Land is a key economic resource inextricably linked to access to, use of and control over other economic and productive resources. Recognition of this, and the increasing stress on land from the world’s growing population and changing climate, has driven demand for strengthening tenure security for all. This has created the need for a core set of land indicators that have national application and global comparability, which culminated in the inclusion of indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. Having indicators on land ownership and rights in the SDG framework is an opportunity to routinely generate comparable, sex-disaggregated data to support evidence-based decision making on responsible land governance for sustainable development. The custodians of SDG indicators 1.4.2 (UN-Habitat and the World Bank) and 5.a.1 (FAO) have joined forces to develop a standardized and succinct survey instrument designed to collect the essential data for computation of both indicators simultaneously.