Skip to main content

Request for Proposals for an Independent Evaluator for the ICANN Board of Directors

*Deadline for applications Monday 5 May 2008

1. Introduction

1.1 The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for the coordination of critical Internet resources. These include Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions.

As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.

The systems that ICANN coordinates provide stability and universal resolvability of the Domain Name System (DNS). The DNS is the underpinning of all Internet commerce, which last year amounted to $2 trillion. As part of its work, ICANN develops policy for gTLDs and ccTLDs, and is currently working to allow the implementation of new gTLDs and ccTLDs, including Internationalized Domain Names.

Within ICANN's structure, governments and international treaty organizations work in partnership with businesses, organizations, and skilled individuals involved in building and sustaining the global Internet. Innovation and continuing growth of the Internet bring forth new challenges for maintaining stability. Working collectively, ICANN's participants address those issues that directly concern ICANN's mission of technical coordination. Consistent with the principle of maximum self-regulation in the high-tech economy, ICANN is perhaps the foremost example of collaboration by the various constituents of the Internet community.

ICANN is governed by an internationally diverse Board of Directors overseeing the policy development process. ICANN's President directs an international staff, working from three continents, who ensure that ICANN meets its operational commitment to the Internet community.

1.2. ICANN is seeking to appoint an independent consultant to undertake a review of the ICANN Board. The information outlined below illustrates the scope of the work and the criteria for selection.

1.3. This document should be read in conjunction with the Terms of Reference for Independent Review of the ICANN Board document (found at

2. Objectives

2.1. The review is designed to determine: (i) whether the Board is fulfilling its purpose in the ICANN structure; and (ii) if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness.

2.2. The Review is due to begin in Q2 2008. A full project timeline will be developed, but it is anticipated that a key milestone will include presentation of a draft report at the October ICANN meeting.

2.3. The Review of the Board is expected to include personal interviews, surveys, research and consultation with members of the ICANN community. The successful organization is welcome to suggest additional forms of soliciting the information. ICANN will provide to the Review team background documentation and reports and access to a range of historical data on a confidential basis.

3. Tender Scope and Conditions

3.1. Taking note of the Terms of Reference, applicants should provide the following:

3.1.1. Statement of Suitability. The Statement of Suitability must include a detailed outline of the applicant’s ability to perform the work showing past projects, consultancies, research, publications and other relevant information, including references. In particular, the applicants should describe their experience working with Boards of not-for-profit corporations. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate strong experience working with Boards of international organizations and/or with Boards in a number of different countries. Given the importance of the Board in the ICANN process, it is expected that the successful applicant will have an international reputation for work in this area.

3.1.2. Work Approach. The Work Approach needs to detail the way in which the applicant would approach the project. Given the geographic distribution of the Board and other key stakeholders, the successful candidate will be required to communicate through email, conference calls, and video conference over IP. It is also expected that the successful applicant would need to be available to present their report in person at one of ICANN’s public meetings.

3.1.3. Team Curriculum Vitae. The response must include Curriculum Vitae for the team showing each individual’s suitability for the proposed work.

3.1.5. ICANN Contract Compliance: Applicants should warrant that they are willing to operate under a non-disclosure agreement.

3.1.6. The proposal should include a work schedule including key milestone dates and a statement of proposed fees.

3.2 Deadline / requirements: By 5 May 2008, interested applicants should submit proposals by email to to the attention of Paul Levins, Executive Officer and Vice President - Corporate Affairs (a confirmation email will be sent for each proposal received).

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."