Translators Without Borders: Consultant – Research on language and communication barriers when Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in northeast Nigeria

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The mission of Translators without Borders is to provide people with access to vital knowledge in their language. We do this by building language technology, increasing language translation capacity at a local level, providing language and simplification services that are culturally appropriate, accessible and open source, and raising awareness globally of language barriers.

Contract length: Up to 40 days between July – September 2019
Travel: One or two trips to northeast Nigeria (maximum 40 days)
Application deadline: 13 June 2019

Click here to apply, presenting CV(s) and a technical proposal outlining the proposed methodology, preliminary work plan and total budget. The budget should be broken down in the different budgetary posts and the daily fees should be clearly identifiable.

About Translators without Borders
The mission of Translators without Borders is to provide people with access to vital knowledge in their language.  We do this by building language technology, increasing language translation capacity at a local level, providing language and simplification services that are culturally appropriate, accessible and open source, and raising awareness globally of language barriers.

Background
TWB has identified critical language gaps in the humanitarian response in northeast Nigeria:

  • One third of internally displaced people lack information in their language: Hausa is not enough.
  • Widespread communication gaps compromise data quality.
  • Reliance on written communication excludes vulnerable groups.

To address these gaps TWB has been working in northeast Nigeria since April 2018 bringing innovative language and communication services to humanitarian actors.

TWB’s program strategy focuses on these five areas:

  • Collect data to inform communication strategies. In such a diverse language community, language data is key. TWB maintains a dashboard of language data and supports data collection and analysis. We test comprehension to provide guidance on communicating with a specific group.
  • Promote accountability through two-way communication in the right languages. TWB helps tailor community feedback mechanisms to the language and communication needs of the most vulnerable.
  • Reduce confusion with multilingual terminology databases. Agreed terminology in key languages supports consistent, accurate translation and interpreting. TWB’s sectoral glossaries are available for free on a mobile web app with offline and audio capability.
  • Train interpreters and field workers. Training in the basics of interpreting limits information loss and aids confidential, ethical support services. Language training for data collectors and program staff promotes data quality and program impact.
  • Improve understanding with plain language, translation, and audio. Clear content in plain language using pictures and audio benefits the widest audience. TWB provides plain language training and editing. We offer written and audio translations, and support pictorial messaging.

Project

TWB is part of a two-year DFID-funded protection project, ProSPINE+ that has started in April 2019. The project is implemented by a consortium of partners and aims to improve the level of protection of vulnerable individuals in northeast Nigeria and to ensure that people receive timely support when they experience harm. The project is implemented in 274 communities in 36 local government areas (22 in Borno with 183 communities, 5 in Adamawa with 68 communities, and 9 in Yobe with 23 communities).

The main activities of the project are:

  • Meeting the urgent protection needs of affected populations, especially children, survivors of GBV and people with disabilities
  • Sensitizing communities about their rights and availability of services
  • Empowering communities to take action on protection issues
  • Supporting communities to protect themselves better from the dangers  of explosive remnants of war
  • Increasing access to livelihood opportunities to reduce the use the of negative coping mechanisms
  • Sensitizing key stakeholders on the laws to protect civilians
  • Improving the safety of services and structures of humanitarian organizations
  • Strengthening the capacity of the humanitarian community for rapid humanitarian response
  • Conducting a conflict sensitivity study for northeast Nigeria

Within this project TWB has committed to undertaking a research on language and communication barriers in preventing sexual exploitation and violence.

Role
The team of consultant(s) will lead this research, including:

  • Work closely with TWB relevant staff members to design the most innovative and appropriate methodology for this research.
  • Consult the relevant actors in Nigeria to ensure the proposed approach is locally relevant.
  • Mobilize, manage and train a team of local researchers, data collectors, etc. with logistical and language support from the TWB team in Maiduguri.

