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

Donors’ data from land surveys to support methodology for 1.4.2

In June, the FoC collected data sets from land surveys conducted by donors agencies and shared them with the Custodians. The data comprised past evaluations and other surveys that have household/individual/parcel information, information about upcoming evaluations and countries where donors have close relations with the statistical agency or land/agricultural ministry to help advocate reporting on indicator 1.4.2. This info will help in the preparation of the methodology report to be submitted to the Inter-Agency Expert Group (IAEG) on SDG Indicators by 2 October 2017.

Highlights of July meetings

In July the Custodians held three important meetings:

  • 3rd Expert Group Meeting: Using Administrative Data to Monitor SDG land (Barcelona, 6-7 July).The focus of this EGM was on the indicator component “legally recognized documentation” which will be measured using administrative data produced by the land agencies in the different countries. Other components of the indicator will be measured using household survey data. Particularly, the objectives of this EGM were to: (1) agree on a methodology to monitor the part of indicator 1.4.2 pertaining to legally documented rights using administrative data, (2) assess availability of existing data and explore ways of institutionalizing reporting at country and regional level, and (3) explore options for building on administrative data to advocate and measure progress of land policy reforms.
  • Expert Group Meeting on Women Land Rights (NY, 8-9 July).This EGM examined land indicators in the SDGs, seeking for meaningful and more harmonised approaches to monitor women’s land rights in a coordinated manner at all levels. This EGM was convened by Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII) in partnership with Oxfam. This EGM was particularly relevant for indicators 5.a.1 and 5.a.2 addressing women’s land rights, but also important to raise political support for 1.4.2.
  • HLPF side event on Progress on Monitoring Tenure Security in SDGs – where are we? (NY, 10 July).At this well-attended side-event, custodian agencies and partner organisations aimed at raising political support by UN Member States and other groups to globally monitor land governance through the SDG indicator 1.4.2. Speakers included H.E. Ambassador Dessima Williams, Special Advisor to the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Implementation of the SDGs, Heath Cosgrove, Director of the Land and Urban Department at USAID, Yongyi Min, Chief of Sustainable Development Goal Unit-IAEG, amongst others. They underscored the importance of securing land tenure to fight poverty and provided an update on the progress made in developing the methodology on indicator 1.4.2. Amongst the participants' recommendations for the ongoing process of developing a global methodology on indicator 1.4.2, are to support public education and raise awareness at the country level to the importance of monitoring tenure security and to promote capacity building for Land agencies and National Statistical Offices in new data production methods including surveys/earth observation.

Next IAEG meeting and preparing the ground

The 6th Meeting of the IAEG-SDGs will take place in Manama, Bahrain from 11-14 November 2017, hosted by Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT). At this meeting, the IAEG-SDGs will make a decision concerning Tier status of indicator 1.4.2, which will determine how quick countries can embark on national-level processes for data collection and reporting on this indicator in the SDGs framework. The custodian agencies (UN Habitat and World Bank) should provide a comprehensive report on the proposed methodology and baseline data to formally request the reclassification of indicator 1.4.2 from Tier III to II.

The Custodians are currently compiling data from pilot initiatives with the aim to have information from at least 20 different countries. This spectrum of countries plays a key role in the reclassification.

Upcoming meetings

9-13 October, Rome, Italy: 44thCommittee on World Food Security (CFS).
This year the CFS is organizing a special plenary session on the SDGs. Countries will have the opportunity to share and discuss how they are implementing the Agenda 2030 and to reflect on the outcomes of the High-Level Political Forum 2017 to further implementation of the SDGs.

11-14 November, Manama, Bahrain: 6th Meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, hosted by Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT)

Achievements & next steps

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

Tasks/milestones Achieved September October November
Milestone: 6th Meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, Bahrain       11-14 November
EGM on household survey, Washington-DC Check      
EGM on administrative data, Barcelona Check      
Concluding meeting with FAO on harmonization between 1.4.2 and 5.a.1   5 September    
Reclassification proposal available for review by GDWGL, GLTN/GLII network & informal review by statistical community (incl. note on IAEG-SDG requirements)   8 September    
Consolidated feedback provided by GDWGL and GLTN/GLII network   15 September    
Submit reclassification request for 1.4.2 to IAEG-SDG (incl. one page methodology summary, draft metadata, results of pilot studies etc.)   18 September    
Discussion & agreement with GDWGL to support reclassification of indicator 1.4.2 as part of their work plan     7-8 October  

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



  • 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.