Purpose: To get community feedback on the "Enhancing the Effectiveness of ICANN's Multistakeholder Model – Next Steps" paper.
Current Status: The ICANN Board considered community input on the Draft FY21-25 Operating & Financial Plan. The Board took the community input, modified the paper to account for the feedback, and is now asking for additional input on the updated document. The updated "Enhancing the Effectiveness of ICANN's Multistakeholder Model – Next Steps" paper describes work currently underway, identifies gaps in those efforts that would benefit from inclusion in this effort, and suggests a path toward addressing each of those gaps, including proposed work processes or mechanisms, how they may be applied and which groups may be best positioned to lead those efforts.
Next Steps: The Board will consider community input on this document and a final work plan will be published.
Section I: Description and Explanation
As part of a broader effort to enhance ICANN's multistakeholder model, the "Enhancing the Effectiveness of ICANN's Multistakeholder Model – Next Steps" paper lays out a path forward that encompasses existing work efforts and maps a course that can facilitate continuous improvement of ICANN's multistakeholder model. In line with comments from the community, a holistic approach to evolving the multistakeholder model must not duplicate work underway but rather harmonize with existing efforts.
The ICANN community, Board, and org all recognize that there is only so much bandwidth and resources available at any given time, but particularly during the challenges faced as the globe confronts the COVID-19 pandemic. As much of the globe faces an uncertain future as a result of this global pandemic, it is even more essential for the community to commit our efforts to ensuring ICANN's multistakeholder model is effective for all. Further, it is critical not to burden the community given existing efforts and the already heavy day-to-day workload. Neither the community, Board, nor org can take on all the proposed priorities as outlined in the Draft Work Plan while balancing against ICANN's priorities and workload.
This paper compares existing work efforts against the top three priority topics to identify where potential gaps may exist. In addition, this paper also seeks input on how existing mechanisms can be used or modified to evaluate progress made on the three priority work areas, possibly in the context of the strategic plan. The Board is seeking the community's input on the following:
- The Work Plan: Are the identified work processes or mechanisms and actions, found in the table(s) for each work area of Section II. Work Plan below, sufficient to address the gaps that may not be addressed by the work already underway? Similarly, are there gaps and related actions that may address those gaps that should be included in the Work Plan?
- Remaining Work Areas: As discussed in Section IV below, the three remaining work areas will also benefit from the identified work that is already under way and the output of Section II. Work Plan. Community input on the draft Work Plan made clear there are groups who are willing and able to address some of the remaining work areas discussed in Section III of this paper. While the Board has focused this updated Work Plan on the top three priority areas, it also wants to make clear that any additional actions community participants would like to initiate to help address these work areas are welcomed. Are there any actions that your community group would like to initiate or coordinate? Additionally, are there any community efforts missing from this list?
- Evaluation: Do you support the idea of using existing mechanisms to evaluate progress on the three work areas, including the actions already underway and those proposed to address the identified gaps? This evaluation may be conducted in the context of the strategic plan or another, more suitable mechanism identified by the community.
Section II: Background
One of the five objectives of ICANN's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025 is to improve the effectiveness of our multistakeholder model of governance – a model that grew to fit our needs. As ICANN continues to evolve, and as our environment becomes more complex, our governance must also evolve; without compromising our deeply valued bottom-up decision-making process. This project is not a stand-alone initiative, but instead is one piece of an overall holistic approach to evolving the multistakeholder model by encompassing existing work efforts with the needs for future improvement.
The Enhancing the Effectiveness of ICANN's Multistakeholder Model project was initiated in early 2019. The ICANN Board solicited input from the ICANN community regarding this topic in discussions about the Draft ICANN Operating and Financial Plan for FY 2021-2025. To better facilitate these community discussions, the Board asked a neutral facilitator with knowledge of ICANN and its processes to lead the data collection phase of the project. Brian Cute, former Chair of the first and second Accountability and Transparency Review Team, filled this role. The community, Board, and org engaged in this facilitated dialogue over a nine-month period, which included six webinars, cross-community sessions at three ICANN meetings (ICANN64, 65, and 66), and three Public Comment proceedings.