Second Administrative Level Boundaries

Geospatial Information Section & Statistics Division



Launched in 2001, the SALB initiative started under the impulse of the United Nations Geographic Information Working Group (UNGIWG) and was initially led and implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO). The overall concept, methodology and objectives were elaborated during this period and the initiative allowed starting the collection of SALB GIS datasets and historical changes as well as National Geospatial Information Authorities contact details.

The SALB programme wishes to thank all of several UN and non-UN institutions, projects, commissions, committee or networks without whom SALB would not exist.

Current leadership

In 2011, SALB was transferred under the leadership of the United Nations Secretariat and jointly managed by the Geospatial Information Section, formerly Cartographic Section, of the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) and the Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). These offices are also responsible to act as the Secretariat (See Annex of resolution 2011/89, para 6) for the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).

SALB regional partners

The SALB programme relies on 5 main continental-based regional partners which play a crucial role at all stage of the process by providing advocacy, technical support, data processing, contact details updates and allow for a close cooperation with the National Geospatial/Mapping Agencies responsible for administrative boundaries and names.

The 5 regional partners of SALB are:

For Africa: Economic Commission for Africa of the United Nations, Geo-information Systems Section

For Asia & Pacific: To be determined
For the Americas: Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia (IPGH)
email: /
For Arab States: To be determined
For Europe: EuroGeographics 

National Mapping Agencies

The National Mapping Agencies are at the core of the SALB programme as they provide the authoritative source information on administrative boundaries. The SALB programme is merely a conduit which allows the authoritative information on administrative boundaries and names to be collected, compiled and disseminated to the international community.

SALB wishes to thank all the participating National Mapping Agencies for their contribution at all steps including technical guidance, multi-lateral cooperation, advocacy on geospatial information and data contributions.

Network of agencies, sponsors and partners

SALB is and has been supported by over 50 institutions including:

  • Other UN agencies such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN);
  • Global or Regional Committees/initiatives such as the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM), the Permanent Committee on Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Americas (PC-IDEA), the Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia & the Pacific (PCGIAP) and the Committee on Development Information, Science and Technology (CODIST).
  • Non-governmental organizations such as the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • Governmental institutions such as the U.S. State Department
  • Other academic institutions such as Columbia or Yale University

News and Status

The SALB programme of the United Nations and the Instituto Pan-American Insitute of Geography and History discussed a partnership toward the...

UNFPA organized capacity strengthening workshops on mapping spatial access to health facilities, Geospatial...

Responding to the invitation of the Bureau of UNGEGN to make a special presentation on the SALB programme and its ongoing activities, the...

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