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Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

Pilot Holistic Review Draft Terms of Reference

CategoryReviews
RequestersICANN Board
ICANN org Contact(s)jason.kean@icann.org

What We Received Input On

The Third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3) recommendation to initiate a new Specific Review, the Holistic Review, along with the Board direction to implement it as a pilot, will have implications for various community structures and groups. These implications include, for example: community members’ participation as part of the Pilot Holistic Review Team for a period of 18 months; engagement and input of Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees and the Nominating Committee based on the scope of work of the Pilot Holistic Review Team as stated in the Draft Terms of Reference; and potential implications on how the various structures are organized and evaluated in the future. 

Considering the potential implications on the ICANN structures and work, the Board is seeking input on whether the Draft Terms of Reference seems fit for purpose, and whether it is tailored to the community’s expectations based upon ATRT3 recommendation 3.5. The ICANN Board would also welcome input on the Pilot Holistic Review scheduling and timing in light of other community and stakeholder work.

As set out in Section II of the Pilot Holistic Review Draft Terms of Reference, the ATRT3 recommendation 3.5 focuses on four objectives:

  • the effectiveness of collaboration mechanisms between ICANN structures,
  • the structures’ accountability to their members and constituencies,
  • continuing purpose of structures, and potential changes in structures and operations to improve the overall effectiveness of ICANN as well as ensure optimal representation of community views,
  • continuous improvement efforts of structures.

Additionally, the following questions are designed to aid responders in formulating their views on whether the Pilot Holistic Review Draft Terms of Reference seems fit for purpose and whether it is tailored to the community’s expectations based upon the ATRT3 recommendation 3.5.

  1. Do you support the Pilot Holistic Review Terms of Reference as drafted?
  2. Does the Holistic Review Program outlined in Section II of the Draft Terms of Reference provide a clear approach to accomplishing the ATRT3’s objectives, as set out in the same section, while addressing the information gaps identified by the ICANN Board set out below?
  3. Do the steps and the deliverables associated with each ATRT3 recommendation 3.5 objective, as described in Section II of the Terms of Reference, clearly outline the scope of work for the Pilot Holistic Review?
  4. Do the steps and the deliverables associated with each ATRT3 Recommendation 3.5 objective, as described in Section II of the Terms of Reference, explain clearly how Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, Nominating Committee, as well as their constituent parts will participate in the process of establishing a Holistic Review Program?

Proposals For Your Input
Draft Terms of Reference for Holistic Review Pilot (pdf, 202.59 KB)

Background

On 30 November 2020, the ICANN Board approved recommendation 3.5 issued by the Third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3), directing ICANN org to initiate the first Holistic Review as a pilot, “subject to prioritization and available resources” and “pursuant to community-agreed Terms of Reference and relevant elements of the Operating Standards for Specific Reviews.” In March 2022, a Pilot Holistic Review Terms of Reference (ToR) Team, consisting of ATRT3 Shepherds, former ATRT3 members, and members of the ICANN Board, was assembled to draft the ToR with ICANN org’s facilitation. The team worked collaboratively over four months to draft a ToR that addressed the information gaps identified by the ICANN Board, was in-line with the ATRT3’s vision for the Holistic Review and was operationally feasible. The ToR Team completed its work in June 2022, promptly sending the document to the ICANN Board, through the Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC), for its review. On 29 June 2022, the OEC agreed to have the Draft ToR posted for Public Comment.

In May 2022, the community’s prioritization team assigned the Pilot Holistic Review with the highest priority level, prompting ICANN org to begin the process of implementation design and planning the steps needed to secure Executive and ICANN Board approval of funding and resourcing.

ATRT3 Holistic Review Objectives

Please see the Pilot Holistic Review Draft Terms of Reference Section II: Mission for complete wording.  For additional information, you may also refer to the Third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3) Report (SECTION 8 ASSESSMENT OF PERIODIC (NOW SPECIFIC) AND ORGANIZATIONAL REVIEWS).

ICANN Board-Identified Information Gaps

The following are the information gaps to be addressed by the pilot in order to inform how the Holistic Review would be operationalized, identified by the ICANN Board in their 30 November Board Action approving ATRT3 recommendation 3.5:

  • Guidance as to how Holistic Review teams should determine and prioritize its work areas in order to ensure effective review outcomes within the recommended 18- month timeframe.
  • Proposed methodology for gathering and analyzing data to inform fact-based findings and recommendations.
  • Articulation of necessary skill sets for Holistic Review team members required to achieve review objectives, which will later be included in the Operating Standards for Specific Reviews.
  • Estimate of resources and budget required to complete the review effectively.
  • Suggestions as to how various ICANN structures would be held accountable for implementing the recommendations coming from the Holistic Review, if directed to entities other than the ICANN Board or org.
  • Determination of how future Holistic Review teams would measure the success of implementation and the success of a future Continuous Improvement Program.

Holistic Review Program

The primary goal of the Pilot Holistic Review Draft ToR is to help operationalize the future Holistic Review by ensuring, among other things, that there are practical assessment mechanisms in place for the evaluations outlined in the ATRT3’s Holistic Review objectives. To develop these assessment mechanisms, the Pilot Holistic Review Team is expected to create a Holistic Review Program under which the principles and criteria for evaluation would be developed, specific to each ATRT3 Holistic Review objective.

To ensure the different principles and criteria for evaluation are practical and relevant across the structures, the Pilot Holistic Review Team will collaborate with the Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, and the Nominating Committee, as well as their constituent parts, in their development. The Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, and the Nominating Committee would then participate in a future Holistic Review via self-assessment, providing future Holistic Review Team with the objective information that is necessary to complete the comprehensive evaluation envisioned by the ATRT3.

Next Steps

The following steps are envisioned to guide the process from the Public Comment on the Draft ToR to the initiation of the Call for Volunteers for the Pilot Holistic Review. Note that the outlined next steps are contingent on the substance of the Public Comments and on the conclusion of ICANN org’s planning for the implementation of prioritized recommendations.

1. Following the close of Public Comment, ICANN org would prepare a “Public Comment Summary Report” and brief the OEC, who would in turn brief the Board.

a. Depending on the nature of the comments, the process may include informing the ToR Team of the comments received and engaging them as needed. With support from the Board, ICANN org would make the necessary changes to the Pilot Holistic Review Draft ToR and finalize it.

b. Once the Board acknowledges the finalized ToR and the scheduling of the start of the Pilot Holistic Review, the Board would direct ICANN org to prepare the Call for Volunteers.

2. The Call for Volunteers will be published in line with the Operating Standards.