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Help Build The New GNSO | Volunteers Are Now Being Accepted To Join Work Teams That Will Develop GNSO Improvement Implementation Plans

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The GNSO is creating five new Work Teams to be the incubators through which implementation plans for ICANN Board approved GNSO improvement recommendations can be developed and proposed by members of the ICANN community. Each Work Team will be made up of community volunteers who have interest in and expertise in one of five main focus areas:

  • Constituency/Stakeholder Group Operations
  • GNSO Operations
  • New Working Group Model.
  • New GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP)
  • Community Communications and Coordination

We encourage you to participate in one of the Work Teams.

If you do have an interest in participating, please send a message to gnso.secretariat@icann.org indicating which Work Team you want to join. Please include in the message your name, affiliation (constituency or individual), company/organization, position/title, email address, time zone, telephone numbers, and describe your specific interest (professional and/or personal) in joining the team. All personal information will be kept confidential.

The Work Teams are open to all interested volunteers. Work Team meeting times will probably overlap, so please consider joining only one Work Team.

Background information and the scope of each newly chartered team are summarized below.

Background Information

The ICANN Board announced sweeping recommendations for improving the GNSO last June at their meeting in Paris. The implementation work of the GNSO Improvements effort is underway and there are many exciting opportunities available for ICANN community input and support to help achieve the goals and objectives adopted by the Board. The effort is progressing on four parallel tracks:

  1. The GNSO Council is working to develop the transition to a newly structured GNSO Council by June 2009.
  2. Existing GNSO constituencies are preparing to submit their re-confirmations to the ICANN Board.
  3. New Stakeholder Groups are developing petitions and charters for ICANN Board recognition, and
  4. The GNSO is creating five special Work Teams to develop specific proposals, processes and mechanisms for implementing the ICANN Board’s Recommendations.

All four areas require significant investments of time and brainpower from members of the ICANN community, but the Work Team efforts, in particular, need an infusion of enthusiasm, passion, expertise and fresh ideas from the entire community to move the implementation forward.

Scope of the Work Teams

Constituency Operations Team (COT)

This team will develop guidelines and mechanisms to help GNSO constituencies and stakeholder groups operate in ways that ensure transparency, accountability and accessibility, including outreach efforts to encourage broader participation within the GNSO by explaining the added value of membership in these groups.

In its Paris recommendations, the Board directed GNSO constituencies to develop participation rules and operating procedures that set certain minimum standards regarding transparency and accountability. The Board emphasized that criteria for participation in any ICANN constituency should be objective, clearly stated, and standardized. In addition, the Board directed constituencies to develop global, targeted outreach programs aimed at increasing participation and interest in the GNSO policy process, including information on the option to self-form new constituencies.

Some of the specific recommendations approved by the Board include:

  • Develop a global outreach program to broaden participation in current constituencies.
  • Enhance existing constituencies by developing recommendations on the following:

    Develop a set of top-level participation guidelines based on the principles as defined in the GNSO recommendations, while recognizing differences between constituencies and that one size may not fit all constituencies; and

    Develop a “tool kit” of basic administrative, operational and technical services available to all constituencies

Please refer to the draft COT Charter for more information: https://st.icann.org/icann-osc/index.cgi?constituency_operations_team.

Communication and Coordination Team (CCT)

This team will develop tools for increased communication effectiveness and efficiency within the GNSO and improve GNSO communication and coordination with other ICANN structures, including members of the ICANN Board, other Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs).

The Board stated that the Council as well as the GNSO constituencies should consider additional ways in which the GNSO can further improve communication, cooperation and coordination with other ICANN structures. The Board added that there should be more frequent contact and communication between the GNSO Council, GNSO constituencies and the members the Council elects to the Board, and among the Chairs of the GNSO, other Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees especially in advance of each ICANN Meeting.

Some of the specific recommendations approved by the Board include:

Improve the GNSO’s:

  • Web site
  • Document management capacity
  • Ability to solicit meaningful public comments on its work
  • Coordination with other ICANN structures.

Please refer to the draft CCT Charter for more information: https://st.icann.org/icann-osc/index.cgi?osc_communications_team.

