COVID-19 Global Program Manager

Organization: Translators without Borders
Closing date: 10 May 2020

COVID-19 Global Program Manager

Contract length: 6 months, with possibility of extension
Hours: Full-time
Location: Home-based

Travel: None anticipated; potentially travel to TWB program countries/other when possible, TBC

Reporting to: Head of Crisis Response

Application Deadline: 10 May 2020

We offer in addition to salary:

  • an innovative work environment with a diverse and passionate team

  • 20 days of annual leave and 10 days of floating holidays

Due to the urgency of the vacancy, shortlisting will be done on a rolling basis and if the ideal candidate is identified before the closing date, TWB reserves the right to close the recruitment before the application deadline.

The role

The COVID-19 Global Program Manager leads and coordinates TWB’s global program of evidence-based language support to the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. S/he provides strategic leadership and oversight of innovative program strategies, and has overall responsibility for timely and effective identification, planning and implementation of activities, partnership development, fundraising and external representation.


Program development and delivery

  • Lead the development of an ambitious, innovative program of evidence-based, tech-enabled language support to risk communication and community engagement for the COVID-19 global response

  • Coordinate with internal and external experts to ensure the program strategy makes the best use of available technology and best practices to maximize its impact for information-poor groups around the world

  • Work closely with the language services team to ensure that TWB has the capacity to deliver high-quality language services and language tools, supporting, making best use of, and celebrating our large community of linguists

  • In collaboration with TWB’s Crisis Response and Fundraising teams, mobilize funds to deliver the global program

  • Lead and coordinate delivery and monitoring of program activities in line with donor 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

  • Collect, collate and share internally data on information gaps and opportunities, and use this to direct program activities and resources to ensure TWB provide the most effective language support as the outbreak and our understanding of needs evolve

  • Oversee implementation of the H2H COVID-19 response and the global COVID-19 program, and liaise with TWB’s country program leads on COVID-19-related activities at country level, to maximize complementarity, cross-learning and impact

Team leadership

  • Recruit, lead, empower and manage the high-performing team needed for the successful implementation of the COVID-19 global program

  • Promote, model and take proactive steps to ensure a positive, innovative and supportive work environment

  • Work across the organization to ensure that TWB’s response is well integrated across the language services, technology, finance, HR, fundraising and communications teams

  • Manage and support the H2H COVID-19 Response Lead to deliver the H2H-funded program

  • Actively promote understanding of TWB’s Code of Conduct and safeguarding and PSEA policies, and associated reporting procedures, and uphold TWB’s values (below) in all engagement with communities, partners and colleagues

  • In collaboration with TWB’s global HR team, ensure compliance with HR procedures

Advocacy and coordination

  • Lead on context and trend analysis for the global COVID-19 response

  • Lead TWB’s advocacy and media efforts on COVID-19 in close cooperation with the global Senior Advocacy Officer and Communication Senior Officer, to ensure that language issues are highlighted within the global response

  • Act as spokesperson on COVID-19, as delegated by the Head of Fundraising and Communication/Executive Director, and proactively and constructively engage with reputable journalists to promote coverage and understanding of language issues in the media

  • Represent TWB on relevant coordination groups for risk communication and community engagement around COVID-19 and build the organization’s profile within the COVID-19 response community globally and in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring professional and productive engagement with government authorities, UN agencies, national and international civil society partners and affected communities

  • Advocate for communication in languages and formats that are accessible to marginalized language speakers and other potentially vulnerable groups, and use evidence and analysis from our work and that of others to ensure that issues relating to language and risk communication/community engagement are taken on board in key strategic and planning decisions


The COVID-19 Global Program Manager should be an innovative self-starter with a strong sense of initiative, an understanding of the humanitarian sector 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.


  • 8+ years of program design and management experience, including institutional donor grants and budget management

  • 5+ years of international humanitarian aid experience and demonstrated understanding of advocacy, communication and community engagement work

  • 3+ years of experience as a Country Director, Program Director, or Chief of Party with a strong reputation for developing collaborative working relationships with local counterparts and relevant state actors and agencies, international organizations, and donors

  • Demonstrated experience in mobilizing, organizing resources and establishing priorities

  • Proven ability to manage staff and build cohesive, productive teams and work collaboratively in consortia and across teams within the organization

  • Resourceful, able to get more out of small budgets and small teams

  • Good interpersonal skills; able to work well in a team-oriented, collaborative, cross-functional environment

  • Strong ability to multitask, prioritize, and work independently with minimal supervision

  • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English

  • Fluency in other languages a plus

  • Medical or health sector background a plus

  • Interpreting or translation experience a plus


TWB is already working with H2H Network partners to counter misinformation on COVID-19 with facts in the right language, under an activation of the H2H Fund. This grant runs to the end of May 2020, but expansion and extension are under discussion.

With the announcement of a pandemic, TWB is developing plans for a far bigger, more innovative response program capable of delivering far greater impact to help control the spread of the disease.

This is currently conceived of as three parallel work streams, all supported by advocacy:

  • Providing an evidence basis for better-informed risk communication and community engagement on COVID-19 in languages and formats accessible to people at risk

  • Research to identify information gaps and information-poor groups and languages using online tools and tapping into both partner knowledge and social media resources to gather information remotely

  • Language and literacy datasets and maps to inform targeted risk communication

  • Social media monitoring to track rumors, misinformation and questions as a basis for more effective communication, using tools such as CrowdTangle to automate the process for speed

Supporting the relay of accurate, accessible risk communication materials in accessible languages and formats

  • Translation of public-facing content into a wide range of languages, prioritizing formats accessible to low-literacy and second-language audiences

  • Terminology support to promote accurate and consistent translation into multiple languages

  • Language technology to speed communication

Supporting dissemination of those materials, and COVID-19 content

  • Social media promotion of translated content

  • A repository of content to enable rapid development of new communication materials using existing verified content and translations

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.

Core Values

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.

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