Translators Without Borders: Protection Officer


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: 6 months, with a possibility of extension
Hours: Full-time
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Travel: some travel in northeast Nigeria
Reporting to: Program Director
Application deadline: 2 June 2019

Click here to apply 

Due to the urgency of the vacancy, shortlisting will be done on a rolling basis and if the ideal candidate is identified before the closing date, TWB reserves the right to close the recruitment before the application deadline.

About Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders (TWB) envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-based non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a community of language professionals, 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 every year.

TWB has been researching language barriers in the response since July 2017, identifying critical gaps:

  • 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 innovation 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.

The Protection Officer will ensure the timely and quality delivery of the protection-related project activities under the supervision of the Program Manager and in close collaboration with the Language Services Coordinator’s team. The post holder will ensure that TWB’s support to partner organizations effectively and innovatively improves multilingual communication in protection programming.


Project implementation

  • Plan, organize and deliver TWB’s protection or protection mainstreaming activities in the northeast Nigeria humanitarian response
  • Analyze and support partners to improve the accessibility of their protection programs in northeast Nigeria from a language perspective; this will include but not be limited to reporting mechanisms and feedback loops.
  • Lead and/or contribute to terminology tools development for protection and protection-related
  • Support interpreter trainings to help interpreters understand aspects of their work related to protection.
  • Proactively contribute to identifying potential areas for continuous programmatic innovation in the field of language and protection
  • Ensure TWB complies with donor reporting requirements, including writing narrative reports.

Coordination, representation and awareness raising

  • Represent TWB during sector, sub-sector and working groups meetings as and if requested to ensure that appropriate multilingual communication is systematically taken into account throughout the programming cycle.
  • Organise, deliver and/or contribute to training and other capacity building initiatives on language, communication and protection programming for TWB staff and/or partners.

Evidence and impact

  • Support research on languages and communication in the areas of gender, gender based violence, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, child protection, accountability to affected population and other protection-related topics
  • Ensure that the protection sector gathers and analyses language data to inform its understanding of language-related vulnerability.
  • Contribute to regular and effective monitoring of project activities and document best practices and lessons learnt.
  • Lead on, or contribute to, impact measuring and communication thereof.


  • 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
  • Any other duties relevant to the job description as needed

The role will evolve during the course of the initial deployment as projects and activities develop so flexibility and the willingness to adapt to constantly changing circumstances is important.


  • First-level university degree
  • At least 2 years previous experience in a protection (officer) role for a humanitarian organization in Nigeria
  • Excellent knowledge of international protection standards
  • Excellent understanding of cultural, religious and political context of northeast Nigeria
  • Excellent understanding of conflict-sensitivity and gender issues
  • Fluency in Hausa, knowledge of an additional local language spoken in northeast Nigeria a plus
  • Strong written and spoken English
  • Strong computer literacy (MS Word, Email, etc.)
  • Willingness and ability to travel within Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, including overnight stays

Essential Aptitude

  • Ability to demonstrate initiative, be proactive and offer a solution-oriented approach
  • Determined and committed to high-quality standards with attention to detail
  • Ability to establish effective working relationships at all levels internally and externally
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to prioritize work, meet deadlines and work calmly under pressure
  • Self-motivated, flexible and enthusiastic approach to work
  • Resourcefulness and ability to innovate to find creative solutions
  • Disciplined and with a strong sense of accountability
  • Interest in and commitment to TWB’s humanitarian mandate

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’s 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here