Pictorial Communication Officer Job at Translators Without Borders (TWB)
Pictorial Communication Officer Job at Translators Without Borders (TWB)

Pictorial Communication Officer Job at Translators Without Borders (TWB)

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.

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

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Pictorial Communication Officer

Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Hours: Full-time
Travel: some travel in northeast Nigeria
Contract length: 6 months, with a possibility of extension
Reporting to: Accountability to Affected Populations Specialist

TWB has been researching language barriers in the response since July 2017, identifying critical gaps:

  • One third of internally displaced people lack information in their language: Hausa is not enough.
  • Widespread communication gaps compromise data quality.
  • Reliance on written communication excludes vulnerable groups.
  • To address these gaps TWB has been working in northeast Nigeria since April 2018 bringing innovation language and communication services to humanitarian actors.

TWB’s program strategy focuses on these five areas:

  • Collect data to inform communication strategies. In such a diverse language community, language data is key. TWB maintains a dashboard of language data and supports data collection and analysis. We test comprehension to provide guidance on communicating with a specific group.
  • Promote accountability through two-way communication in the right languages. TWB helps tailor community feedback mechanisms to the language and communication needs of the most vulnerable.
  • Reduce confusion with multilingual terminology databases. Agreed terminology in key languages supports consistent, accurate translation and interpreting. TWB’s sectoral glossaries are available for free on a mobile web app with offline and audio capability.
  • Train interpreters and field workers. Training in the basics of interpreting limits information loss and aids confidential, ethical support services. Language training for data collectors and program staff promotes data quality and program impact.
  • Improve understanding with plain language, translation, and audio. Clear content in plain language using pictures and audio benefits the widest audience. TWB provides plain language training and editing. We offer written and audio translations, and support pictorial messaging.


  • The Pictorial Communication Officer is responsible for implementing TWB’s pictorial communication activities under the supervision of the AAP Specialist.
  • Recognising the importance of pictorial communication in inclusive communication strategies, TWB will work with its humanitarian partners to make their communication materials more accessible to less literate individuals and nonnative speakers in ways that are locally appropriate. This will include increasing and improving pictorial communication with affected populations..

Graphic design – Illustration:

  • Create pictorial messages and develops pictorial versions of the communication materials
  • Improve existing pictorial content or transcreates pictorial content as required
  • Ensure that pictorial messaging is gender-sensitive, culturally appropriate and understandable, inclusive of perspectives of marginalised groups and contributes to strengthening local capacities; this includes revising designs based on community feedback.

Coordination, representation and awareness raising:

  • Cooperate with external stakeholders (TWB’s partner organizations, affected population, camp management actors) during pre-design and post-design consultations
  • Advise partners on their pictorial communications strategies, including the provision of trainings about pictorial communication
  • Represent TWB as required to promote for effective pictorial communication, including in coordination meetings, bilateral meetings, training or awareness raising sessions, etc.
  • Contribute to, designs, organise or lead training sessions on pictorial communication

Evidence and impact:

  • Contribute to TWB’s knowledge and understanding of pictorial communication in local languages and cultures, as well as of the factors influencing pictorial communication in the relevant languages
  • Participate in research on pictorial messaging in north east Nigeria
  • Contribute to TWB global efforts to improve multilingual pictorial communication in humanitarian response.


  • Contribute as required to TWB’s internal and external communication such as newsletter, donor reporting, blogs, etc…
  • As and when required contribute to funding proposals focused on pictorial messaging
  • Any other duties as required and agreed with the line manager

The role will evolve during the course of the initial deployment as projects and activities develop so flexibility and the willingness to adapt to constantly changing circumstances is important.


  • First-level university degree in a related subject like Graphic Design, Digital Arts, Interactive/Media Design or equivalent professional experience
  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator) or equivalent open source software
  • Excellent layout, typography, and photo editing skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (e.g. Word, Excel, and Power Point)
  • Understanding of cultural, religious and political context of northeast Nigeria
  • Gender, cultural and conflict-sensitivity
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to speak Hausa and/or Kanuri
  • Strong written and spoken English
  • Willingness and ability to travel within Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, including overnight stays

Desirable skills:

  • Humanitarian assistance experience
  • Simple video editing skills
  • Video subtitling skills
  • Ability to produce animations
  • Knowledge in additional local languages
  • Experience working with NGOs or social communication campaigns

Essential Aptitude:

  • Ability to demonstrate initiative, be proactive and offer a solution-oriented approach
  • Determined and committed to high quality standards with attention to detail
  • Ability to establish effective working relationships at all levels internally and externally
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to prioritise work, meet deadlines and work calmly under pressure
  • Self-motivated, flexible and enthusiastic approach to work
  • Disciplined and with strong sense of accountability
  • Resourceful, creative, enthusiastic, and adaptable
  • Interest in and commitment to TWB’s humanitarian mandate to bridge the language gap

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’s 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.

Application Closing Date
2nd June, 2019.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Please submit at least one sample of your past work with the application (e.g. link to website or to a shared drive folder).
  • 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.