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ICANN Planning Process

ICANN's Planning Process cycle has a threefold approach encompassing a Strategic Plan, a Five-Year Operating Plan, and an Annual Operating Plan & Budget. The cycle culminates with Achievement & Progress Reporting.

The Five-Year Operating Plan is a new addition to our planning process and is in response to the public's comments.

A diagram showing three components of ICANN's planning process cycle: a Five-Year Strategic Plan, a Five-Year Operating and Financial Plan, and an annual Operating Plan and Budget.
ICANN's Annual Operating Plan and Budget includes the IANA and PTI Annual Operating Plan and Budget.


The ICANN planning process is continuous and allows for an overlapping of its three components, along with validation of performance:

  • Strategic Plan – Developed with community input and updated every five years, 23 June 2019, the Board adopted a Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2021–2025. ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025. [PDF 2.18 MB]
  • Five-Year Operating Plan – Developed with community input and updated annually.
  • Annual Operating Plan & Budget – Derived from the Five-Year Operating Plan and from community input.
  • Achievement & Progress Reporting – Communicate performance metrics in support of the multi-stakeholder model of Accountability & Transparency.
  • See the ICANN org report to the Board and the Annual report
    Stakeholder consultation and input is critical and feeds into every aspect of this plan. ICANN will report back to the community against these plans via Quarterly Stakeholder Calls.

ICANN Strategic Plans can be found here.

ICANN Operating Plans and Budgets by Fiscal Year can be found here.

Questions? Email us at:

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"""" is not an IDN."