Even before COVID-19 hit the Sahel region, 2020 was a difficult year for Niger: Armed conflicts in bordering areas, floods and the impact of climate change exacerbated food insecurity for millions of the country’s most vulnerable people, particularly women and children.
Nestled in the south east, Diffa is home to several refugee settlements because of sporadic violence spilling out over the border. The region’s volatility makes it challenging to plan for and provide food assistance effectively. WFP’s Fast IT Telecommunications Emergency and Support Team (FITTEST) Digital Assistance Surge (DAS) were called on in 2020 to implement a more flexible and context-driven approach to biometric registration and cash disbursements in Diffa.
Working side-by-side with WFP in Niger and partners including UNHCR and Action Pour le Bien-Être (APBE), Stephen Mwenda - a FITTEST DAS specialist - made sure field personnel were trained and ready to carry out SCOPE registrations. The impact of FITTEST DAS in Diffa is evident: registration time dropped from seven to five days, speeding up access to life saving assistance for people in need while bolstering programme accountability.
FITTEST digital assistance services are designed to work with and expand existing programmes, providing robust technology solutions that are context-driven and result-orientated.