Translators without Borders: Capacity Building Officer


Contract length: until the end of March 2019, with the possibility of extension/ national post
Hours: Full-time
Location: Maiduguri, Nigeria
Travel: some travel to field locations in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states
Application deadline: 31 December 2018, at 5:00pm Nigeria time

Click here to apply.

About Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders (TWB) envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-registered non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a professional community of translators, building local language translation capacity, and raising awareness of language barriers. Originally founded in 1993 in France (as Traducteurs sans Frontières), TWB translates millions of words of life-saving and life-changing information a year.

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 Capacity-Building Officer will be responsible for adapting, localizing, delivering and monitoring TWB’s training curricula. The Capacity-Building Officer will be expected to train translators, interpreters, field workers and volunteers of humanitarian agencies providing services in northeast Nigeria as well as working to raise awareness of the language barriers present in the response overall.

This role will involve increasing the capacity of translators, interpreters, field workers and volunteers to bridge the communication divide between the affected population and the humanitarians working to serve them by helping them to understand complex humanitarian terminology as well as important cultural and linguistic barriers preventing clear communication with the affected population.

Reporting to: Program Manager

Training development

  • Training needs assessment and training plan development
  • Adapt / localise existing curricula
  • Work with the programme team and to review existing training curriculum
  • Identify improvements to the proposed training curriculum, tools and/or delivery method and as well as working to ensure training materials are appropriate for the local context

Oversee the development of new curricula or modules as needed

Implement all training

Support consolidation of field and desk linguistic research

Training Delivery

  • Support TWB partners in defining specific training plans
  • Take direct responsibility for all training sessions, for example, from participant identification to training delivery, logistical arrangements, ensuring costs are covered, to providing training reports, etc.

Monitoring, evaluation and impact documentation  and ongoing support

  • Contribute to designing and implementing participant, session and project evaluation tools
  • Responsible for tracking all training-related activities
  • Work with the programme team and workshop participants to determine the need for follow-up support.

Other duties as required

  • Ensure timely and accurate reporting to feed into overall project reports in line with donor requirements
  • Document and disseminate best practices, innovations, lessons learned and proven methodologies
  • Contribute other written materials that support TWB needs (brochures, summary project information, etc.)
  • Feed into TWB’s advocacy and communication efforts as needed
  • Maintain open and professional relationships with the internal TWB team, TWB volunteers, and partners
  • Any reasonable duty requested by the line manager

The role will evolve along with the overall project to reflect the changing language needs of the affected population and humanitarian community in the emergency response as needed.

The Capacity Building Officer should be a creative self-starter with a strong sense of initiative, who is enthusiastic about the importance of increasing access to knowledge through language. The right candidate is an energetic team player who agrees with TWB´s Core Values and who can work both individually and as part of a team.

  • Able to innovate to find creative solutions
  • Willing to explore new technologies
  • Active listener, diplomatic and solution-oriented
  • Previous experience with non-profit organizations, particularly in development and/or disaster relief, is a plus


  • Degree (or recognized formal qualifications) in education
  • 3+ years of demonstrated experience delivering training and facilitation in a linguistically diverse environment
  • Fluent command of Hausa and English required,
  • Knowledge of Kanuri and other languages of northeast Nigeria a plus
  • Willingness to travel to insecure locations for work
  • Experience delivering Training of Trainers (ToT) content
  • Formal teaching experience a plus
  • Demonstrated community outreach a plus
  • Track record of working with small teams
  • Familiarity with the translation, language or content industries 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.

NOTE: Translators without Borders is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion, and encourages qualified candidates of all genders and from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization.


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