United Nations Youth Volunteer - English/Spanish translator

Location : Florencia, COLOMBIA
Application Deadline :29-Dec-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :UNV
Post Level :UNV
Languages Required :
English   Spanish  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :6 meses
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 Months with possibility of extension



The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Peace and Security Centre (PSC) is a principal service provider in the field of mine action with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), UNDP, UNICEF, Governments of mine-affected countries and other mine action partners. The Centre is responsible to administer, provide support and oversight of the day-to-day management of the Project Field offices, both according to the client requirements and in line with UNOPS rules and regulations. It is headed by the Centre Director who has the overall authority and accountability for the performance of the Peace and Security Centre on behalf of its clients.


In the context of the Colombian peace process, with the current emphasis and challenge of the peace agreement’s implementation lying on reintegration efforts of the ex-combatants, UNMAS has been tasked to implement a project combining reintegration and demining. The principal component of the project is the support to the formation of Humanicemos DH, a Colombian organization for humanitarian demining composed of FARC ex-combatants. The project is designed to assist the consolidation of the peace process.


In the framework of this project UNMAS will support demining operations of the organization with international expert capacity. This international capacity is only English-speaking which is a critical obstacle to seamless training and skills transfer to the organization for effective capacity-building. The UNV will be a key element in this skills transfer, breaching language and potential cultural barriers.


The impact of the project is to a) consolidate the peace process, b) create an effective demining organization with very specific competencies in the Colombian context, and c) contribute to increased and more efficient national capacity of the Colombian demining sector in its endeavour to free Colombia of mines.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the UNMAS Training and Operations Officer in the field, the Volunteer will be responsible for interpreting and translating training material and courses effectively facilitating the capacity building and skills transfer to the nascent humanitarian demining organization providing rapid turnaround. She/he will be assigned to a specific mine action training area, managed by an international expert. Specific responsibilities will be as follows:

Ensure efficient translation and interpretation services, focusing on achievement of the following result:

  • Full and precise delivery of bi-directional English – Spanish verbal communication between English-speaking instructors and Spanish-speaking trainees for technically precise knowledge transfer during courses;
  • Maintain a high standard of accuracy, consistency, and faithfulness to the spirit, style, register, nuance, and technical precision of the original communication.
  • Recognizing the sensitivity of course subject matter, ensure that course-specific UNOPS material is as user-friendly and context-sensitive as possible for the project’s Spanish-speaking trainees.
  • Undertake linguistic and course-specific research to verify that terminology and references employ the most appropriate range of vocabulary and commonly accepted or established terms. If necessary, liaise with the subject matter experts to ensure accurate use of technical terms.
  • Provide support to verify accurate written translations of course material, as requested;
  • Perform other tasks as required.


Expected Results:


  • Capacity built of the humanitarian demining organization;
  • Training material and skills transfer effectively facilitated through interpretation and translation;
  • Written documents relevantly translated so they can be applied in the training context;
  • Report on volunteer activities, events with UNV programme;
  • Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment;
  • A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed.
  • The development of capacity through coaching, mentoring and formal on-the-job training, when working with (including supervising) national staff or (non-) governmental counter-parts, including Implementing Partners (IPs);
  • The development of capacity through coaching, mentoring and formal on-the-job training, when working with (including supervising) national staff or (non-) governmental counter-parts, including Implementing Partners (IPs); • Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment • A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for peace and development dur-ing the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed


  • Integrity and professionalism: demonstrated expertise in area of specialty and ability to apply good judgment; high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures in a politically sensitive environment, while exercising discretion, impartiality and neutrality; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented.
  • Accountability: mature and responsible; ability to operate in compliance with organizational rules and regulations.
  • Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.
  • Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.
  • Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working.

Required Skills and Experience

Required Degree Level  Bachelor degree or equivalent


Education - Additional Comments

  • Bachelor’s degree in translation, linguistics or a similar field. Two years of relevant translation experience may be accepted in lieu of a bachelor’s degree. Professional experience in translation from English to Spanish is desired.
  • Experience in the context of the UN or any other international organization is desired


Experience Remark

  • Professional skills: including specific competencies and reflection on assignment-related abilities; and on-the-job skills such as time management, problem solving, team building; and career preparedness such as interview skills, CV preparation, job searching.
  • Inter-personal skills: including communication and listening skills; multi-cultural awareness and cultural competency; and conflict and stress management.


Area of Expertise

  • Interpretation / translation


Living Conditions


Conditions of living in any of the UNOPS PSC/ UNMAS Duty Stations are generally good. There are a variety of activities to encounter while in these cities, from sightseeing to theaters, cinemas, cultural and sport activities, and restaurants that offers typical local and regional food as well as international cuisine.

Medical services in main cities (private clinics and hospitals) are available. Visitors are advised that some clinics request a down payment before they admit a patient, even in emergency situations. Visitors should take medical precautions and advice should be sought before travel. Travelers to Urabá, Choco, Córdoba, Putumayo, Vichada, Guainía, Guaviare, Meta, Amazonas, Casanare, Vaupes, Norte de Santander and Caquetá must have yellow fever, malaria, measles and varicella inoculation certificates since some airlines require passengers to carry current health documents.

Rural areas continue to be affected by activities of illegal armed groups (ELN, and newly emerging armed groups) and by confrontations between them and the Colombian Armed Forces. Upon arrival to Bogotá, all visitors must contact the UN Department.


Conditions of Service:

The contract lasts for the period indicated above with possibility of extensions subject to availability of funding, operational necessity and satisfactory performance. However, there is no expectation of renewal of the assignment.

Travel to duty station (if applicable) and a Settling-In-Grant will be provided in the event the duty station is not within commuting distance from the place of recruitment. The applicable Volunteer Living Allowance is provided monthly to cover housing, utilities and normal cost of living expenses. Life, health and permanent disability insurance are included ) and final repatriation (if applicable).

Furthermore, in non-family duty stations that belong to hardship categories D or E, as classified by the ICSC, a Well-Being Differential (WBD) on a monthly basis will be provided.

For UN Volunteer entitlements, kindly refer to the link https://vmam.unv.org/calculator/entitlements.



United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme which welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, age and culture.

Only applications that contain the signed P11 format will be considered (Under no circumstances will applications be considered that do not correctly attach the file in question). You can find the P11 format at http://www.co.undp.org/content/dam/colombia/docs/Operaciones/P11_Personal_history_form-en.docx



UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

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