Language Services Coordinator – Nigeria
Contract length: One year, with possibility of extension
Location: Maiduguri/Abuja (flexible)
Travel: The position is office-based with very limited travel
Reporting to: Country Director
Salary range: 4,000-4,600 USD/month
Application deadline: 4 February, 2022
Translators without Borders (TWB) is committed to having a diverse team where individuals of all backgrounds collaborate and learn from one another. We believe we can be most effective with diverse experience and expertise in our team. We recruit on merit, actively seek diverse applicant pools and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, marital or parental status, or sexual orientation, and welcome all types of diversity.
We offer in addition to salary:
- an innovative work environment with a diverse and passionate team
- location-specific hardship allowance
- a 3-month Rest & Recuperation cycle, including additional leave and travel
- 20 days of annual leave and 10 days of floating holidays
In northeast Nigeria, humanitarian organizations are working to support 1.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and the communities hosting them. But language is a challenge: in this linguistically diverse part of the world, people forced from their homes don’t always speak the same language as the people around them. International aid organizations may lack the skills to communicate with everyone in their own mother tongue. They often also lack information about the language and communication needs of affected people.
TWB has been providing language services in northeast Nigeria since 2018, building humanitarian capacity for communication in the right language and format. Much still needs to be done. TWB in Nigeria is rapidly scaling up its teams and programs to support responders’ efforts to communicate more effectively, with funding from DFID and ECHO and partnerships with key humanitarian responders like the Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Organization for Migration and the International Rescue Committee
We do not want one third of internally displaced people to lack information in their language. We do not want widespread communication gaps to compromise data quality. We do not want the too common reliance on written communication to exclude vulnerable groups.
So we innovate, we research, we bring unique expertise and approaches to:
- Provide evidence to inform communication strategies, as we have just done with our latest report on audio communication for example.
- 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. 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. We offer written and audio translations, and support pictorial messaging.
The Language Services Coordinator manages the provision of language services, advises humanitarian organizations on language-related needs, develops new language tools, develops and implements the Nigeria language services strategy and inputs into the global languages services strategy. The Language Services Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that TWB’s language services in Nigeria are effectively and efficiently managed, and are of the highest possible quality and timeliness standards. The Coordinator also has a significant externally facing role, working closely with other NGOs, attending coordination meetings, and advocating for information and communications to be in the right languages and formats.
The Language Services Coordinator reports to the Country Director and is a member of the Country Management Team. The Language Services Coordinator will also collaborate closely with the global Language Services Team who will provide support and ensure that the processes and technologies used in Nigeria are in line with our global strategy.
Management of the Language Services team
- Lead, manage, empower, and recruit, as and when necessary, the language leads in Nigeria. The team currently consists of Language Leads for eight local Nigerian languages.
- Evolve the business model for TWB’s language services in Nigeria, ensuring that it is scalable to the whole of the country.
- Provide training and guidance on TWB systems, procedures and processes to staff and ensure that they are understood and adhered to.
- Build staff capacity and promote collaborative and supportive team dynamics.
- Reliably and actively collaborate with colleagues towards the achievements of the country team’s deliverables.
- Actively contribute to the development of TWB’s program strategy and monitor its progress.
Project management, monitoring, reporting and quality assurance
- Lead the entire life-cycle of multiple translation projects in a fast-paced environment
- In collaboration with the Language Services Team (LST), plan and coordinate the delivery of all language services projects. This will include but is not limited to translations, transcriptions, plain language editing, subtitling and dubbing, glossary development, translator and interpreter training, language guidance documentation and awareness sessions,
- Anticipate needs and maintain sufficient capacity
- Contribute to the development and implementation of the evidence and impact country plan and collaborate with monitoring staff to ensure up-to-date records about language services are available for internal program development and external reporting as necessary
- Ensure that TWB services are executed to the highest possible quality and timeliness standards.
- In collaboration with the LST, implement and monitor relevant and applicable procedures for quality assurance of language services
- Collaborate with wider language services and tech development team to ensure that systems support in-country language quality assurance processes and put tools in place to that effect for the Nigeria program.
- Develop and promote new language services to ensure that TWB maintains an innovative approach.
Linguistic capacity development and management
- Develop and oversee the implementation of a volunteer recruitment and engagement strategy to actively build up communities of active volunteer translators for different languages, working with the global community team
- Design and implement an engagement strategy to ensure that TWB collaborates with language service providers and academics in Nigeria and beyond to mobilize the linguistic capacity needed to deliver on TWB’s objectives
- Research the dialects of local target languages and develop capacity for cross-border language services in the Lake Chad region.
- Establish and maintain excellent relationships with partner organizations like INGOs and UN agencies
- Support the needs analysis of partners and proactively propose the most suitable language services
- Conduct partner outreach to ensure sufficient uptake of new services
- Monitor partner satisfaction
- Represent TWB at meetings as appropriate
- Maintain open and professional relationships with the internal TWB team, TWB volunteers, partner agencies and donors
- Participate in organization-wide discussions, contributing actively
- 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.
The Language Services Coordinator should be enthusiastic about the importance of increasing access to knowledge through language. The right candidate is an energetic team player and leader who agrees with TWB´s basic beliefs and values and who can work virtually with team members based throughout the world.
- 3+ years experience in project management
- Familiarity with the translation, language or content industries
- Experience in leading teams of 5+ staff
- Experience with nonprofit organizations, especially in development or humanitarian contexts
- Experience in recruiting, managing and engaging volunteers
- Excellent written and verbal English communication skills
- Fluency in one or more non-English languages
- Proficient in standard Microsoft Windows applications, Asana and other software applications
- Knowledge of translation technology tools (e.g. CAT, Memsource)
- University Degree in studies related to linguistics, translation, communication or related subject
- Experience in disaster relief/humanitarian aid
- Knowledge and experience of quality assurance procedures for translation
- Experience in designing and delivering trainings
- International experience
- Willingness to live and work in a volatile security context
- Strong ability to multitask, prioritize, and work independently with minimal supervision
- Detail-oriented, thorough, accurate, able to meet deadlines under time pressure, and able to work quickly and steadily in a focused manner
- Able to deal with frequent changes, delays, interruptions, and unexpected events; flexibility and can-do attitude
- Demonstrates initiative, persistence, ability to problem solve, and enthusiasm for learning
- Good interpersonal skills; able to work well in a team-oriented, collaborative, cross-functional environment
- Ability to mediate, negotiate, and resolve conflicts constructively
- Able to innovate to find creative solutions; willing to explore new technologies
- Resourceful, able to get more out of small budgets
About Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders believes that everyone has the right to give and receive information in a language and format they understand. We work with nonprofit partners and a global community of language professionals to build local language translation capacity, and raise 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.
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.
TWB may re-advertise the vacancy, cancel the recruitment, offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration at its discretion.