Call for Nominations: Independent Advisory Panel Members

on 4 September 2023

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (World Coalition), an alliance of more than 160 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities and unions, aims to strengthen the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty. Its objective is to obtain the universal abolition of the death penalty.

In line with its 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, it aims to do so by:

  1. Coordinating international advocacy
  2. Sharing information, contact and solidarity
  3. Building best practices
  4. Leading global campaigns and supporting and amplifying national campaigns
  5. Promoting good governance and power sharing
  6. Funding abolition of the death penalty

1) World Coalition Structure and Governance

The World Coalition is a membership-based international network of over 160 independent member organizations which meet for a General Assembly every two years and elect a Steering Committee of 25 member organizations, which elects among its members an Executive Board of 5 people, which supervises a Secretariat made up of 4 salaried staff and 1 or 2 interns.

As part of its new strategy, and in the context of a Financial Framework Partnership Agreement (FFPA) to be signed with the European Union that establishes a Global Consortium for Death Penalty Abolition (the Consortium), the World Coalition wants to create a new body: an Independent Advisory Panel.

2) Consortium Structure and Governance

The Consortium is made of twelve member organizations of the World Coalition: Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network, Comunità di Sant’Egidio, Ensemble contre la peine de mort, International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), Greater Caribbean for Life, Harm Reduction International, Parliamentarians for Global Action, Penal Reform International, Reprieve, The Death Penalty Project, The Rights Practice and Witness to Innocence. It is coordinated by the World Coalition and structured with a Consortium Board, made of representatives of each Consortium member with an Executive Committee in charge of administrative management of the FFPA, compliance with EU regulations, and financial risk mitigation.

3) The Independent Advisory Panel

The Independent Advisory Panel (the Panel) will:

  1. comprise independent experts (See para. 6 for a definition of independent experts) operating outside of and independent from the organizations constituting the Consortium, who are representative of all geographic regions.
  2. be nominated by a subcommittee (see para. 4 for selection process) from a pool of candidates identified after the circulation of a call for Independent Advisory Panel members.
  3. contribute expert independent opinions in respect of regranting funds by the Consortium to affiliated entities, contractors and third parties. Each Panel member will assess proposals for regrants based on the strategic objectives of the FFPA and its expertise and knowledge of the region and anti-death penalty work. The Panel recommendations will inform the Second Phase of the Call.
  4. make recommendations for the final activities and budget of the Second Phase of the Call, if the Consortium Board can’t find an agreement.
  5. review regranting processes and projects on a yearly basis to ensure they are effective and provide recommendations to the Consortium Board.
  6. give expert advice on any potential conflicts of interest amongst Consortium Members in respect of regrants and contracts, including for work in countries where more than one Consortium Member wish to work.
  7. be made of volunteers who will not be remunerated for their service on the Panel, but costs for virtual and face-to-face meetings shall be covered by the Consortium budget.

4) Panel Composition and Selection

The Panel consists of five members and up to two reserve members. Reserve members are people who can be called upon if Panel members have to recuse themselves due to conflict of interest or have to step down for other reasons.

Panel members will be nominated through this open call for nominations, which is circulated by the Secretariat of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty to all its members and other external networks. The nominations will be reviewed by a subcommittee of two members of the Consortium Board, two members of the World Coalition’s Steering Committee and one staff member of the Secretariat of the World Coalition. The Consortium Board will decide on a final list of Panel members.

The selection process for Panel members will comply with the following principles to ensure that the Panel members will:

  • Be able and willing to review and score grant proposals objectively, discuss them, and offer perspectives about how international funding can support activities and organizational capacities of global and regional civil society and anti-death penalty movements.
  • Demonstrate expertise related to one or more areas including campaigning, researching, advocating against the death penalty and working with abolitionist civil society.
  • Have experience with or have been exposed to grant making and/or technical assistance, working with people facing the death penalty, and have familiarity with program development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Reflect gender and geographical balance.
  • At least one of the members has been directly impacted by the death penalty (exoneree, family member of a person sentenced to death, murder victim family member opposed to the death penalty, capital defense lawyer, …).
  • Remain objective and not demonstrate bias towards certain proposals based on their personal experience, expertise and who they represent, but rather evaluate proposals that are most likely to achieve the objectives of the World Coalition and the Consortium, as set out in its 2023-2027 Strategic Plan.

