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The winners of the Karyanwayan Prize, the last stage of the UK Aid-funded Adaptation at Scale (A@S) prize, were announced on Thursday 23 May 2019 during an award ceremony at Hotel Himalaya in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Ten non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs) and private sector companies were awarded a total prize purse of £500,000 for developing innovative ways to expand community-driven climate change adaptation initiatives to benefit more communities (‘scale out’) and influence local and provincial policies and programmes (‘scale up’).

Out of over 130 organisations that registered to participate in stage one and two of A@S, 27 submitted their final reports on how they were scaling their climate change adaptation initiatives to help local communities. The reports went through an online judging process, and the best 18 were shortlisted. Thereafter, they made live presentations to a panel of four experts, who have determined the final winners.

‘I was impressed by the work of the prize winners which clearly shows that, if properly motivated, our NGOs and CBOs can increase their ambition and achieve higher climate goals’, said Hon. Mr Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Nepal’s Minister of Forests and Environment, chief guest at the award ceremony. ‘This is very timely since my ministry is finalising Nepal’s national adaptation plan (NAP) and revising our nationally determined contributions (NDCs). In our fight against climate change, we need all stakeholders to develop new ways to work together’.

Winning initiatives range from new technologies and products such as riverbed water level raising and harvesting, hydraulic ram pumps and weather index insurance, to innovative business models. These include ecosystem-based commercial agriculture and innovative agroecosystem-based approaches that integrate adaptation and disaster risk reduction with inclusive forest resources management.

The winners are split across two categories, international and national NGOs and CBOs and local NGOs. Four honorary prizes were also awarded for initiatives that distinguished themselves for excellence across sustainability, technology, inclusion and governance.

The A@S prize winners

INGOs and national NGOs:

  1. Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB) – 1st place, £100,000. Their 'Ecosystem-based Commercial Agriculture' project promotes organic farming, drip irrigation and the development of a public-private community alliance to contribute to an ecosystem-based commercial agriculture approach, which is climate-smart, sustainable and innovative.
  2. Ithaka Institute for Climate Farming – 2nd place, £75,000. As part of their project, 'Building village economies through climate farming and forest gardening', they undertake activities that help farmers cope with extreme weather events, such as the construction of plastic ponds, payment for carbon capture and biochar-based organic farming.
  3. Shikhar Insurance Co. – 3rd place, £50,000. They have introduced in Nepal the weather index insurance which reduces the risk of income loss for farmers and provides them with immediate relief, unlike the traditional crop-based insurance model.

Local NGOs and CBOs:

  1. Community Development & Advocacy Forum Nepal (CDAFN) – 1st place, £100,000. Their project, 'Water Resources Management for Disaster Risk Reduction and Livelihood improvement in Ratu River', aims to tackle food insecurity due to the desertification of water courses by developing multiple use water systems.
  2. Partnership Aid Center (PACE-Nepal) – 2nd place, £ 75,000. Their disaster risk reduction initiatives aim to improve food security of remote communities through the construction of greenhouses, which allow seasonal and nonseasonal vegetable farming and irrigation canals, as well as increase their disaster preparedness through training.
  3. Sundar Nepal Sanstha (Beautiful Nepal Association) – 3rd place, £50,000. They work to improve the economic, health, and nutrition status of households vulnerable to climate change through climate smart agriculture. This includes drip irrigation, integrated pest management and compost as well as the use of eco-friendly technology such as installation of solar-powered pumps to lift water.

Honorary prizes:

  1. Teenjure Raatpokhari Community Forest User Group – £12,500, sustainability award. As part of their 'Own Effort Own Practice for Climate Change Adaptation' initiative, they work with local communities, by engaging them in forest management and water source protection.
  2. Centre for Rural Technology Nepal (CRT/N) – £12,500, technology award. As water sources are drying up, CRT/N supplies water through hydraulic ram pumps. All households are connected through the irrigation pipes and farmers are able to cultivate vegetables throughout the year.
  3. Dalit Welfare Organisation (DWO) – £12,500, inclusion award. DWO works with landless Dalit people, who are considered untouchable in Nepal and are victims of discrimination, by employing them in riverbed farming, which improves their economic status.
  4. Multipurpose Development Society (MPDS) – £12,500, governance award. MPDS provides communities with access to water by building multiple use water systems, so they can irrigate and grow vegetables. They also train communities on smart agriculture techniques such as drip irrigation so they can sell surplus amount in the market and increase their income.
Representatives from ANSAB are awarded the first prize in the INGOs and NGOs category by Hon. Mr Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Nepal’s Minister of Forests and Environment.


The A@S prize was launched in 2015 in Nepal, which was selected due to its high vulnerability to climate change. The prize aimed to improve the ability of local communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change, with a sharp focus on the most vulnerable groups such as poor, women and Dalits, who are traditionally regarded as untouchable. The competition included a first stage, which ended in December 2016 with the award of the Protsahan Prize. This ‘encouragement prize’ was awarded to 15 organisations for their original climate change adaptation ideas. The award of the second stage, the Karyanwayan Prize, marks the end of the A@S prize competition and is the largest cash award made for climate change adaptation achievements in Nepal.

A@S is one of the innovation prize competitions run by the Ideas to Impact programme to stimulate solutions to development challenges, such as access to energy and water, through financial rewards. Ideas to Impact is funded by UK Aid delivered by the Department for International Development (DFID) and is implemented by an IMC Worldwide-led consortium which includes the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Integrated Development Society Nepal (IDS-Nepal), Centre for Green Economic Development Nepal (CGED-Nepal), and the Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS Nepal).

Cover photo: The winners of the Adaptation at Scale prize at the award ceremony on 23 May 2019 in Kathmandu.

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