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Minutes | Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC) Meeting

OEC Attendees: Avri Doria – Chair, Becky Burr, Danko Jevtovic, Lito Ibarra, Patricio Poblete and Matthew Shears

Executive and Staff Attendees: Jennifer Bryce (Project Manager, Review Support & Accountability), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Negar Farzinnia (Director, Implementation Operations), Becky Nash (VP, Planning), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Laena Rahim (Regional Counsel, APAC), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Specialist) and Theresa Swinehart (SVP, Global Domains and Strategy)


The following is a summary of discussions, decisions, and actions identified:

The Meeting was called to order at 16:00 UTC.

  1. Agenda – The Chair established the agenda for the meeting and gave an overview of items to be discussed.
  2. Review of Open Action Items and Watched Action Items – The OEC noted that some of the "Open Action Items" will be discussed at the current meeting, there are several action items which will be followed up in time for the next OEC meeting, and there are also other action items which will require more time to complete. The OEC also reviewed the OEC's "Watch List Items" list to reflect items which should remain on the list. Items on the list are not for current action but deserve periodic examination or discussion by the OEC.
  3. Update on the second review of the Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR2) Review – ICANN org provided an update on the agreed approach in relation to the progress and timeline of work involved towards Board action on the SSR2 Review recommendations, in line with the approach agreed by the Board. Working with the SSR2 Board Caucus Group, the Board will be prepared to take action on all SSR2 recommendations within the Bylaws' mandated timeframe of 25 July 2021. However, as previously discussed with the Board and in line with the agreed approach, dispositive actions will not be feasible for some recommendations that will require further analysis and work.

    During the SSR2 Board Caucus Group meeting held on 24 June 2021, ICANN org presented the proposed categorization of the 63 recommendations into several groupings. The categorization takes into account the dependencies of the SSR2 recommendations on specific areas, including ongoing community work, community provided advice, policy or other community recommendations related to security, stability, and resiliency, a topic of strategic importance and one that is essential in carrying out ICANN's mission.

    Along with an update on the status of the SSR2 Board Caucus Group's work, ICANN org briefed the OEC on the anticipated timeline towards Board action on the SSR2 Review recommendations, including scheduled engagement with SSR2 Review implementation shepherds. ICANN org anticipates that the SSR2 Board Caucus Group's recommendations will be available for OEC action at its 20 July 2021 meeting, in sufficient time for Board action in advance of the 25 July 2021 deadline under the Bylaws.

    Upon being briefed by ICANN org, some observations and feedback from the OEC include:

    • SSR2 recommendations are considerable in number (63 recommendations), cannot be addressed in silos, and many are complex and touch on other significant areas of work underway - for example, DNS Security Threats/DNS Abuse, Sub-Pro, Name Collision. Given that some of the SSR2 recommendations cannot be addressed in silos, and many are complex and touch on other significant areas of work underway (e.g., DNS Security Threats/DNS Abuse), it is important for the OEC to engage in a discussion to determine the manner in which it will handle such recommendations prior to making a recommendation to the Board.
    • As discussed in previous OEC meetings, whether approving or rejecting a recommendation, the OEC reiterated the importance of clearly articulating the rationale against each SSR2 recommendation, in terms of transparency in assessing the approach to the recommendations and to demonstrate to the community the OEC's effort and diligence towards understanding and interpreting the SSR2 recommendations.

    ICANN org will keep the OEC updated of the work progress towards the anticipated Board action on 25 July 2021.

  4. Update on the proposal for Planning Prioritization Framework Project – ICANN org provided a brief update to the OEC on this topic.

    "Planning at ICANN" is one of the 15 Operating Initiatives included in the adopted FY22-FY26 Operating and Financial Plan. Therefore, a key goal and targeted outcome of this project is the analysis, design and the implementation of a work prioritization framework in collaboration with the ICANN community, Board and ICANN org. By working together to improve the way ICANN plans its work, the community, Board and ICANN org can determine what work needs to be prioritized and how to utilize ICANN's resources in an efficient manner. This project also aims to potentially address some of the issues identified in the ATRT3 Final Report in relation to budgeting and prioritization of recommendations made by community review teams.

    The purpose of this project is two-fold: to design a conceptual framework with embedded techniques for making informed, collective decisions on the prioritization of ICANN's project-based work; and to collaborate and engage with the community, Board and ICANN org to seek broad and diverse input on the approach to planning prioritization.

    ICANN org intends to propose a list of components or design elements that need to be decided upon together with the community. ICANN org will collect broad input through engagement sessions. Once broad input is collected and consolidated, a draft framework will then be built reflecting the input received. The proposed framework will then be shared with the groups consulted and the entire community for further engagement, leading to further input and edits.

    The project to design a prioritization framework will begin during the FY23 Planning process and a pilot is suggested for validation purposes on one type of activities in scope for the planning prioritization framework. The proposed prioritization process design will be included in the FY23 draft plans for public comment and implementation of the agreed-upon process is expected for FY24 planning process. The pilot will be on review recommendations.

    The consultation process has begun with the Board, community and ICANN org to collect diverse stakeholder input to inform iterations of the draft prioritization framework.

    Upon being briefed by ICANN org, the OEC reiterated the importance of clear communication and engaging the community in a more holistic manner to help them to better understand the key goal and outcome of the project.

    Responding to a query from the OEC in relation to ICANN org's interaction and consultation with the community and SO/AC leaders, ICANN org noted that in general, the community has been receptive to reviewing the process design elements of the project, and they have requested for additional workshops/ brainstorming sessions to be conducted to delve further into specific elements of the project.

    The timeline for the project is tentative and will evolve as ICANN org consults with the community and the Board. The prioritization framework will keep evolving to enable agility and to ensure continuous improvement to meet the community, Board and org's needs.

    The OEC will engage in further discussions on this topic.

  5. Project Plan for Status of Reviews – ICANN org provided an update on this topic, in relation to the progress toward a roadmap for designing and reporting on all aspects of reviews.

    Previously, ICANN org provided a briefing to the OEC on this topic at its meeting in April 2021. ICANN org reiterated the need to develop a practical operational solution to address the need for visibility and transparency on the status of reviews such that information can easily be located by users (e.g., a web page containing standardized information on reviews).

    At present, ICANN org has two mechanisms to provide information on the status of reviews – via webinars; and web pages with status of reviews. Given that there are limitations with information that ICANN org currently provides, there is a need to rethink the approach towards designing and implementing a new method to provide status of reviews and their implementation work, taking into account various inputs received during ICANN70 and ICANN71. Given the complexity and inter-dependencies between recommendations and various topics, developing a suitable mechanism will require a significant effort and active engagement with the community.

    The OEC noted that the project to develop a better tool and process on providing updates on the status of reviews will be ongoing, and will, likely, evolve as work progresses.

    ICANN org will keep the OEC abreast of further developments on this project.

  6. OEC Administrative Review (Semi-Annual Activities Report) – ICANN org provided an overview of the OEC's Semi-Annual Activities Report (Q1-Q2 2021), that is proposed for presentation to the Board Governance Committee (BGC).

    ICANN org will follow-up via e-mail to obtain the OEC's approval of the report by mid-July 2021. Thereafter, ICANN org will submit the report to the BGC.

  7. Review of New Action Items - Upon review, the OEC confirmed that no new action items arose from the OEC's present meeting.

The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Published on 23 August 2021

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."