High Council of Justice of Georgia

High Council of Justice of Georgia

High School of Justice of Georgia

High School of Justice of Georgia

Disciplinary Committee of Judges of Common Courts of Georgia

Disciplinary Committee of Judges of Common Courts of Georgia

Georgian Bar Association

Georgian Bar Association

Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary

Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary

National Center for Commercial Law

National Center for Commercial Law

National Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution

National Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration Initiative Georgia

Arbitration Initiative Georgia

The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary Advocacy Grants


This Request for Applications (RFA) is issued under a five-year program entitled Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG) Activity.  The program is carried out based on a Cooperative Agreement between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the East-West Management Institute (EWMI), a New York based not-for-profit organization. The purpose of PROLoG is to strengthen the justice system to ensure due process, judicial independence, and the protection of human rights. The activity is designed to address key challenges in the rule of law sector and capitalize on opportunities for accelerated rule of law and justice sector reforms where there is political will and/or interest from civil society.  PROLoG will strengthen the legal environment for the application of due process rights and improve their implementation.

PROLoG is structured around four sub-purposes:  

  1. Strengthen the legal framework relating to human rights and due process protections.
  2. Further improve the management of essential justice system institutions, such as the High Council of Justice (HCOJ), the High School of Justice (HSOJ), the courts, the Georgian Bar Association (GBA), and Legal Aid Services (LAS).  
  3. Enhance the capacity of Georgian legal professionals by further strengthening legal education at the university level by providing more practical skills training, and providing more opportunities for continuing legal education (CLE) for current judges and lawyers.
  4. Improve access to justice for marginalized citizens, in particular women and ethnic and sexual minorities. This component will expend significant effort on regions beyond Tbilisi.

PROLoG supports the Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary uniting 37 legal rights NGOs with an aim to promote civil society engagement and government accountability for ensuring independence and transparency of the judicial system.   Since its inception the Coalition has played an important role as an advocate for progressive reforms in the legal system.  The Coalition has developed studies on various topics, advanced legislative recommendations, provided feedback on legislative drafts, reacted to problematic facts affecting independence of the judiciary, and facilitated discussions on legal policy issues. The Coalition’s work has involved both internal discussions to create a civil society consensus on problematic topics as well as an interaction with multiple actors including representatives of the judicial administration, professional judicial associations, the government, the parliament, international donor organizations and academia.  A big part of this work was carried out through joint projects in the Coalition Working Groups, uniting organizations with an interest in specific topics, such as court administration, criminal law, miscarriages of justice, and more recently, access to justice for women and minorities. The Coalition  members have previously collaboratively implemented research and advocacy on several important topics, such as the institutional problems of the judicial system in Georgia, law and practice of plea bargaining and preventive measures, judicial disciplinary liability and the quality of legal education in Georgia.  Many of the recommendations proposed by the Coalition in these studies were reflected in the legislative changes aimed at the reform of the judicial system in Georgia.    Most recently, the Coalition members worked together to comprehensively assess the reforms carried out since 2012, identify current problems and propose solutions to these problems. They also carried out a public campaign in support of judicial reforms.


The terms of this competition build on the RFA published on September 23, 2015. It invites grant proposals from the Coalition members with an aim to promote the Coalition’s advocacy and push it to an even higher level of effectiveness.   PROLoG is looking forward to fund targeted projects with clear outputs and clearly expected/visible outcomes that will further the objectives of the Coalition and PROLoG.

Problem Statement


Since 2013, the Georgian government initiated and implemented a series of justice sector reforms aimed in part at empowering individual judges in the governance of the justice system.  The legislative changes were carried out in several waves.  Despite these changes, many of which were completed with a significant contribution from the Coalition, several gaps remain in legislation and implementation.  The “fields” for further reform can be grouped into the following large categories: 1) issues related to the administration of the court system including problems of procedural rules that govern the work of High Council of Justice, judicial appointment, judicial discipline, delineation of authority between the High Council of Justice and the Supreme Court, case assignment in the courts, transparency and accountability of the court system including conformity with the open governance principles, and strengthening independence of individual judges; 2) institutional development of the entities responsible for the administration of justice other than the courts such as, the  Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Interior; 3) improvement of the current level of due process and fair trial rights in criminal, civil and administrative trials, the current system being epitomized by the continued existence of a fundamentally flawed Code of Administrative Offences, the less than fair implementation of plea bargaining and preventive measures, and inadequate application of interim measures in civil cases; 4) providing greater access to justice for women and minorities, (including a study of practical outcomes of legislative changes adopted under the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence); and 5) and developing mechanisms to ensure the right to an effective remedy for the victims of gross human rights violations.  


