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GNSO Review – Briefing Webinar – 7 May 2014 at 13:00 UTC

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Dear GNSO community,

Preliminary activities for the 2014 Review of the GNSO will soon be underway. This letter describes the key components of the review, the schedule of activities, and the opportunities to participate.

This review is part of ICANN's commitment to continuous improvement and is consistent with our Bylaws requirement for regular reviews of ICANN organizations. The GNSO review will be an opportunity for your community to suggest and introduce change in your structure and/or operations to improve its overall effectiveness. The GNSO will be a protagonist in this inclusive process: in keeping with ICANN's bottom-up, multi-stakeholder approach, this review process will incorporate a "self-review" by the GNSO community and its direct involvement.

An independent examiner will be selected through a competitive bidding process to commence on 21 April. The review process is expected to start on or about 1 July 2014.

In order to provide you with an opportunity to obtain further information about the GNSO review process, collect feedback and answer any questions you may have concerning this process, a briefing webinar has been scheduled on 7 May at 13 UTC. The webinar will be recorded and available for those who may not be able to join the session live.

Review of Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

The objective of the Review is to examine organizational effectiveness of the GNSO, including its structure components (GNSO Council, GNSO Working Groups, GNSO Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies). The review will be tightly scoped based on objective and quantifiable criteria provided to the independent examiner.

The work methods are expected to include the examination of documentation, records and reports; outcomes from the 360 Assessment; and limited interviews. The 360 Assessment is an online mechanism to collect and summarize feedback from members of the GNSO community — a "self-review" relative to objective and quantifiable criteria. Interested members of other ICANN organizations, Board and staff also may offer feedback. Relevant assessments of the Second Accountability and Transparency Review Team1 regarding the GNSO policy development process will be factored into the review.

GNSO and community participation

Involvement of the GNSO community as well as input and participation from the broader community are important components of this review process.

As discussed in GNSO Council meetings, we are requesting that a GNSO Review Working Party be assembled to function as a liaison between the GNSO, the independent examiner and the SIC, to provide input on review criteria and the 360 Assessment, coordinate interviews and objectively supply clarification and responses to the draft findings and recommendations. Once a final report is issued and the Board takes action on it, as appropriate, the GNSO Review Working Party is expected to coordinate with the GNSO community to prepare an Implementation Plan and champion implementation of improvement activities. More information about this will be provided shortly.

Review Criteria

Objective and quantifiable criteria will cover the following areas:

  1. Achievement of mission, compliance with agreed upon rules and processes
  2. Accountability and transparency to the public
  3. Membership processes and participation
  4. Structural support toward achievement of mission
  5. Governance and management: effectiveness of execution
  6. Quality and evaluation/measurement of outcomes
  7. Communication
  8. Effectiveness of implementation of prior review recommendations

Proposed Schedule

RFP published21 April 2014
Briefing with GNSO (webinar)7 May at 13:00 UTC
GNSO to identify GNSO Review Working Party14 May
Refine examination criteria30 May
Implement 360 assessment15 June
Board appointment of independent reviewer26 June
Start of review work1 July
Summary results from 360 Assessment30 July
Draft Report 130 September
Clarification and rebuttal from GNSO11-12 October
Draft Report 231 October
Public comment period1 November – 5 January 2015
Final Report15 January 2015
Preparation of Implementation Plan16 January – 20 February
Implement Recommendations1 March 2015 – 28 February 2016

The Structural Improvements Committee thanks the GNSO for its support in this important work and looks forward to a productive review.

Sincerely, Raymond A. Plzak
Chair, Structural Improvements Committee

Staff point of contact – Larisa Gurnick, Strategic Initiatives Director (

Additional Information

Additional information about the previous GNSO review and subsequent implementation work is available at

1 see Appendix A of the Second Accountability and Transparency Review Team Report and Recommendations