Democratic Governance

Credit: Fundacion Pro Bono Chile

A lawyer with Fundacion Pro Bono Chile providing free legal services to victims of an earthquake.  Credit: Fundacion Pro Bono Chile

Over the past three decades, Tinker has supported Latin American organizations working to advance the rule of law as a foundational element of democratic governance. Beginning in the 1980s and 1990s, Tinker provided funding to seminal efforts related to judicial reform across the region. In the 2000s, we supported organizations across the Americas providing and enhancing access to pro bono legal services.

Today Tinker seeks to build on and deepen this commitment by prioritizing projects focused on justice and rule of law. We will continue to review and consider other Democratic Governance projects on an ad hoc basis through our LOI process but anticipate focusing our resources on these core issues.

We invite projects with the objective of creating and consolidating systems of justice that are independent, effective, reliable, equitable, and transparent. We will consider proposals focused at the national or sub-national level, including those with comparative or regional components. Projects may relate to what could be called the "unfinished work of judicial reform," i.e., the challenges and opportunities involved with implementing and operating within more recently adopted structures and frameworks.

Initial areas of interest include:

  • Promoting transparency and accountability in the justice sector, both from within justice institutions and without (civil society monitoring, etc.)
  • The selection, training, and assessment of justice sector actors, as well as developing next-generation talent
  • Increasing access to justice, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized groups

Tinker will consider a range of project types and methodologies that match our overall grant-making parameters and capacity. These may include research and policy analysis, experimentation with new models and early scale-up of proven approaches, and exchange of knowledge across countries and contexts. We generally do not fund litigation efforts.

We will refine our interest areas and approaches as we learn, along with our grantees, from this work.

View a selection of recent Democratic Governance grants