Innovation Evaluation – Translators without Borders’ Words of Relief ‘Journey to Scale’

By Translators without Borders Organization: Translators without Borders
Closing date: 31 Oct 2018

Innovation Evaluation – Translators without Borders’ Words of Relief ‘Journey to Scale’

The mission of Translators without Borders is to provide people access to vital knowledge in their language through translation and interpreting, building language translation capacity at a local level, providing translation and simplification services that are culturally appropriate, accessible and open source, and raising awareness globally of language barriers.

Contract length: up to 20 working days
Contract type: Consultant
Location: Remote

Travel: One trip to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (maximum 10 days)

Click here to apply, presenting your CV and a cover letter containing your technical proposal outlining methodology and fees.

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 community of language professionals, 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 every year.


In 2013, TWB created the first-ever crisis relief translation service, Words of Relief, an initiative that intends to improve communications between crisis-affected communities and humanitarian responders before, during, and after a crisis, by eliminating the language barriers that can impede vital relief efforts. Words of Relief can deploy remotely, providing cloud-based language services for instance when access is difficult, or where appropriate offer direct support to humanitarian organizations on the ground. In both cases, action is complemented by advocacy to raise global awareness of language and communication issues in humanitarian response.

In January 2017, TWB began a two-year “Accelerating the Journey to Scale” grant through the Humanitarian Innovation Fund at ELHRA. Under this grant, TWB has worked to build the evidence, capacity, and systems to take its language support to humanitarian action to scale, while also developing the funding streams and partnerships to support that and encouraging wider adoption of good practices across the sector.

Under this grant, scale is defined as “building on demonstrated successes to ensure solutions reach their maximum potential, have the greatest possible impact, and lead to widespread change.” Importantly, the project has been designed to focus on the journey to scale specifically; scaling is not necessarily the outcome itself. In other words, this evaluation is not intended to answer the question of whether we are “at scale” but to help better understand how successful we’ve been at building the right capacity, infrastructure, and processes in order to scale.


We are looking for a highly qualified and creative consultant to evaluate the effectiveness and relevance of a global innovation to support humanitarian communication. We are looking for someone with a relevant background in partnerships, humanitarian programme implementation, and specifically communication with communities (CwC). This is not intended to be a cookie cutter project evaluation that relies on a structured log frame and rigid performance indicators. As ELHRA’s innovation guide explains, innovations are often not linear and clean. This evaluation will rely on the TWB Words of Relief theory of change to help guide the discussion and frame the methodology.


To assess the success of the “journey to scale” initiative over the past two years.

The evaluation will draw primarily on TWB’s theory of change and on scaling objectives that have been developed throughout the course of the project. These objectives include:

  • Evidence building

  • Adoption, dissemination, and policy change

  • Sustainable funding

  • Capacity development

  • Systems development

The evaluation will also aim to assess the extent to which TWB has improved the effectiveness, reach and efficiency of humanitarian programming as the organisation has progressed on its journey to scale.


20 working days between November 15 and January 31, 2018. NB: The exact dates may be subject to slight changes.

  • Inception phase – 3 days maximum:

  • Develop a research outline detailing the methodology and schedule for the evaluation, getting internal ethics approval if necessary.

  • Desk review of relevant project documentation, reports, and secondary data.

  • Data gathering phase:

  • Desk review of relevant project documentation, reports, and secondary data.

  • Conduct fieldwork at one of our in-country programs in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Maximum 10 days)

  • Conduct remote information gathering.

  • Report writing phase:

  • Prepare a draft evaluation report and share with TWB for comments and feedback.

  • Conduct debrief sessions with TWB staff and HIF, presenting key findings of the evaluation.

  • Submit a final evaluation to TWB, including all raw data and original field notes from in-depth interviews.

This is not a prescriptive evaluation. There is significant space for creativity and different ideas on the methodology or format of this evaluation. A final framework will be designed and approved at the inception phase.


The ideal consultant is an creative self-starter with a strong sense of initiative, an understanding of the humanitarian sector, experience implementing or evaluating humanitarian innovations, and a demonstrated ability to think outside the box.


  • 7+ years in the humanitarian sector, with experience in monitoring and evaluation and innovation programming

  • Experience in social and/or private sector innovation a plus

  • Demonstrated understanding of communicating with communities or humanitarian innovation work, and awareness of the impact language can have on effective humanitarian action

  • Familiarity with the potential and constraints of using cloud-based platforms and digital technology in humanitarian response

  • Experience designing, leading and/or coordinating external evaluations

  • Excellent English writing, data analysis and presentation skills

  • Ability and arrangements to work remotely without significant support

  • Ability to travel to Bangladesh for up to 2 weeks

  • Master’s degree or higher

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.

How to apply:

To apply:

Read more here:: ReliefWeb