Project: Africa Area Bible Translation Consultant Cohort

Project Name:             Africa Area Bible Translation Consultant Cohort

Implementing Organization:  Wycliffe Global Alliance

Contact Persons:       Paul Kimbi, Consultant for Bible Translation Programmes / Matthew Bore, Alliance Project Funding Manager

Start date:                   October 2024

End date:           September 2026

Summary

Currently, 370 Bible translation projects are being managed by 18 Alliance organisations in Africa. But there are only 53 certified consultants for these projects, along with 72 more in training. The need is urgent. 

This project will provide a forum that allows translation consultants to work together. It will simplify checking requests and allow continuous support. 

It is also time to update training materials for consultants-in-training, especially in light of the increased community involvement in the consulting process.

Developing local consultants and context-relevant curricula is a more sustainable way of assuring availability of Bible translation consultants and quality assurance across the continent. Recruitment of local people as consultants-in-training and for mentorship will also improve when there is a clear plan and criteria. 

Background 

Translation consultant development has been a key subject among Alliance organisations in Africa. Many translation drafts are stalled because of a shortage of translation consultants. 

This project seeks to help ensure a constant supply of consultants by focusing on the entire consultant supply chain: identifying potential consultants, developing consultants-in-training and then ongoing development of approved consultants. Each Alliance organisation will be encouraged to take an active role in this process, which aligns with a recent resolution by the Forum of Bible Translation Agencies International (FOBAI) that recognized the importance of the role of each organisation in the qualifications for translation consultants. 

Currently, 370 Bible translation projects are being managed by 18 Alliance organisations in Africa. But there are just 53 certified consultants for these projects, along with 72 more in training

Determination of Need

Most Alliance organisations in Africa still depend on external consultants for checking translation drafts. A few organisations have taken steps to develop their own consultants but they are not yet at a level that allows for timely consultant work. The curriculum for training translators, potential consultants and consultants-in-training has also not been reviewed in a very long time. Further, the roadmap for consultant development and recognition is unclear to many organisations, necessitating the need for the development of clear and credible systems. The consultants who are available work alone most of the time. There is a need to train consultants with emerging curriculums addressing the contexts of the communities where the work is being done and the need to work in synergy.

Strategy/Solution

Paul Kimbi, the Alliance Consultant for Bible Translation Programmes who also serves as Africa Area Bible Translation Programmes Coordinator, has served in the African context and understands the challenge of consultant development. He has been interacting with new curricula that helps trainers to identify, train and mentor potential consultants with an emphasis on more community participation. A cohort for consultants and consultants-in-training will be developed, ensuring more accessibility and availability of consultants and enabling a space for peer mentoring. 

Project Goals and Activities

Goal 1: 

Strengthen the capacity of translation consultants and consultants-in-training by introducing new content for training translators and ensuring comprehensive quality assurance mechanisms that involve communities.

  • First Forum for Bible Translation Consultants in Nairobi, Kenya — December 2024: Introduce new content for training translators; participants share experiences on how consultant work can be done effectively in view of the context and changing times; peer mentoring.

Goal 2: 

Encourage development of consultants by developing a clear path for recruitment of potential consultants, growth and recognition of consultants-in-training as full-fledged consultants among Alliance organisations. 

  • First Forum for Bible Translation Consultants to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, December 2024: Trace a path for recruitment of potential consultants, growth of consultants-in-training, and recognition of qualified consultants among Alliance organisations; align consultant development practices with context; clarify and improve on guidelines for consultant declaration and recognition.

Goal 3: 

Ensure comprehensive quality assurance mechanisms in consultant praxis

  • Second Forum for Bible Translation Consultants to be held in Yaounde, Cameroon, September 2025: Identify and align the values of the Bible translation philosophy during consultant interactions with the community; build an inventory of potential consultants and translation consultants; develop a consultant pool for the area.

Desired Results

Goal 1: 

34 consultants-in-training and translation consultants are able to use new content for training translators; translation consultants enter into a continuous peer mentoring process with clear accountability mechanisms.

Goal 2: 

A document indicating a clear path for recruitment of potential consultants, growth of consultants, and recognition of qualified consultants known and used by 18 Alliance organisations. 

Goal 3: 

17 organisations effectively applying the values of the Bible translation philosophy in consultant interactions; inventory of potential consultants and translation consultants; a consultant pool for Africa Area.

Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation

Wycliffe Global Alliance Africa Area will implement the proposed activities, monitor project progress, and evaluate the fulfillment of desired results. The Bible Translation Coordinator will be responsible for monitoring the project and will write quarterly progress reports to be shared with partners.

Risks and Alternatives

Based on the review and analysis of this project, the risks are minimal. They include potential travel restrictions and visa requirements for resource people and forum participants. (The project has three resource people and 36 expected participants, which diversifies the risk.) 

Budget

(in USD)

Total cost for the first two years, including forums and administrative costs:  $134,992

Contributions committed so far from participating Alliance organisations: $55,248

Remaining need: $79,744

For more information, including budget details, contact us at info@wycliffe.net

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