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ICANN's Five-Year Operating Plan

Last updated February 2015

The key purpose of the Five-Year Operating Plan is to act as a long-term management tool that will help to tactically explain the what, the who, the when and the how of the execution of ICANN's Strategic Plan.  Additionally, the plan provides a visual roadmap and a means to measure progress for Stakeholders.

The Five-Year Operating Plan is reviewed and refined each year with input from Stakeholders in the following areas: five-year planning calendar, strategic goals with corresponding key performance indicators, dependencies, year by year phasing, list of portfolios, and the five-year financial model.

The annual update process:

Update Process

Next steps:

As we have just completed the initial public comment period and analysis of the draft plan, below are the steps to finalize the first Five-Year Operating Plan:

Horizontal Process Flow

ICANN is currently operating under its FY2015 Operating Plan & Budget, which ends 30 June 2015. We will continue to operate under the FY15 Operating Plan & Budget until the draft Five-Year Operating Plan is submitted to the Board for review and approval, per the calendar.


The Five-Year Operating Plan was borne out of the development of the Five-Year Strategic Plan, an effort that began in 2013 as an extensive, collaborative, bottom-up, multistakeholder and multilingual process.

In implementing an integrated planning process, the Five-Year Operating Plan connects to the Strategic Plan's strategic objectives and goals, and corresponding activities over the next five years. This in turn guides the development of the Annual Operating Plan & Budget, which is also developed with stakeholder consultation and input.

Important Links and Information

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."