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Working Together to Improve Governance and Anticorruption

May 13, 2020

The Open Society Initiative for Europe announces a call for proposals to support civil society actors working to combat corruption, state capture, and poor governance of public institutions.


Across the region, citizens are often faced with public institutions that are unaccountable, corrupt, and undermine democratic processes and the quality of public services. Interventions only focused on monitoring, advocacy, and legal reform have largely proven insufficient to generate positive change. However, we witness promising examples of public sector-civil society collaborations to address these challenges.

We are calling for applications focused on empowering civil society–driven initiatives to increase  transparency, accountability, and public participation processes to strengthen public institutions. These initiatives should be implemented in partnership with public institutions at the local, municipal, regional, or national levels, potentially (but not necessarily) also working together with business/private sector stakeholders. They should tackle important governance or corruption challenges and implement solution-oriented and practical approaches to improve the governance of public institutions and their impact on citizens.

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.
  • Civil society applicants leading projects in partnership with public institutions at local or national levels. Applicants will need to submit a written statement of support or collaboration issued by staff or representatives of the local or national level government institution(s) with which they intend to work in partnership. This statement needs to be written but can take various forms (such as an email, a letter, a memorandum of understanding, etc.), and can be in English or in the language of the country

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 $60,000 per proposal, using the proposal and budget templates available on this page. The duration of a grant can range between 12 and 24 months. The project start date needs to be between September and November 2020. 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 13 May 2020 (midnight, CET).

Apply Online

Informational Webinar

Interested organizations are invited to join an informational webinar on the Open Society Initiative for Europe’s open call on 1 April 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 10–30 March 2020.

Download Files

Download the complete guidelines.

Download the proposal template.

Download the budget template.

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