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Working Together to Improve Governance and Anticorruption


The Open Society Initiative for Europe issues an updated call for proposals to support civil society working to combat corruption and promote good governance, in response to the coronavirus crisis.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this call for proposals has been updated.

Across the Central and Eastern European region, citizens often face public institutions which are unaccountable, corrupt, and undermine democratic processes and the quality of public services. To address this, interventions only focused on monitoring, advocacy, and legal reform have largely proven insufficient to generate positive change. At the same time, we witness promising experiences of public sector–civil society collaborations on these challenges in the region. However, the fast-evolving coronavirus crisis brings new corruption risks. These risks relate to the public health crisis and to overall government responses to plan for the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.

We are issuing an updated call for applications for civil society–driven initiatives aiming to 1) increase transparency, accountability, and public participation processes to strengthen public institutions with a collaborative approach; 2) address and mitigate the corruption risks related to the COVID-19 crisis.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia

We invite applications from registered civil society and/or nonprofit organizations (or consortia of organizations) with a background in anticorruption and/or good governance fields as well as working at local and/or national levels in one of the following countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

Ineligibility Criteria

The Open Society Initiative for Europe will not fund partisan political activities (i.e., activities that express support for a certain political party or support for political parties or elected officials are not eligible). Political party–affiliated associations are likewise not eligible to apply.

In the context of this call, we will not fund projects which are only focused on monitoring and exposing corruption or other governance problems. We will also not fund general civic activism, unless there is a specific link to solution-oriented approaches using transparency, accountability, or participation processes. Neither will we fund academic research on corruption or governance or mapping studies. In the framework of this call, we will not fund general organizational/core funding requests to provide financial sustainability to current work.


Applicants may submit up to two proposals per organization with a budget of up to a maximum of $40,000 per proposal, using the proposal and budget templates available on this page. The duration of a grant can range between 8 and 15 months. The project start date needs to be between 20 September and 1 February 2021. Please note that proposals will be judged on the quality of the proposals against the evaluation criteria, outlined in the attached description of the call. They will not be judged on English proficiency.

Applications need to be submitted through Open Society’s grantee portal. Please note that the grantee portal requires prior registration that usually takes a couple of days. Questions regarding the grantee portal and technical questions related to the submission process via the portal should be directed to Questions regarding the overall application process and the open call should be directed to the following email address:

Please note that this is a short description of the call. For further details, see the complete guidelines in the Download Files section of this page.

The deadline for submitting applications is 30 June 2020 (midnight, CET).

Informational Webinar

Interested organizations are invited to join an informational webinar on the Open Society Initiative for Europe’s open call on 20 May 2020, 2:00–4:00 p.m. (CET). We will explain the rationale for this call as well as practical and logistical issues, and also allow for a Q&A with Open Society Initiative for Europe staff.

For registration to the webinar, and other inquiries please contact The registration period for the webinar is 2–19 May 2020.

Download Files

Download the complete guidelines. (Updated: May 19, 2020)

Download the proposal template. (Updated: April 27, 2020)

Download the budget template. (Updated: June 19, 2020)

Download the complete list of frequently asked questions. (Updated: May 7, 2020)

Download the complete list of selected projects. (Updated: October 8, 2020)

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