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  • Program Manager at Translators without Borders (TWB)

  • Posted on: 22 November, 2018 Deadline: 11 December, 2018
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  • Translators without Borders is a unique non-profit organization that helps humanitarian organizations communicate more effectively with vulnerable populations in the right languages. TWB created the first translation and language program specifically for crisis response and is now deploying that program in northeast Nigeria.

    We are recruiting to fill the position below:

    Program Manager


    Reporting to: Nigeria Country Director

    Department: Crisis Response

    Contract length: until the end of March 2019, with the possibility of extension

    Travel: Occasional short travels to field locations.


    TWB conducted an initial assessment of language support needs in the humanitarian response in north-east Nigeria in July 2017. This found very significant levels of need: in a context where people affected by the conflict and food crisis speak dozens of first languages, humanitarian communication is overwhelmingly in English and Hausa.

    Organizations lack basic information about the languages spoken and understood by affected people, and struggle to hire either language professionals or national staff and volunteers with the right language skills. Humanitarian staff voiced fears for the impact this could have on the accuracy of needs assessments, the effectiveness of program design, accountability, and conflict sensitivity. So far TWB has developed a protection, mental health and psychosocial support and camp coordination and camp management glossary apps, conducted comprehension testing with IDPs, enumerators, and field staff, worked with partners on collecting and mapping language data, carried out trainings on the basics of interpreting and is piloting a multilingual feedback mechanism.

    There is still much to do to fully understand how language barriers affect data collection, two way communication between crisis affected people and humanitarian agencies, and access to services. The research planned over the coming months includes better understanding the impact of language on service accessibility, the effectiveness and limitations of multi-lingual audio messaging, and the relevance of language in enabling crisis affected people to express their needs.

    The Role

    • The Program Manager (PM) supports designing TWB’s program plans, ensuring program quality and coherence.
    • The PM is responsible for implementing TWB’s program in northeast Nigeria.
    • S/he will also contribute to proposal writing and fundraising, financial and people management, and innovative and scalable research and learning.


    Design, implementation and monitoring of program activities:

    • Develop mutually beneficial partnerships/projects with humanitarian agencies to provide them with language services and advice and liaise with all concerned (including internally) to ensure timely high-quality delivery.
    • Contribute to developing, revising and adapting proposals.
    • Coordinate the daily management, ensure delivery and monitoring of all activities agreed with partners and donors. This will include liaising with specialized global team (translation team, editor, tech team, etc…) for the activities under the PM’s direct responsibility, producing CWCs outputs (written, audiovisual, etc).
    • Input into the design of a strategy for developing and maintaining a community of translators, interpreters, and cultural mediators for the key languages of the humanitarian response.

    Fundraising, financial and human resources management:

    • Actively support proposals writing, identify funding opportunities and network with partners and donors with a view to submitting funding proposals.
    • Proactively seek opportunities to expand the depth and breadth of the project in response to need, and relay information to the Country Director to that end.
    • Monitor and manage delegated budget lines in compliance with TWB and donor requirements.
    • Recruit, manage and coach the team of Hausa, Kanuri, Fulfulde, Shuwa Arabic, Marghi and Bura team leaders.
    • Maintain open and professional relationships with the internal TWB team, TWB volunteers, partner agencies and donors.
    • Contribute to a positive, innovative and supportive work environment.

    Humanitarian Liaison and Coordination:

    • Proactively contribute to TWB’s advocacy and communication efforts as needed in close collaboration with the Country Director.
    • Represent TWB, engage with humanitarian coordination and strategy development, using existing evidence to ensure that issues relating to language are taken on board in key decisions, including around the Humanitarian Response Plan and any forthcoming UN appeals.
    • Liaise with organizations to ensure that language is factored in with TWB’s support.


    • Provide TWB’s contribution to the programme updates and other required reports.
    • Document project activities.
    • Ensure TWB complies with donor reporting requirements, including writing narrative reports and working with the finance team to prepare financial reports.


    • The Program Manager should be a creative self-starter with a strong sense of initiative, experienced in CwC humanitarian programming and enthusiastic about the importance of increasing access to information through language.
    • The right candidate is an energetic team player who agrees with TWB´s basic beliefs and values and who can work virtually with team members based throughout the world.


    • Relevant university degree
    • 4+ years of project design and management experience, with at least 2 years in the humanitarian sector
    • Demonstrated experience of CwC work at field level
    • International humanitarian experience
    • Demonstrated listening and advising skills
    • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English
    • Representation and coordination experience a plus
    • Demonstrated experience of leading and managing high performing program teams a plus
    • Media production experience a plus
    • Training or research skills and experience a plus
    • Interpreting or translation experience a plus.

    Core Values:

    Translators without Borders employees and volunteers are made of people who believe passionately about the value of this work and take personal responsibility for achieving the mission. Translators without Borders’ mission and organizational spirit embody the core values established in its strategic framework:

    • Excellence: As the leading voice for communicating humanitarian information in the right language, Translators without Borders is a leader in the translation industry and in the non-profit sector.
    • Integrity: Translators without Borders believes that every person, whether it is the people who we serve, our volunteers or our staff, has value, deserves respect and has inherent dignity.
    • Empowerment: Translators without Borders believes in using language to empower people around the world to control their own development and destiny.
    • Innovation: Translators without Borders recognizes and celebrates the power of innovation to address humanitarian and crisis issues around the world.
    • Sustainability: Translators without Borders recognizes that meeting our mission necessitates establishment and maintenance of a solid financial and organizational infrastructure.
    • Tolerance: Our staff and volunteers are highly knowledgeable and skilled; value each other, our partner and our recipients; create a supportive work environment; and, conduct themselves professionally at all times.

    Method of Application

    Use the link(s) below to apply on company website.

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