Consultant – Training in low-literacy environments at Translators without Borders

The mission of Translators without Borders is to provide people access to vital knowledge in their language through translation, training of translators, building translation capacity in underserved languages, and raising awareness globally of language barriers.

Contract length: up to a maximum of 15 person/days (June / July 2018)

Location: Home based

Travel: none

Reporting to: Crisis Program Manager

Application Deadline: 8.00am Central European Summer Time Zone, Monday 25th June 2018

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.


In many conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies, the languages of affected people are not the same as those of the responders. This language gap affects access to life-saving information and services and diminishes the effectiveness and accountability of humanitarian action.

In 2013, TWB created the first-ever crisis language support service, Words of Relief, which has responded to crises every year since. Today TWB provides a range of language and communication services, from translations to training of interpreters. Either remotely or in-country (currently in Bangladesh and Nigeria), TWB works with more than 100 development and humanitarian partners.

TWB has developed modular training materials on the basics of interpreting in humanitarian action. This course has been designed for people who carry out humanitarian interpretation but are not qualified: locally engaged staff, bilingual volunteers, cultural mediators, etc. The individual modules are sufficiently self-contained that they retain coherence when sequenced differently or delivered individually. There are comprehensive teaching notes, a full set of supporting visual materials, a substantial participants’ handbook, and recommendations for structuring the modules for different durations and audiences.

To expand the potential reach of this training, the content and delivery methods need adapting for low-literacy audiences.

The Role

Translators without Borders is seeking a consultant to adapt part of its existing modular training curriculum on humanitarian interpreting (approx. 25 hours) for less literate audiences.

This will involve:

  • proposing and/or developing alternative content (audio, video, pictorial)
  • identifying alternative learning methods that require less use of written material
  • re-designing training sessions to make limited the use of written communication


  • 3-day training program for untrained interpreters adapted to less literate audiences
  • Proposed timings, structure and agendas for delivery of each adapted module
  • Individual session plans and learning objectives
  • Training resources (PowerPoint presentations, video links, exercises and tasks etc)
  • Trainers’ notes with a specific focus on delivery for a low literate audience
  • Handouts and course materials for participants
  • Adapted pre- and post-training testing tools to measure learning
  • Adapted pre- and post-training assessment tools to measure satisfaction with the course

The training design and materials will need to be sufficiently comprehensive that a confident generic facilitator with an interpreting background could deliver it unsupported. Participant and facilitator materials all need to be professionally presented and use Translators without Borders’ design guidelines.

The courses are expected to be interactive, practical, lively and solution-orientated.

The consultant will be required to ensure that all the material (s)he proposes to include in the curriculum is open-access or usable for this purpose. All content by the consultant will become the property of Translators without Borders.

Qualifications and experience required

  • Extensive experience (more than five years) in adult learning in either formal or non-formal settings
  • Curriculum design, development, and implementation experience with a focus on curricula for adults
  • Experience in capacity building, training and facilitation in the development or humanitarian sectors
  • Extensive experience (more than five years) of training and facilitation in low-literacy contexts
  • Previous work experience in a humanitarian or development context and a good understanding of humanitarian or development practices
  • A fluent English speaker with excellent writing skills in English
  • A qualification as an interpreter or a translator from a recognized professional institution, or previous experience training translators or interpreters, would be a plus.


  • A self-starter with the flexibility and adaptability to work independently and meet deadlines
  • Key qualities of relationship-building and adaptability

How to apply

TWB will accept offers from individual consultants and consulting firms.

To apply for this consultancy please send the following documents:

  • A technical and financial offer to include
  • a brief description (no more than two sides of A4) of how you would tackle this role
  • an outlined methodology
  • a workplan
  • a financial offer, specifying daily fees
  • Curriculum vitae of the proposed team members highlighting experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) and at least three professional references.

Please upload the technical and financial offer as one document under “cover letter” and eventually merge the CVs of the experts proposed in one document under “CV”.

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.


Please apply online following this link:

Closing date: 25 Jun 2018

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