Community Engagement Program Coordinator – Eastern DRC
Contract length: One year, with the possibility of extension
Location: Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Travel: Significant travel within DRC – up to 70% of the time
Deadline: 15 November 2019
Reporting to: Eastern DRC Program Manager
Due to the urgency of the vacancy, screening and interviews will commence immediately and the candidate can be selected at any stage before the closing date.
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 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.
The current Ebola virus disease outbreak in eastern DRC was first declared on 1 August 2018. It has so far claimed over 2,000 lives, making it the most deadly outbreak of the disease since West Africa 2014-16. The most affected provinces, North Kivu and Ituri, are among the most populous in the country. They share borders with Uganda and Rwanda, and are experiencing conflict and insecurity and associated population displacement.
Risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) are key pillars of ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the virus and ensure those infected receive effective care. In the linguistically diverse context of eastern DRC, however, comprehension of official languages and lingua francas cannot be assumed.
TWB’s February 2019 assessment in Goma found that risk communication and community engagement efforts are not reaching large sections of the population (women and older men especially) because they are not adapted to local language use and literacy levels. Even a relatively well educated population did not understand key prevention concepts because the language used is not that spoken locally. Lack of understanding cannot combat rumor and disbelief. The Social Science Research Group (SSRG) has highlighted words used to talk about prevention and treatment causing generate confusion, misunderstanding and distrust (SSRG May 2019).
Frontline health workers and community mobilizers carry the burden of translating critical and unfamiliar concepts into local languages unsupported. Communities complain that responders and health educators do not always speak a language local people understand (CDC/IFRC June 2019, SSHAP November 2018-February 2019). Research in early 2019 found health workers often do not understand the information they are expected to relay (SSHAP February-May 2019). Responding organizations wanting to support, lack data and awareness about the languages affected people speak and understand.
TWB is establishing a program of language support to the Ebola response, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the H2H Network, IFRC, UNICEF and others. This will provide targeted support to frontline workers to overcome the language challenges in communicating with communities, and provide their organizations with language data and guidance to inform better support longer-term. We will build translation and interpreting capacity in relevant languages of at-risk communities, develop multilingual terminology support on key concepts, and build an evidence basis on the languages, comprehension, and communication preferences of affected people.
Beyond Ebola, action taken within this program also aims to foster multilingual communication with communities across the wider humanitarian response in eastern DRC.
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 global awareness of language barriers.
The Program Coordinator is responsible for implementing TWB’s creative, reactive, innovative and constantly relevant two-way communication work in eastern DRC. The Program Coordinator will ensure the timely and effective identification, planning and delivery of activities. He or she 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
- Work with a small team to implement program activities
- Develop and maintain an excellent understanding of the language issues affecting the Ebola and wider humanitarian response in eastern DRC
- Develop mutually beneficial partnerships/projects with humanitarian agencies to pilot/research/implement language interventions to improve humanitarian services.
- Coordinate the daily management, ensure timely high-quality delivery and monitoring of all activities agreed with partners and donors. This will include liaising with the in-country team and a specialized global team for the activities under the PC’s direct responsibility
Fundraising, financial and human resources management
- Support the Eastern DRC Program Manager/Crisis Response Program Manager to write project proposals, identify funding opportunities and network with partners and donors with a view to submitting funding proposals
- Seek opportunities to expand the depth and breadth of the program in response to need, and relay information to the Eastern DRC Program Manager/Crisis Response Program Manager to that end
- Monitor and manage delegated budget lines in compliance with TWB and donor requirements.
- Recruit and manage team members
- 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
- Liaise with and support partners, to ensure language is factored into activities
- Actively participate in sector working group meetings and initiatives
- Proactively contribute to TWB’s advocacy and communication efforts as needed, in close collaboration with the Eastern DRC Program Manager/Crisis Response Program Manager.
Reporting and knowledge management
- Provide TWB’s contribution to the sector updates and other required reports
- Document program activities
- Ensure TWB complies with donor reporting requirements, including writing narrative reports
- Contribute other written materials that support TWB needs (brochures, summary project information, etc.)
- Leverage TWB approaches and innovations for new projects under development
- Perform other duties as assigned
The Program Coordinator should be a creative self-starter with a strong sense of initiative, experienced in humanitarian response management and enthusiastic about the importance of increasing access to knowledge 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.
- Higher education degree in one of the following fields: social sciences or other relevant international development field
- Minimum three years’ experience in project management, implementation and design
- Fluency in spoken French and working-level French reading and writing skills
- Experience of developing tools and strategies for listening to and communicating with crisis-affected communities
- Knowledge and understanding of the role of language in humanitarian response
- Ability to work independently, flexibly and with remote teams
- Experience in proposal writing, including conceptualizing and technical writing
- Experience with/knowledge of one or more international donor organizations
- Excellent communication, interpersonal and representational skills
- Excellent English oral and written communication skills
- Ability to coordinate people and processes
- Experience of practical and creative solutions to deliver results in organizations with minimal resources
- Understanding of language dynamics in DRC
- Experience in/familiarity with budget management of development/humanitarian projects
- Experience in conducting research, analyzing data and report writing
- Fluency in Swahili or other languages of eastern DRC an advantage
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.