Grant Program Goals and Objectives


The goal of the program is to assist the Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary carry out effective advocacy with an aim of increasing judicial independence, the right to due process, and protection of human rights.  The program will provide financial resources for the Coalition Working Groups for evidence-based advocacy on various problematic topics.  Proposals should support one or more of the designated fields for further reform initiatives described above; cross-cutting initiatives are welcomed but not required.  The activities may include studies, monitoring, and advocacy campaigns. The aim is to achieve tangible improvements in law and practice as well as institutional strength of the justice system.   

Selection Criteria

Grants will be awarded to projects exhibiting the following:

  •  Engagement with the other members of the Coalition by consulting the Coalition Working Groups and/or the Coalition Steering Committee  at various stages of the project, including presentation and discussion of the project interim results;
  • Innovative, results-oriented, and feasible action plans;
  • A solid research methodology for projects with a research component ;
  • Clear public communication strategies including plans for media campaigns if such are considered; and
  • Strategies for engaging the relevant government agencies and institutions.  


The following general criteria will also be used to assess the projects:

  1. Degree of compliance with the objectives and requirements of the competition;
  2. Scope and relevance of the project’s impact;
  3. Effectiveness of project methodology;
  4. Cost-effectiveness of the project;
  5. Effectiveness of the monitoring and evaluation plan;
  6. Sustainability of the project (please note that sustainability can refer to activities, structures, knowledge, and outcomes that result from the project implementation);
  1. Capacity to implement the project as demonstrated by: (a) the relevant qualifications of involved personnel and/or experts and (b) past successful experience in the field; (c) capacity of the responsible organization to manage finances effectively.

Selection Process

To ensure an objective selection process, proposals will be reviewed in accordance with the rules and procedures of EWMI PROLoG.  The grant award decision will be made by EWMI PROLoG, with the approval of USAID.

During the review process, additional information may be requested.  The applicant will be asked to present all the requested additional information within five working days.

EWMI PROLoG anticipates multiple awards under the competition. EWMI PROLoG reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.

Grant Funds

The maximum grant award for each proposal is up to $50,000 for 5-14 months projects.

Grant funds may be used for the following:                                                         

  1. Expenses related to the collection of data;
  2. Direct costs for project-related events;
  3. Communication between partner organizations, e.g. phone, fax, e-mail;
  4. Pro-rated portion of salaries for key participants, e.g. director, accountant;
  5. Transportation of project participants;
  6. Purchase of a limited amount of equipment (e.g. fax, computer, software) and stationery;
  7. Other expenses directly related to project implementation.

Grant funds may be used only for the activities directly related to the implementation of a grant project. Grant funds cannot be used for covering an organization’s on-going expenses, construction expenses, the purchase of real estate, or covering an organization’s debt.  A clear justification must be provided for project staff salary levels and percentage of hours dedicated to project activities.

The following program activities cannot be supported by EWMI PROLoG:

  • Support for or lobbying on behalf of a particular political party;
  • Religious activities;
  • Humanitarian activities;
  • Theoretical research;
  • Individual and/or group travel grants; or
  • Capital construction projects for commercial purposes.


The competition is limited to the members of the Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary.  The grant application is submitted by an NGO, which is a member of the Coalition. The applicant must demonstrate that the subject of the application has been discussed with the other members of the Coalition Working Group and/or Steering Committee.  A summary of this discussion must be submitted together with the completed application form.  

Proposal Submission Process

The applicants must present the following documents to PROLoG:

  • A proposal in English to be written according to the application form;  
  • A detailed, itemized budget, as instructed in application form;
  • Budget notes.


A proposal can be conditionally approved, with applicant being required to submit a more detailed work-plan.

Proposals submitted to the competition must be the original and sole work of the applicant organization.  Any plagiarism will result in the immediate disqualification from the competition.

EWMI PROLoG will retain all materials and documents submitted through the competition in our records. EWMI does not use information presented by applicants for purposes other than review and does not provide this information to any outside persons or institutions, except when required by Georgian law or requested by donor.

Application Forms can be obtained at EWMI’s office from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Competition Timeline

Competition Announcement:  August 15, 2017

Competition Open Door Session at PROLoG Office: August 22, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. and September 5, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Applications can be submitted throughout the year by the following deadlines:

September 30, 2017, December 30, 2017, March 30, 2018, June 30, 2018, and September 30, 2018.  

The proposals will be reviewed in batches following the deadlines listed above. Applications can be submitted electronically to the e-mail address below. The applicants will be informed about the results of the proposal review process within 6 weeks of their proposal submission.  

Contact Information

EWMI PROLoG is located at 5 Marjanishvili Street 0102 Tbilisi, Georgia, Tel/Fax (995 32) 2505404. The contact person for this competition is Anna Jobava to be reached at ajobava@ewmi.org.

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