Fast IT & Telecoms Emergency & Support Team

The Fast Information Technology and Telecommunications Emergency and Support Team (FITTEST) establishes information and communication systems and services where they have been disrupted by disasters such as wars, earthquakes and floods. With over 15 years of experience in humanitarian emergencies, FITTEST is called upon by the entire United Nations and humanitarian community to respond in critical situations within 24 hours.

FITTEST is a team of IT, telecommunications and electrical specialists from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) that assist the humanitarian community in establishing and maintaining IT infrastructure systems.

The team consists of technical specialists who are experts in their respective fields. In addition to their practical knowledge and experience, because FITTEST arrive at the onset of an emergency, each team member is prepared for the often harsh and hostile situations that they are required to work in.

Services

FITTEST offers a range of IT services which are customised to provide the most effective and efficient solution for the operation. Common services provided by FITTEST include:

  • Project Management
  • Consultancy Services
  • Training 
  • Equipment

For information on engaging FITTEST services, visit: Global Humanitarian Services

VIDEO: FITTEST are our heroes

For over 15 years, FITTEST has been on the frontlines of humanitarian disaster response. This team of technical specialists from WFP establishes the vital IT connections needed by the humanitarian community to coordinate its life-saving operations.

Because they arrive at the onset of an emergency, FITTEST members are often required to work in extremely harsh and hostile situations; sometimes for months at a time. Think of being dropped by a helicopter in an insecure and isolated area after a major earthquake - where there is no shelter, no water, and no electricity - and having to start-up a full-functioning IT operation...

To recognise the unwavering dedication and bravery of the team, this short film was created.

Case Study: Haiti earthquake emergency, 2010

Less than 24 hours after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, FITTEST personnel were deployed from Dubai to respond to the emergency. The team members were equipped with ‘Fly-away kits’ which contained all equipment necessary to establish a functional office. In the weeks after the emergency, in collaboration with Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) partner organisations such as MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) and Télécoms Sans Frontières, FITTEST established wireless internet connectivity, two radio networks and 24-hour radio rooms across Haiti. FITTEST also installed satellite equipment for voice communication and established an IT Help Desk to provide technical assistance.

In addition, more than four tons of IT equipment, including handheld radios, satellite phones, laptops and generators were sent to Haiti and support operations in the Dominican Republic. Over 50 NGOs and UN agencies were utilising the network and the IT Help Desk was being approached by more than 130 individual users each day. The security telecommunications system provided by FITTEST was used by over 1000 humanitarian aid workers so that they could efficiently provide food, medicine and care to the earthquake survivors.

The initial emergency intervention in Haiti was funded through the corporate partnership between the Vodafone Foundation, the United Nations Foundation and the World Food Programme.