the land community has been mobilised to ensure that land rights are effectively addressed in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a member of the land community, the Global Donor Working Group on Land is committed to supporting the inclusion of land tenure security and associated indicators in such an important global agenda.