Refugee Interpreter – UNV


Job Description

OrganizationUN OCHA Sudan’s
Description of the assignment titleRefugee Interpreter
Host entityUNHCR
Assignment countrySudan
Expected start date23/10/2022
Sustainable Development Goal17. Partnerships for the goals
Number of assignments5
Advertisement end date05/10/2022


Mission and objectives

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country ( The UNHCR operation in Sudan serves different refugee groups, including people from South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, CAR, Chad, Yemen and Syria, but also internally displaced people, asylum-seekers and stateless individuals through a network of sub- and field offices as well as its Representation in Khartoum. UNHCR focuses on the protection and assistance to these groups in close coordination with national authorities and in partnership with UN and non-UN agencies as well as the civil society.


Khartoum is the largest refugee hosting state in Sudan with over 306,000 refugees and asylum seekers comprised of 10 different nationalities, approximately 191,000 of whom are South Sudanese, residing in over 100 locations spread across all 7 localities of the state. Also Khartoum hosts the largest out of camp population in Sudan who live within local communities and share services and resources which are already limited and overstretched in the urbanization context, rendering the population vulnerable to tensions and various protection risks between and among host and refugee communities.

UNHCR Khartoum Field Office (KFO) was established in 2020, and has been coordinating protection activities, providing basic services and finding solutions for PoCs in Khartoum. UNHCR Khartoum recruits an UNV South Sudanese refugee interpreter to enhance protection activities and finding solution of South Sudanese refugees. The UNV Refugee interpreter will be supervised by Resettlement unit and is expected to provide interpretation service for both Resettlement unit and the Khartoum Field Office.

As part of the Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) framework, UNHCR Field Office Khartoum and Resettlement unit will ensures that all formal and informal communications from persons of concern inform protection, assistance and solutions programming, and that corrective action is taken as appropriate by all partners concerned. To this end, access to information and a two-way communication between refugees and UNHCR/protection service providers is vital to keep track of information and assistance requests. Most of the protection staff are not conversant with the languages spoken by refugees. As such, there is a need to hire interpreters to facilitate communication between refugees, asylum seekers and persons of concern with UNHCR/protection service providers.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of UNHCR staff/assigned protection focal person, the interpreter will work within UNHCR working hours (Sundays to Thursdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and whenever a need arise that requires interpretation services).  The interpreter will provide simultaneous/consecutive interpretation services, either in person or via telephone during:

– All UNHCR activities where interpretation service is required

– Refugee Status Determination interviews, BID interviews, home visits and all other general protection counselling as well as verification activities undertaken by the office

– Community mobilization and outreach meetings, trainings and workshops

– Participatory assessments with refugee communities

– Meetings between the UNHCR, government and partners

 Provide translation of:

– Supporting documents provided by refugees and asylum seekers

– Modifications/changes/comments made by the refugees during the interviews

– Information disseminated to refugees including notices, posters, banners

– Records of meetings with refugees

– Correspondence to the government, national/international counterparts

 Under the guidance of protection focal person, interpreters will also provide additional support as is necessary, including:

– Distribution of tokens and appointment slips to persons of concern

– Coordinating seating arrangements at the premises

– Copying / laminating of supporting documents and handing over to the UNHCR staff as required

– Handing out protection intake forms and supporting persons of concern who cannot write or read to make preliminary applications to be reviewed by protection focal person

– Communicate messages from protection focal person to the refugees and other persons of concern including appointments

– Accompany UNHCR staff on missions as required

– Performs other support duties as required.

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to integrate the UN Volunteers programme mandate within their assignment and promote voluntary action through engagement with communities in the course of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate a part of their working time to some of the following suggested activities:

• Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day);

• Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;

• Provide annual and end of assignment self-reports on UN Volunteer actions, results and opportunities.

• Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;

• Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers;

• Promote and utilize the UNV Online Volunteering service providing themselves and their organizations with flexible, free of charge, Online Volunteer capacity to support their efforts. Information and promotional material can be found in the onsite kit.

Eligibility criteria


27 – 80


Application to this assignment is open exclusively to individuals residing in the country of assignment, with stateless, refugee or similar protective status.


Required experience

0 years of experience in quality interpretation and translation services. Refugee Interpreters are expected to provide quality interpretation and translation services in the common languages spoken by Refugees Asylum seekers and stateless persons including but not limited to Tigrigna, Amharic, Oromo, Tigre, Blain, Saho, Lingala, Swahili, Songo, Kirundi, Arabic, French, and English.

Experience in interpretation with a humanitarian organization is an added advantage. Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel).

The applicant must have a valid refugee card.

Area(s) of expertise

Translation and interpretation

Driving license


Tigrinya, Level: Working knowledge, Required

Amharic, Level: Working knowledge, Required

Oromo, Level: Working knowledge, Required

Lingala, Level: Working knowledge, Required

Swahili, Level: Working knowledge, Required

Kirundi, Level: Working knowledge, Required

Arabic, Level: Working knowledge, Required

French, Level: Working knowledge, Required

English, Level: Working knowledge, Required

Required education level

Secondary education

Competencies and values

– Demonstrate integrity by modelling UNHCR’s values and ethical standard – Promote the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNHCR – Display cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity, flexibility, and adaptability – Treat all people fairly without favoritism – Focus on client results and responds positively to feedback on their performance and attitudes – Consistently approach work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude – Respect working hours and their terms of contract and provide in good time information relating to absences from duty – Remain calm even under pressure – Demonstrate openness to change and ability to manage complexities – Any other related tasks as may be required or assigned by the supervisor.

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

As this is a Refugee UN Volunteer assignment, the UN Volunteer will be responsible for arranging his/her own housing and other living essentials. UNHCR shall however facilitate access to relevant permissions to reside outside designated areas as will be necessary.

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

This UNV assignment is subject to proof of vaccination against Covid-19 with WHO approved vaccine, unless the UNHCR Medical Service approves an exemption from this requirement on medical grounds

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