2022 UN Big Data Hackathon

We need your help in developing ideas and solutions to address the Global challenges and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Rising energy prices are accelerating the cost-of-living crisis and sustaining the vicious cycle of constrained household budgets, food insecurity, energy poverty, and rising social unrest. Now more than ever we need to double our efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. If you want to help and you have some data science skills, you can sign up with a team of 3 to 5 persons. We will make data sets and a coding environment available to you. You just come with ideas and enthusiasm.

Previous Hackathons

Interested in Privacy Enhancing Techniques?

The United Nations Privacy-Enhancing Technologies Lab, known as the PET Lab, will be running a third hackathon stream for the first time this year. The PET stream will take the form of a typical data science competition, such as those on the Kaggle or DrivenData platforms, but with one special new characteristic: participants will interact with training data only via privacy-enhancing technologies. For more information, check the UN PET Lab Hackathon page.

Following the AIS Big Data hackathon of 2020 hosted by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) , UNCTAD, UN Global Pulse, Marine Traffic, and CCRi, and the UN Youth Hackathon of 2021 hosted by the UNSD, MGCY, and UNGP regional hubs, this year, The United Nations Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics (UNCEBD), Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) and Statistics Indonesia (BPS), is hosting the "2022 UN Big Data Hackathon". It is jointly organized by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), Global Platform Regional Hubs (Rwanda, UAE, Brazil & China), UN Global Pulse, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), UK ONS Data Science Campus, Statistics Canada, and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in consultation with the members of the Task Teams of UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science.

The 2022 UN Big Data Hackathon will happen over the course of 4 days (November 8-9-10-11 2022). It will consist of two tracks; the 'Big Data Expert' track and the 'Youth' track.

The 'Big Data expert' track will bring together teams of Big Data experts, whereas the 'Youth' track will be targeting teams of students or young professionals (under the age of 32). Both tracks can either apply to attend the event in person in Indonesia, UAE, Rwanda, and Brazil (with other on-sites being considered) or virtually.

The Hackathon aims at developing ideas and solutions to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and assist in resolving Global challenges, in line with a theme that will be revealed closer to the event dates.

Registrations should preferably be done as a team of 3 to 5 people. Individual registrations will be sorted and assigned into teams based on the application form and skill levels. Please fill out this survey ONCE for the whole team before September 21, 2022. The selected participants will be announced on September 26, 2022.

Follow the link below to register for the UN Big Data Hackathon: https://input.un.org/EFM/se/3995D1A40525E4CE

To join the webinars and receive all updates regarding the Hackathon, please click here to join the mailing list.

For any questions or concerns, please check out the FAQ below or reach out to us at: un-big-data-hackathon@unmgcy.org

Hackathon Theme

Using Big Data and Data Science to develop ideas and solutions to address Global Challenges and help achieve Sustainable Development Goals; notably to support policies caused by:

  • The disruption to Global Value Chains and Economic Globalization due to disasters, conflicts, restrictions, blockages
  • The impact of Climate Change on society as part of monitoring SDG 13
  • Rising food and energy prices affecting vicious cycles of poverty, hunger, and inequalities

Submission Instructions

Teams must submit the following deliverables before November 11th, 2:00 PM Yogyakarta Time (UTC+7).

  • Presentation explaining the solution (free format)
  • Video with a maximum length of 10 minutes
  • Coding scripts

Teams should submit the expected outcomes in the SharePoint folder that we have created for each team. The access link to each team's folder has been sent to each team leader by email. Please contact us if you did not receive the link.


The winning teams will present their work at the UN World Data Forum in Hangzhou, China in 2023 and receive certificates and rewards.

Certificates will be provided for all participants in both tracks and special mentions will be made for teams based on different categories.

Other exciting prizes to be announced soon.


  • 15 Aug

    Call for Applications

    Applications for the Hackathon will start being accepted. Please follow this page and our socials for more updates.

  • 29 Aug

    Introduction to the UN Big Data Hackathon Webinardownload presentation

    Find out what the UN Big Data Hackathon is all about and learn about advancements in Big Data analysis.

  • 9 Sep

    Youth and the Sustainable Development Goals Webinardownload presentation

    Use of Big Data to accelerate the progress of SDG Implementation and youth involvement in Big Data

  • 21 Sep

    Deadline for applications

    The deadline has been extended and applications are now due at 12:00pm (EST) on 21 September 2022.

  • 26 Sep

    Selected participants are notified

    Selected participants were notified.

    50 teams consisting of 339 individuals were selected for the Big Data experts track.

    379 teams consisting of 1171 individuals were selected for the Youth track.

  • 10 Oct

    Big Data Sources and Analysis Webinardownload presentation

    Understanding the UN Big Data sources (AIS data, Geospatial Data, etc.)

  • 31 Oct

    Pre-Hackathon Webinardownload presentation

    Pre-Hackathon Training, Theme Reveal, Introduction to the UN Global Platform, logistics and expected outcomes

  • 8 Nov

    11 Nov

    UN Big Data Hackathon

    Access to Global Platform (or making datasets downloadable)

  • 29 Dec

  • 10 Feb

    2022 UN Big Data Hackathon Closing Ceremony

Frequently Asked Questions

Besides the age group, the Big Data Expert track will be granted access to the UN Global Platform containing AIS (ships tracking movement), Ships register, and Comtrade datasets (please note that some other datasets may be added). To demonstrate their data skills, the big data teams must utilise those datasets in their projects/solutions. Further, the big data tracks are more competitive because the number of selected teams in the Big Data Expert track will be limited to around twenty.
In-person attendance is not a requirement because the Hackathons can be done virtually. However, the in-person teams will benefit from networking and additional in-person events such as workshops and the Big data conference in Indonesia. The detailed programme in each location will be announced in due time.
The funding is limited and mostly intended for data scientists working in national statistical offices.
Yes, but those channels are reserved for the selected teams. For now, any inquiries can be sent to un-big-data-hackathon@unmgcy.org
Global Challenges and the Importance of Relevant and Timely Data
7th International Conference on
Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics

Yogyakarta, Indonesia 7-11 November 2022 #UNBigData2022