We are nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic and infections and deaths are increasing in many parts of the world. There are now more than 64.7 million confirmed cases and over 1.4 million deaths worldwide. Until the end of November 2020, Ethiopia reported more than 110,000 cases and around 1,715 deaths due to the pandemic.
The government of Ethiopia has been taking critical measures on multiple fronts to minimize the devastating effect of the pandemic. The responses included – a national state of emergency declaration to prevent and control the spread of the disease, mandatory two-week isolation for arrivals from abroad, mandatory mask-wearing, the closing of schools and universities, minimized number of staff at government offices, closing borders in some regional states and restrictions on travels, banning social gatherings and other activities related to awareness creation and behavioral changes.
As part of the broader response by the government, the FDRE Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT) has been playing a key role in responding to the pandemic particularly by leveraging the growing digital ecosystem and combined capabilities of volunteers, partners, private and public sectors.
Recently the ministry has partnered with the Master Card Foundation (MCF) to launched a COVID-19 response data-driven health informatics portal & rapid response center initiative. This platform will serve as a single unified portal to integrate and publish information on government interventions on the disease at the national and regional level, and facilitate information flow to citizens on all government responses.
This initiative, in combination with other various initiatives underway in the country, is expected to improve public awareness of prevention measures. Making awareness creation contents and others related to COVID-19 available to citizens in local languages would make the intervention inclusive and accelerates the information dissemination to communities who prefer to listen/ read contents in their mother language to quickly understand the message.
Generally, the COVID-19 response data-driven health informatics portal & rapid response center project is designed to make valuable information reachable by the public in multiple channels using voice, short message texts, and web pages in multiple local languages.
2. Overview of the translation service assignment
To avoid the pandemic spreading throughout the country, information has to reach all citizens of the country. Translating relevant information into as many local languages as possible, in ways that are accurate and culturally appropriate would make a difference in the awareness creation campaigns and intended behavioral changes.
The awareness creation of COID-19 seems going well since the outbreak of the disease. Information from reputable sources such as government and not-for-profit organizations has been created in many languages worldwide and contents are being disseminated in various media formats, like videos, audios, posters etc on various media including web portals.
Every country has its context and some have their language where these materials need to be contextualized or at least translated into the languages used by their communities. With our proposal to create a National COVID-19 web portal for information centralization and communication, we would like to adopt standardized contents and make them available in our portal with local languages. For instance, the WHO publishes updated information on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public  in its website where the same information in local languages can be used on our portal.
In some cases, some communication materials should be delivered to an individual level based on its importance and their need. These types of information are usually prepared in a form of short messages to be sent via SMS or scripts to be recorded for voice communication. Preparing such targeted messages based on the preferred language of the receiver would make the communication effort easier and would have a better impact in terms of giving care to people who look for the information in their mother language.
Also, posters and leaflets (in both print and digital formats) with generic prevention methods were some of the communication materials frequently used at the early response time to the pandemic. But due to changes over time, some detailed information for specific cases might need to be designed and distributed where it fits well. Schools re-opening and home-based treatments are a few cases where such specific communication materials can be used.
A piece of well-prepared standardised information which will help everyone to ensure they follow the right practice to care will be helpful. Having such posters localised to our context would be useful to reinforce the information communication and the translation service is intended to provide the text in such and other documents which will be provided by the project team into the selected local languages.
Besides basic guidelines, fact sheets and short messages, having comprehensive guidelines, manuals and training materials in mother languages will have a significant impact in terms of communication and helping everybody to have access to information with languages they are fluent with. Therefore, translation of such contents into Amharic, Afaan-Oromo, Tigrigna, Afar-Af, Af-Somali, Sidamigna and Wolayitigna will be part of the scope of the translation service.
- Ensure that information related to COVID-19 are translated into selected local languages and are published on the National COVID-19 portal, communicated via SMS/ IVR systems, mobile applications and other print media with good quality
- Have any content provided by the project team translated into the selected languages by linguistic/ communication professionals and domain experts with standard translation process and methods
- Available on the Terms of Reference, to be emailed up on a request of a bidder.
- Interested firms can request for a Terms of Reference via email: [email protected]
- The bidder must submit copy of a renewed Trade License, VAT registration Certificate (if applicable) and TIN certificate
- The consulting firm must have sufficient experience in the provision of translation service, in multiple local languages.
How to Apply
Interested bidders should submit their technical and financial proposals on or before January 15, 2021 on 2:30 PM , to the following address: –
Target Business Consultants Plc
Addis Ababa Ethiopia