Since our last update, ICANN org has taken several important steps toward implementing the recommendations outlined in the Final Report of the Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Work Stream 2 (WS2). I would like to take this opportunity to outline the progress we have made thus far, as well as the steps we will be taking over the coming months.
Implementation of Board-approved, community-issued recommendations is a way to ensure that ICANN remains accountable to the multistakeholder community. The 100-plus consensus recommendations approved by the ICANN Board in November 2019 cover a range of topics, such as diversity, human rights, the ICANN Office of the Ombuds, and transparency. As noted in the WS2 Implementation Assessment Report, implementation of these recommendations "is a significant undertaking that will require a detailed implementation plan and will take a number of years to complete."
Following the ICANN Board resolution, some of the WS2 recommendations directed at ICANN org and Board were placed into the implementation planning phase, while others have already been implemented and/or are currently in the implementation process.
ICANN org has convened an internal WS2 Cross-Functional Project Team, composed of 15 subject matter experts, to complete the implementation planning necessary for those recommendations not already implemented. This effort includes determining suitable implementation paths, while considering appropriate resource planning and prioritization cycles. Below are a few comments and updates on several of the categories of recommendations:
- On Diversity: ICANN org recognizes that diversity recommendations entail substantial work, including the need for collaboration with the community. As such, ICANN org has conducted preliminary work that serves to inform the more detailed implementation to come. In addition to Age Diversity and Participation and Gender Diversity and Participation surveys that offer insights into potential and perceived barriers to participation, ICANN has implemented mechanisms to incorporate SO/AC diversity priorities in the Fellowship Program outreach and selection process. It has also launched an ICANN Learn course on "Unconscious Bias".
- On ICANN's Office of Ombudsman (IOO): The Office of the Ombuds has expanded to include an adjunct officer who enhances the diversity of Ombuds resources available to the ICANN community. In addition, the Ombuds and the adjunct have completed the training recommended by WS2. An implementation effort is underway to refine the strategic role of the Ombuds. Many of the other recommendations regarding the evolution of the Office of the Ombuds are dependent on the completion of that strategic update.
- On Transparency:
- ICANN org is working to issue a public comment proceeding in Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) on proposed amendments to the Documentary Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP).
- ICANN org has increased its reporting on government engagement activities and strategy, which now includes a series of papers that analyze government activity relevant to the Internet Ecosystem and ICANN's Mission.
- ICANN org has updated internal policy documents related to the org's Anonymous Hotline (Whistleblower) Policy and improved its internal visibility.
- As previously reported, ICANN org has implemented many portions of the recommendations regarding the transparency of the Board's deliberations. ICANN org now regularly updates its Redaction Register to track all instances of redactions from Board resolutions, minutes, and Board briefing materials from FY17 to the present. ICANN org will soon release the results of its first annual review of redacted materials, to provide the community with information that was previously redacted. Initiating the annual review process is a significant implementation milestone for ICANN org, and we will update the community upon the first release.
Many of the recommendations included in the WS2 Final Report are for community consideration or will require community input before ICANN org can begin implementation. The Cross-Functional Project Team has begun to discuss how ICANN org can best support our community groups as they consider implementing relevant WS2 recommendations and in light of the community's overall workload. ICANN org will be engaging with the community, as appropriate, on how to best provide this support.
Implementation planning of WS2 recommendations will be a priority for the org throughout FY21 and beyond. ICANN org's commitment to implementation has also been proposed as a priority in the FY22 planning documents that were recently under public consultation.
We will continue to update the community as progress is made. In the coming weeks, we'll announce the date of an informational webinar, so please stay tuned. As always, we look forward to your feedback, and encourage you to reach out with any questions or comments.