GNSO Council Operations Team (GCOT)

This work team will develop any changes needed to the Council’s operational procedures and role in response to the Board approved GNSO structure including determining what steps are needed to establish the role of the Council as a “strategic manager of the policy process” and preparing clear rules for the establishment of new constituencies within stakeholder groups, while recognizing that differences exist between stakeholder groups and constituencies.

The Board recommended that the Council move away from being a legislative body concerned primarily with voting towards becoming a strategic entity focused on overseeing and managing Working Groups, which will be primarily engaged in developing policy for the GNSO. The Council should adopt term limits and implement a training and development curriculum for its members.

The Board endorsed a new bicameral voting structure for the newly reorganized Council comprised of four broad stakeholder groups. It authorized the establishment of a “contracted party house” (made up of registry and registrar stakeholder group representatives) and a second “non-contracted party house” (made up of commercial and non-commercial stakeholder group representatives) and set parameters for their respective compositions. The Board also approved the presence of a voting Nominating Committee Appointee (NCA) in each house and subsequently authorized a third Council-level non-voting appointee. The Board also approved a methodology for the GNSO Council to select a Chair and approved various voting thresholds recommended by the community.

Some of the specific recommendations approved by the Board include:

  • Determine what steps are needed to establish the role of the Council as a “strategic manager of the policy process.”
  • Define and develop scope and responsibilities of any other standing “committees” as recommended by the BGC WG (those suggested to date: committee to analyze trends; committee to benchmark policy implementation)
  • Develop “Statement of Interest” and “Declaration of Interest” forms.
  • Develop curriculum for training Council members, constituents, facilitators and others.
  • Prepare clear rules for the establishment of new constituencies within stakeholder groups, while recognizing that differences exist between stakeholder groups and constituencies.
  • Review and recommend amendments as appropriate regarding methods for encouraging, promoting and introducing new constituencies, while recognizing that differences exist between stakeholder groups and constituencies.

Please refer to the draft GCOT Charter for more information: https://st.icann.org/icann-osc/index.cgi?gnso_operations_team.

Working Group Model Team (WGMT)

This team will collaborate to develop a new Working Group model for GNSO policy development and decision making.

The ICANN Board recommended that Working Groups become the focal point for GNSO policy development to enhance the process by making it more inclusive and representative, and, ultimately, more effective and efficient. The Board noted that this approach can be a more constructive way of establishing areas of agreement than task forces, where membership is limited and discussion can become polarized along constituency lines. Working Groups also enable key parties to become involved in the beginning and work together to address complex and/or controversial issues. Appointing skilled chairs and drafters, as well as proper scoping of the Working Group’s objectives, will be integral parts of a successful model. The Board urged that steps be taken immediately to move to a Working Group model for future policy development work, developing appropriate operating principles, rules and procedures that can draw upon expertise gained from other organization’s successful policy development efforts, as appropriate.

Please refer to the draft WGMT Charter for more information: https://st.icann.org/gnso_transition/index.cgi?pdp_team.

Policy Development Process (PDP) Team (PDPT)

This team will work to develop a more efficient and effective policy development process for the GNSO community.

The Board emphasized that the GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) needs to be revised to make it more effective and responsive to ICANN’s policy development needs. It should be brought in-line with the time and effort actually required to develop policy and made consistent with ICANN’s existing contracts (including, but not limited to, clarifying the appropriate scope of GNSO “consensus policy” development).

The Board stated that, while the procedure for developing “consensus policies” will need to continue to be established by the Bylaws as long as required by ICANN’s contracts, the GNSO Council and Staff should develop and propose new PDP rules for the Board’s consideration and approval that contain more flexibility. The new rules should emphasize the importance of the preparation that must be done before launch of a Working Group or other activity, such as public discussion, fact-finding, and expert research in order to properly define the scope, objective and schedule for a specific policy development goal, and the development of metrics for measuring success.

Please refer to the draft PDPT Charter for more information: https://st.icann.org/gnso_transition/index.cgi?pdp_team

For additional information about the GNSO Improvements Implementation process please consult the GNSO Improvements Information Page at http://gnso.icann.org/en/improvements/


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