Improving Police/Public Relations and Police Diversity

In order to develop better relations between individuals and police officers, and to increase diversity within the police, the Open Society Initiative for Europe invites proposals from individuals, civil society organizations, or their consortia, or from police associations for projects or initiatives that seek to directly support the following: 

  • improving relationships between police officers and individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds 
  • strengthening the presence of ethnic minority and female police officers 
  • advancing the recruitment, retention, and progression of female officers and officers from ethnic minority backgrounds 
  • developing police forces that reflect the diverse populations that they serve

The objective is to promote a police service that is representative of the diversity present in the population it polices, and to develop increased trust in police worthiness, while mitigating criticism that policing is biased against members of particular groups. At a time when policing is under increasing pressure and scrutiny, and where public expectations of the police to deliver security and safety are higher, determined efforts to increase diversity, representation, and trust are more important than they have ever been.

We will support collaboration among different civil society organizations and actors that work directly with police officers, or who work on policing issues, including increased transparency and access to police data. We will particularly support work outside capital cities with a focus on working with both local and national police officers or organizations/groups.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications will be accepted from legally constituted associations or organisations based in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Spain. Applications will also be welcomed from individuals. Applications from other Western European countries will be considered where there are relevant, tangible benefits for the countries listed.

Purpose and Priorities

Specific funding priorities include the following:

  • developing the scope and/or reach of an existing network to increase the diversity of police
  • creating a network or organized group in the police where there is no similar group already in existence
  • holding local events or developing other practices, based on community/police collaboration, aimed at fostering good relations between the police, women, and/or minority ethnic individuals/groups in diverse communities
  • running projects that highlight positive relationships between the police and individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds and/or women, using social media or other traditional media
  • running projects that highlight how negative experiences between the police and individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds and/or women are being challenged and addressed, using social media or other traditional media
  • running projects that use sport, the arts, or other means for bringing the police and individuals from minority ethnic/religious backgrounds closer to each other, away from their work environment

Prior to sending a full proposal, applicants should submit a document of no more than two pages via Open Society Foundations Grant Portal. We will use this concept note 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 to submit. Download the complete guidelines for more details.