The 21st century problems are complex, multi-layered and interconnected. In order to address the wicked development challenges of today, we need to deep dive and accelerate solutions that would help achieve systemic transformation. The Accelerator Labs network aims to do just that by being agile, human-centric and creative.
Accelerator Lab Nepal is part of the 91 lab networks supporting 115 countries worldwide.
The Accelerator Lab Nepal is focusing on 2 frontier challenges:
Urbanization is a major developmental issue in Nepal with its urbanization rate accelerating at 7% on an annual basis (World Bank, 2019). The Capital city, Kathmandu, is being one of the densely populated and highly polluted city is already facing environmental problem of not having intermittent open spaces, greeneries, proper waste management, traffic congestions and many other urban issues. Likewise, other major cities of the country are also lacking resources distribution, resilient settlements, affordable and safe housing, management of waste along with several other issues. This phenomenon of rapid urbanization has resulted in rising air pollution, rising level of waste in landfills, mismanagement of solid waste and many more. Hence, Accelerator Lab in Nepal has been actively working on mapping local solutions and explorations on this frontier challenge since August 2019. We have been able to create research-based portfolio of experiments in the key areas of utilization of public spaces, parks and greeneries, solid waste management, addressing plastic pollution etc.
Over 63.7% of the total population in Nepal is below the age of 30. The unemployment rate for youth aged 15-29 is 19.2% compared to 2.7% for the whole population. Over 400,000 young people are estimated to enter the labor force each year (ILO, 2020). These quantitative figures indicate the dimension of the employment challenge in Nepal. Post COVID-19, the job market has been hit the hardest leaving 3 out of 5 people unemployed (UNDP, 2020). The UNDP Accelerator Lab Nepal has been actively working on this frontier challenge through mapping of local solutions, exploration and portfolio of experiments in the key areas of entrepreneurship eco-system development, skills mapping and job matching etc.