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Moving Toward Implementation: Next Steps for Work Stream 2

8 May 2020

Following the conclusion of the work of the Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Working Stream 2 (WS2), the ICANN Board passed a resolution in November 2019 to adopt the consensus recommendations contained in the WS2 Final Report [PDF, 9.2 MB]. This blog provides an update on completed work and notes areas in which the community plays an important role in prioritization, planning, and executing implementation work.

The WS2 Implementation Assessment Report [PDF, 687 KB] provided an overview of the factors relating to the implementation of all recommendations, including roles of the ICANN organization, the Board, and the community. Building on this work, ICANN org's implementation team is analyzing all recommendations. This includes identifying the work underway, prioritization for the current operational period, and future planning and budgeting cycles, which are tied to the greater issue of prioritizing implementation of all community-issued recommendations. Over the coming months, ICANN org will work with the Board to charter implementation steps for the recommendations directed at the Board. Progress will be reported as appropriate.

ICANN org has started implementing several recommendations. For example, ICANN org examined existing documentation relating to the transparency of Board materials and made substantial updates to the ICANN Publication Practices and the Guidelines for the Posting of Board Briefing Materials. These updates and improvements were published in December 2019:

  • A Redaction Register to track all instances of redactions from Board resolutions, minutes, and Board briefing materials from August 2016 to present. The Guidelines for the Posting Board Briefing Materials now has more detailed information on how ICANN will review materials to remove redactions in the future.

  • ICANN org also created an Alignment Document, which provides transparency and consistency between ICANN's Documentary Information Disclosure Policy and the basis for ICANN's redaction of Board Briefing Materials.

It is important to note that a significant part of the remaining recommendations apply to the community, such as those relating to Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee accountability. Other recommendations require community input before ICANN org can begin implementation. For example, community agreement on diversity definitions is needed so relevant data can be captured and reported uniformly across the ICANN community. Community guidance on "reasonable best efforts" to implement the diversity recommendations, and an initial diversity assessment of objectives and strategies for achieving diversity criteria are also required.

ICANN org looks forward to working with the community to prioritize its workload to ensure that WS2 implementation does not negatively impact other priorities. Detailed planning and determination of how WS2 can be consolidated with existing efforts will be an important first step for the community to take. In the meantime, ICANN org is committed to working with the community to align WS2 with relevant annual planning and budgeting cycles. This will help prioritize WS2 implementation as part of the overall workload for the community, Board, and org and facilitate effective resource allocation.

ICANN org will provide regular implementation status reports detailing achievements, ongoing work, and plans for the future. We anticipate that the first of these reports will be published in the third quarter of calendar year 2020. We hope to hear from the community on their implementation progress, including their approach to work prioritization. To ensure transparency and accountability, we encourage the community to consider publishing similar progress reports of its WS2 implementation work, including relevant planning and prioritization.


Theresa Swinehart

Theresa Swinehart

SVP, Global Domains & Strategy