Job- Translators Without Borders

Consultant – remote training development

Location: home-based 
Travel: none
Reporting to: Crisis Response
Timeframe: March 2021 – October 2021 (up to 14 FTE days total) 
Deadline for applications: March 5th, 2021

Click here to apply

The role
Translators without Borders is seeking a consultant to develop two short training packages on language for humanitarian field staff on the basis of TWB’s existing content and materials.

Task 1  – To create a mixed mode interpreter training combining online resources and resources for use in group settings. 

Review and adapt our existing modular training curriculum on humanitarian interpreting into very simple online resources with accompanying facilitator tools and hand-outs. 

We anticipate the following to be an outline of the tasks:

  • Review existing training content, training notes, slide decks, and handouts on this topic produced by TWB
  • Adapt and/or develop alternative content if necessary, re-working material content to move from the local and context-specific to the generic
  • Incorporate group exercises to complement online materials, and develop / adapt trainers notes for these
  • Develop a small number of participant handouts 
  • Design an evaluation process for the training and produce accompanying materials to facilitate this
  • Combine online training content, trainer’s notes, participant handouts, and evaluation tools, into one easy-to-follow package 
  • Revise and amend materials following field pilot 

The version needs to be suitable to be used by people in widely differing humanitarian contexts, many of whom will have low levels of literacy. The final training course, combining online resources and ‘live’ interactive sessions and evaluation, should take no more than 10 hours to complete. Online resources are anticipated to be not more than 5 hours of the content.

Task 2 – To create a short course on the topic of ‘language in humanitarian data’ combining online resources and facilitated group work. 

  • Review existing presentations, webinars, slide decks, and literature on this topic produced by TWB
  • Re-work and adapt this material to create a unified collection of online presentations and linked resources
  • Develop / adapt group exercises to complement online materials, and develop / adapt trainers notes for these
  • Develop a small number of participant handouts or identify key existing materials as handouts
  • Design an evaluation process for the training and produce accompanying tools to facilitate this
  • Combine online presentation, trainer’s notes, participant handouts / resources, and evaluation tools, into one easy-to-follow package 
  • Revise and amend materials following field pilot 

The short training course will raise awareness of language in humanitarian data gathering. The course is aimed at enumerators and other data collectors, and their managers. Some participants may have moderate – low levels of literacy. It will prepare them to manage language complexity and improve their quality assurance processes in multilingual data collection. The final training materials and group activities combined should take no more than 3 hours to complete. The online content should make up approximately 50% of the course duration.  

In both tasks above, the format for the online version needs to be suitable as a teaching aid for face-to-face training (so possibly as simple as recorded presentations, links to supporting videos, or insertion of TWB’s existing Moodle-platform material). 


  • An agreed work plan including time-frames, review periods, revision and approval stages
  • Humanitarian Field Interpreter online materials which can be presented to a group of participants, or viewed by an interested individual e.g. (podcast / narrated powerpoint presentations / links to audio-visual materials). The total run time for these materials will be approximate duration of 5 hours (for interpreter training) and 1.5 hours (for language in humanitarian data training)
  • Humanitarian Field Interpreter:
  • learning outcomes for each session / module
  • agendas for delivery of each session / module
  • concise trainer’s notes
  • concise participant handouts
  • evaluation tools, rationale and methodology
  • Language in Humanitarian Data online materials which can be presented to a group of participants, or viewed by an interested individual e.g. (podcast / narrated powerpoint presentations / links to audio-visual materials). The total run time for these materials will be approximately 1.5 hours. 
  • Language in Humanitarian Data:
  • learning outcomes for each session 
  • agenda for delivery of the course
  • concise trainer’s notes
  • concise participant handouts / resources
  • evaluation tools, rationale and methodology
  • The combined word-count of the combined courses should be within 18,000 – 20,000 words, including spoken and recorded content. All materials will be presented in English in agreed editable file formats, and developed to facilitate translation / dubbing / subtitling as necessary. 
  • The training design and materials will need to be sufficiently comprehensive that a confident generic facilitator without 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. Training approaches should be inclusive or easily adaptable for people with disabilities.
  • The consultant will be required to ensure that all the material proposed for inclusion in the curriculum is open-access and on a platform suitable for this purpose. All content created by the consultant will become the intellectual 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
  • Training design, development, and implementation experience with a focus on training 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.
  • Experience in developing online training and resources 


  • A self-starter with the flexibility and adaptability to work independently and meet deadlines
  • Key qualities of relationship-building and adaptability
  • Patience and openness to comment in review processes

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, DRC 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 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, it has been adapted for low-literacy audiences and for use in various humanitarian contexts. TWB needs a unified version that can be delivered as face-to-face training over two days across a range of contexts and that consistently applies adult learning principles and good practices for communicating with less literate audiences.

In addition TWB has substantial information in a variety of formats (blogs, info-sheets, presentations) on language in data collection. This material is not currently in the form of a training package. TWB sees the need to have a short training for those managing data collection in multilingual format to make sure they plan for language, that enumerators understand how to manage language barriers, and that there is a quality assurance process to address gaps in communication. 

How to apply
TWB will accept offers from individual consultants and consulting firms.

To apply for this consultancy please send the following documents:

1. A technical and financial offer to include:

  • a brief description (no more than two sides of A4) of how you would tackle this role
  • a proposed work plan (including the number of days required for each task)
  • a financial offer, specifying daily fees

2. Curriculum vitae 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 present the CV(s) of the expert(s) proposed in one document under “CV”.

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. 

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.

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.

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