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.
Contract length: 6 months, with a possibility of extension
Location: Goma, North Kivu, DRC with in-country travel
Travel: significant travel in eastern DRC (up to 70% of the time)
Reporting to: Crisis Response Program Manager
Application deadline: 30 November 2019
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.
On 1 August 2018, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the town of Mangina, Mabalako Health Zone, North Kivu Province. Confirmed cases have since been reported in North and South Kivu, Ituri, and Uganda. North and South Kivu and Ituri are among the most populated provinces in the country, share borders with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, 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 role: The Program Manager leads and coordinates TWB’s program in eastern DRC, starting and expanding from projects already funded. S/he will champion TWB’s organizational culture in DRC, recruit, lead and manage a team driven to achieve. The Program Manager has overall responsibility for timely and effective identification, planning and implementation of activities, partnership development, external representation and fundraising. S/he is ultimately responsible for transparent fundraising, financial management and compliance and security management.
- Identify funding opportunities in proportion to the level of need, and network with partners and donors
- Proactively seek opportunities to expand the depth and breadth of the project in response to need, and relay information to TWB global crisis response colleagues to that end
Program design and delivery
- Lead and coordinate delivery and monitoring of program activities under the current H2H grant and forthcoming funding agreements, in line with international humanitarian and TWB standards
- Manage program budgets, evaluation and reporting in line with TWB and donor requirements, with support from finance and global crisis response colleagues
- Develop a costed program plan, identifying partners and donors, based on evidence of need
- Liaise between partner organizations and TWB’s language services team to ensure the timely delivery of high-quality translation, editing, and terminology services
Assessment and evidence
- Coordinate and oversee all necessary language assessments
- Collect, collate and share internally information on languages and dialects that TWB will need in order to provide language support services
- Liaise with language specialists, humanitarian organizations in DRC, and internationally, on collecting, visualizing and disseminating data on language and comprehension
- Disseminate and promote understanding of TWB’s findings and products for DRC within the Ebola response and wider humanitarian community
Humanitarian liaison and coordination
- Represent TWB and build the organization’s profile within the Ebola response humanitarian community in eastern DRC, ensuring professional and productive engagement with government authorities, UN agencies,national and international civil society partners and affected communities.
- Engage with humanitarian coordination and strategy development, using existing evidence to ensure that issues relating to language and RCCE are taken on board in key strategic and planning decisions
- Liaise with responding organizations on RCCE efforts, to ensure that language is factored in response plans with TWB’s support as needed and appropriate
- Engage in external communications and advocacy initiatives and other public events, with support from global crisis response and communications colleagues
Legal, logistics, security, financial and human resources management
- Recruit, lead and manage the team needed for the successful implementation of program plans
- In collaboration with TWB’s global finance and HR team, ensure financial, logistics and HR systems and procedures are in place and adhered to
- Establish the necessary administrative, logistical and security partnerships and arrangements for TWB to be able to operate legally, safely and efficiently
- Contribute to a positive, innovative and supportive work environment
The Program Manager should be an innovative self-starter with a strong sense of initiative, an understanding of the humanitarian sector and/or the language industry and management credentials, and 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.
- 5+ years of assessment, startup, project design and management experience in the humanitarian sector
- International humanitarian aid experience and demonstrated understanding of communicating with communities programming
- 3+ years’ experience of external representation
- Excellent writing and presentation skills in English
- Fluency in spoken French and working-level French reading and writing skills
- Knowledge of eastern DRC and local languages a plus
- Training or research skills and experience a plus
- Medical or health sector background a plus
- Interpreting or translation experience a plus
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.
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.