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Strategic Planning

ICANN Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2016 - 2020

On 16 October 2014, the ICANN Board adopted a Strategic Plan [PDF, 1.65 MB] for fiscal years 2016 – 2020.

Five Year Plan IconDeveloped through an extensive, collaborative, bottom-up, multistakeholder and multilingual process, the new Strategic Plan provides an opportunity for the global community to coalesce around a new overarching vision and long-term objectives. The Strategic Plan: articulates ICANN's new Vision; restates ICANN's founding Mission; and sets forth five Strategic Objectives and sixteen Strategic Goals, each with Key Success Factors (Outcomes), and Strategic Risks.

VISION: ICANN's vision is that of an independent, global organization trusted worldwide to coordinate the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers to support a single, open globally interoperable Internet. ICANN builds trust through serving the public interest, and incorporating the transparent and effective cooperation among stakeholders worldwide to facilitate its coordination role.


  • Evolve and further globalize ICANN
  • Support a healthy, stable, and resilient unique identifier ecosystem
  • Advance organizational, technological and operational excellence
  • Promote ICANN's role and multistakeholder approach
  • Develop and implement a global public interest framework bounded by ICANN's mission.

Read the entire Strategic Plan online:

How we got here

Five-Year Strategic Plan – Planning Process

The Strategic Plan for FY16-FY20 is the result of a bottom-up, community process that began in April 2013 online and at the ICANN meeting in Beijing. ICANN sought extensive public input on its key challenges and opportunities [PDF, 209 KB] and on the eight strategic areas highlighted by ICANN's Board. Work and input on related initiatives, such as the Security, Stability & Resiliency Framework, and the Regional Engagement Strategies, also informed the Strategic Plan, along with the Strategy Panels' advice and, of course, public comments [PDF, 415 KB] received on the draft strategic plan text.

Planning Framework

ICANN's Planning Framework encompasses 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 ICANN's planning process, implemented in response to consultations and suggestions from ICANN stakeholders. The Five-Year Operating Plan links strategic objectives and goals with the Annual Operating Plan & Budget, providing a road map for implementing strategies developed in the Strategic Plan. It details—for each Strategic Goal—portfolios of activities, key operating success factors, (outcomes), risks, dependencies, and phasing over the five-year planning cycle, through FY20.

Supporting Materials

Important Links and Information

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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."