The team of consultant(s) will be expected to:

  • Review the current context of communication practices and material used to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse in three northeastern states of Nigeria (Borno, Yobe and Adamawa). Identify potential language barriers in addressing the topic of sexual exploitation and abuse and effective and culturally acceptable means to overcome them.
  • Develop an evidence base from which to understand the languages challenges linked to (1) how communities receive information on sexual exploitation and abuse, (2) are empowered to  refuse such exploitation and abuse and report it, and (3) participate in investigations and receive information on the measures taken as a result of their reporting. This will include, and mainly be based on, evidence from other countries.
  • Recommendations for local and international actors to improve the design and implementation of programs and actions to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse with respect to language. This would focus on practical solution-focused suggestions geared towards community engagement. This will involve conducting formative research involving the relevant actors from the affected communities, humanitarian organizations and others as necessary.
  • Organize and facilitate an initial feedback workshop presenting preliminary results at the end of the field work.

Outputs

  • Detailed methodology, proposed tools and workplan for validation by TWB.
  • A 20-page maximum editable report with programmatic recommendations and visual representation of findings. The consultant’s report will be an internal TWB report. TWB reserves the right to edit and design it before publication.
  • A proposed set of appropriate communication materials and an outline of approaches to improve the design and implementation of programs and actions to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, for pre-identified partners to field test.
  • Datasets, questionnaires, transcripts and all other relevant information.

Proposed overarching question

How can language and communication contribute to better prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in northeast Nigeria?

Proposed sub questions

How can communicating in the most appropriate languages and formats help empower communities to play a proactive role in preventing sexual exploitation and abuse?

What language and communication practices could TWB recommend to minimise future language challenges in preventing of sexual exploitation and abuse?

Timeframe:

40 working days between July and September 2019 with a possibility of extension

NB: The exact dates may be subject to slight changes.

Inception phase (approx 8 days)

  • Develop a research outline detailing the methodology and schedule for the research, getting internal ethics approval if necessary.
  • Initial desk review of relevant project documentation, reports, and secondary data.
  • Inception report writing, submission and review by TWB

There is significant space for creativity and TWB is interested in exploring different ideas on the methodology or format of this research. The consultant will propose final framework for TWBs approval at the end of the inception phase.

TWB reserves the right not to accept the inception report in which case the assignment will not go beyond the agreed days of the inception phase.

Data gathering and analysis phase (approx 20 days)

  • Quantitative and/or qualitative data collection through fieldwork in northeast Nigeria (this may be done in two phases). Some interviews may also be carried out in Abuja to complement field research. This should include a validation workshop.
  • Remote information gathering.
  • Formative research.
  • Data analysis

Report writing phase (approx 12 days)

  • Preliminary results presentation workshop
  • Report writing: version 1 for TWB feedback, version 2 to take feedback into account
  • PSEA communication tools development: version 1 for TWB feedback, version 2 to take feedback into account

Profile
The team of consultant(s) is composed of at least a confirmed researcher with practical experience of the protection, prevention of gender-based violence, and/or accountability to affected population sectors in humanitarian or development settings, a very good understanding of the humanitarian sector, and a strong sense of initiative.

Requirements

  • 5+ years in the protection and or accountability to affected population field, with humanitarian experience
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing qualitative and quantitative field-based research
  • Demonstrated high-quality research publication record
  • Demonstrated understanding of prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in challenging protection contexts, and awareness of the impact language can have
  • Excellent English writing skills
  • Excellent qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills
  • Ability to work remotely without significant support
  • Ability to travel to northeast Nigeria for up to 3 weeks
  • Spoken Hausa, Kanuri, Fufulde, or Shuwa-Arabic an advantage but not essential
  • Master’s degree or higher in one of the following fields: communication for development, development science, social sciences or other relevant international field

Logistical and financial arrangements
The country office will support the researcher especially with the partner liaison, collection of existing PSEA materials, and arranging the logistical aspects of the field work.

For budgeting purposes please note the following:

  • The consultant(s) are expected to choose the most cost-effective travel option.
  • TWB will cover the expenses for in-country travel and accommodation. These need not be included in the budget.
  • TWB can also choose to make international travel arrangements depending on the circumstances at the time of contracting.

Core Values
Translators without Borders employees and volunteers are 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.


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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