Countering State Capture

In order to further enhance public integrity and decrease the extent of particularistic governance in target countries, the Open Society Initiative for Europe invites proposals from civil society organizations, or their consortia, that aim to expose, disrupt, and effectively change instances of particularistic governance models; specifically, as they are experienced at the local level in the areas of healthcare, education, and social policies dealing with poverty or equal and nondiscriminatory access to locally important public goods and services.

The objective is to transform governance; enable non-particularistic, equal, and nondiscriminatory access to public goods and services; support accountability, control, and oversight functions of the mechanisms safeguarding integrity in the public sector, especially in access to public goods and services; and promote transparency, as well as universal access to participation within the democratic process.

We will support collaborations among different actors of civil society and other endeavors that expose, disrupt, and combat governance particularism by combining transparency/open data work, consumer rights, local activism, community organizing, anti-corruption, social and economic rights, and direct action against governance particularism and abuse. 

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania

Eligible organizations: Non-partisan organizations, without regard to their legal form, conducting their operations in compliance with, and in order to further the mission of promoting values of open society, democracy, equality, and the rule of law. Organizations with experience and knowledge in governance accountability, anti-corruption and community organizing are specifically invited to submit their proposals.

Ineligibility Criteria

The program will not support:

  • work in the country capital;
  • political rallies, campaigns to influence elections, or other partisan activities;
  • general civic activism (without a specific link to accountability and countering state capture);
  • academic research on corruption, or mapping studies without clearly demonstrated relevance in a given context for instilling improvement or change;
  • general/flexible organizational requests to provide financial sustainability to current work.
Purpose and Priorities
  • Projects involving grass-roots activism, local public-private collaboration, local communities, and activities outside capitals and major cities. Focus on increased accountability, better governance, and countering state capture at the local level. We will prioritize support to projects related to particularism in education, healthcare, and alleviation of poverty.
  • Cooperation among nation-wide civil society organizations, grass-root initiatives and local civil society organizations, including watchdogs and municipal authorities aimed at improving governance and accountability at the local level.
  • Developing and sharing of innovative methodologies for accountability and inclusive non-particularistic governance and enabling individual activism or start-up watchdog activities by individuals or groups without prior experience in their respective communities.
  • Increasing engagement of citizens in local public affairs, particularly of previously disengaged groups in questions of accountability and good governance.

Please find a detailed description of the application process in the call for proposals document in Download Files section. Please make sure to read the detailed description before applying.

Prior to sending a full proposal, applicants should submit a brief concept paper of no more than two pages to the Open Society Initiative for Europe. We will use this concept paper to determine whether the project meets the priorities of our funding portfolio and provide you with initial comments, if any. If the proposed project fits the funding priorities, applicants may be invited to submit a full proposal. Those invited to submit a full proposal will also receive a budget template.

For further information, please contact Andrej Nosko at [email protected].