UNDP Accelerator Lab Thailand

UNDP Accelerator Lab Thailand

Background & Development Challenges

Because of the speed, dynamics, and complexity of today’s challenges, traditional development practices are no longer sufficient. In this time of polycrises, best practices do not always exist. We need to learn what works and what doesn’t for sustainable development problems. And we need to learn fast and stay curious. The UNDP Accelerator Labs were created to accelerate learning on sustainable development, testing new ways of working to address social and environmental challenges, and creating a new capability for decision-makers and stakeholders to explore, experiment, and grow portfolios of mutually reinforcing solutions to tackle today’s challenges. The network of 60 Accelerator Labs was created in 2019 and expanded to 31 new Labs in 2021, totaling 91 Labs.


• To increase capability of UNDP and partners for scanning, sensemaking and experimentation for sustainable development solutions
• To develop and scale new sustainable development solutions as part of UNDP Thailand programme and operations, national policy, and local markets.
• To share learning and strengthen innovation ecosystems at the national and subnational level of Thailand.

Signature Solutions: UNDP Strategic Plan 2020-2025

  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Governance
  • Resilience
  • Environment
  • Gender Equality

Project Details

  • Status: Ongoing
  • Duration: June 2021 - December 2024
  • Geographic coverage: Nationwide with strong engagement in Chiang Rai, Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri and Bangkok
  • Project Office: UNDP in Thailand
  • Focus Area: Social innovation, local innovation, sustainable tourism, disability inclusion, air pollution
  • Collaborating Partners: Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), Local Alike, Nutty's Adventures ALC, Millenium Institute, Mae Fah Luang Foundation, TK Park
  • Total project budget: USD 100,000 x 4 years (until 2024)
  • Donors: Government of of Germany, the Qatar Fund for Development, and UNDP core donors


Expected Results

Learning network on sustainable development that surfaces and reinforces locally developed innovative solutions at scale while mobilizing a wide and dynamic partnership of actors contributing knowledge, resources, and experience to address priority issues of the country.

Key Achievements 

Flagship initiatives: Co-create innovative solutions on priority challenges including air pollution, sustainable tourism, disability inclusion, and digital transformation.
• Co-creating innovations with youth and communities in Chiang Rai to tackle air pollution through approaches like prototyping agroforestry fire barriers, developing highland reservoirs for improved firefighting, and creating behavior change models and funds to incentivize sustainability.
• Advancing sustainable community-based tourism by engaging stakeholders across sectors, prototyping various community initiatives around biodiversity, circularity and sustainability, and developing a comprehensive Community-Based Tourism Social Innovation Playbook to share tools and processes globally.
• Fostering inclusive tourism by engaging persons with disabilities and local communities in the co-creation and prototyping process to set an exmaple of user-centric solutions and the shift of mindset towards inclusivity.
• Catalyzing inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities via organizing an immersive accessibility challenge to experience obstacles faced using public transit, leading to infrastructure improvements. Also co-creating adaptive sports prototypes through the 'Allympic' challenge to nurture social inclusion and friendship between people with and without disabilities.
• Providing crucial support for Thailand's digital governance transformation through launching an impactful and well-received report on 'Digital Transformation in the Thai Government' in collaboration with UK's ASEAN Economic Reform Programme. Additionally, pioneering an online civic participation platform to empower inclusive citizen engagement in governance through features like participatory budgeting.
Integrating social innovation: Facilitate the integration of social innovation methodologies into diverse UNDP's projects to uncover root causes, shift perspectives, foster multi-sectoral collaboration, and co-create people-centered solutions on pressing issues like human security, sustainable food systems, climate action and wildlife protection.
Innovation capacity building: Build critical innovation capabilities of government officials, executives, and partner organizations both at national and local levels through interactive workshops and training programmes on approaches like system thinking, human-centered design, co-creation, among others.


Number of pilot provinces

Chiang Rai, Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, Sakon Nakhon, Sukhothai, Suphaburi, Nong Khai, Bangkok


Number of pilot solutions

Air pollution, Sustainable tourism, Disability inclusion, Illegal wildlife trade, Food systems


Number of teams joining innovation challenges


Number of awardees


Total amount of awards: THB 485,000