5) Operating Procedures of the Panel

The term of membership on the Panel is two years. For the sake of effectiveness and continuity, at the end of the first two-year mandate, at least one third of the Panel members will be asked to continue to serve a second term. With the view of staggering and ensuring rotation and continuity, Panel Membership cannot exceed 2 terms. Diversity of members should be guaranteed during the rotation procedure.

In total, each Panel member is expected to be available:

  • during a Request for Proposals phase, for at least 6 days in reading, reviewing, and scoring proposals (maximum once a year, minimum every other year);
  • at least 1 day for online meetings with other Panel members to discuss and finalize reviews (maximum once a year, minimum every other year);
  • at least 1 day for online meetings from one to three additional videoconferences yearly to discuss grant making recommendations and processes;
  • at least 2 days for an in-person meeting once every other year.

The Panel review process is a peer-based review process. Each grant application will be anonymized by the Secretariat of the World Coalition and will be reviewed by at least two Panel members in writing. The same evaluation grid will be used by all Panel members. Panel Members may request more information from the Secretariat of the World Coalition at any point.

During the online meeting, grant applications will be discussed with all Panel Members and the Chatham House Rule will apply.

The recommendations of the Panel will then be submitted in writing to the Consortium Board, which will inform the Panel about the final decision.

To prevent potential conflict of interest, all Panel members will be asked to disclose any link to other organizations and institutions:

  • To the selection subcommittee, if they are pre-selected;
  • To other Panel members before each consideration of application.

6) Who should apply to be a member of the Independent Advisory Panel?

  • The World Coalition is seeking Panel members who are experts.  Panel members are selected for their experience with grant making and technical assistance, so as to provide the Consortium with strong advice about allocation of resources, non-duplication of resources, context sensitivity, project feasibility and sustainability and meaningful participation of national actors:
    • The World Coalition strives for a range of expertise related to campaigning, researching and advocating against the death penalty and working with abolitionist civil society to be represented on the Panel. Members will be selected to ensure a balance of experience related to abolition of the death penalty, civil society networks, national and regional needs.
    • All Panel members should have the ability and availability to review and score grant proposals and discuss them (applications may be received and reviewed in English and French, but the discussion among the Panel members will be largely in English with some accommodation provided for French).
    • All Panel members should offer perspectives about how international funding can support activities and organizational capacity toward global, regional and national anti-death penalty civil society.
    • All Panel members will be expected to undertake their duties with impartiality and objectivity, ensuring that they evaluate proposals on the basis that they align strongly with the objectives of the Consortium and World Coalition’s strategy.
  • The World Coalition is striving for diversity amongst its Panel members, including diversity of gender, age, language, nationality and socio-economic background.  Therefore, the Consortium will strive to select the membership as follows:
    • At least four members, if not more, of the Panel are representatives of civil society, the legal profession and academia, meaning that they are not employed by government agencies;
    • At least four members, if not more, of the Panel are self-identified as being part of the abolitionist movement, and as having long experience in working against the death penalty;
    • At least three members, if not more, of the Panel are based in a country where the death penalty is still in the law (retentionist and abolitionist in practice countries);
    • At least three members, if not more, of the Panel come from Africa, Asia or the Middle East;
    • At least one member, if not more, of the Panel is directly impacted by the death penalty (exoneree, family member of a person sentenced to death, murder victim family member opposed to the death penalty…);
  • Panel members are independent and impartial. May not be Panel Members:
    • Representatives of organizations who are part of the Consortium or part of an organization which plans to apply for funding with the Consortium;
    • Representatives of the European Union;
    • Representatives of the governments of countries where the death penalty still exist in law.

7) How to apply to be a member of the Independent Advisory Panel?

Any person who is interested in Panel membership should send a resume and cover letter to : aplacais [@] The deadline for applications is 14 September 2023. 

The Consortium Board will make a decision on the composition of the Panel by 20 September.

The new Panel members are to start their term on 25 September.