Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans (SCALA) 

SCALA Hackathon 2023 – Asia and the Pacific

Virtual Event, 15/02/2023


The FAO-UNDP SCALA programme hosted a Hackathon for young tech innovators and social impact business owners interested in working on sustainability issues in the agriculture and land use sectors.

The Hackathon was open to individuals between the ages of 16-35, residing in the Asia and the Pacific. The Hackathon was held as a 2-day virtual event, with a Bootcamp on Friday, 3 February and the Pitch Day on Wednesday, 15 February 2023, with mentoring sessions during the week in between.

At the Bootcamp, selected teams were trained on topics such as human-centered design thinking, storytelling, pitching ideas, and so on, and worked on finding cutting-edge and ingenious solutions to the challenges provided to them.

To learn more about the Hackathon event and the winning team, check out this web story.

What was the focus of the Hackathon?

The overarching objective of the SCALA Hackathon was to find innovative digital and non-digital solutions that harness the power of technology to improve land use and agriculture sectors to achieve climate resilience and contribute towards climate adaptation goals in Asia and the Pacific countries’ climate plans, such as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Participants were provided case studies highlighting the challenges in the context of Cambodia, Mongolia, Nepal and Thailand’s during the SCALA Hackathon Bootcamp. The SCALA Hackathon encouraged participants from across Asia and the Pacific to find innovative digital and non-digital solutions to the current challenges facing the agriculture and land use sectors in these SCALA countries across the region.

The Hackathon aimed to encourage participants to:

  1. Think critically to design practical and innovative products/solutions with the potential to address the challenge(s) facing the agriculture and land use sectors in Asia. 
  2. Identify product/solutions that can empower smallholder farmers in Asian countries to improve on-farm climate resilience and help them access financial resources, to adopt on-farm climate resilience measures.

Expected outcomes from the Hackathon:

  1. Innovative products/solutions to support the identification and appraisal of transformative actions for agriculture and land use to advance country climate plans.
  2. Innovative products/solutions to support the integration of agriculture and land use sectors' climate-related priorities into national, local, and sectoral plans and budgets.
  3. Innovative products/solutions to support the mobilization of private sector investment and finance.

The prizes!

  1. All selected participants/teams were presented with a certificate of participation.
  2. The participating teams were featured on the FAO and UNDP SCALA websites. The winning team was given the opportunity to be interviewed for a special edition article.
  3. A financial grant was given to the winning team and also an opportunity to present their idea at the next SCALA Global Exchange in November 2023. Watch this space for more information!
  4. The team had the chance to connect with other teams from different countries and benefit from expert feedback and mentoring for their ideas and solutions during and after the hackathon event to help mature and scale them.