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GNSO Improvements - Major Accomplishments

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The GNSO Improvements Program has been a truly monumental undertaking and is a testament to the capacity inherent in the multi-stakeholder model which has come together to produce a plethora of major improvements to GNSO structures, operations, and processes.  Following are the program's most significant achievements organized according to the five major target areas:

  1. Restructure the GNSO/Council

    Major accomplishments and milestones:

    • Board approved revised Article X (GNSO) Bylaws (September 2009)
    • Stakeholder Groups/Constituencies (SG/C)
      • Board approved four new Stakeholder Groups (28 August 2009)
      • Board approved permanent Charters for Registries and Registrars Stakeholder Groups (30 July 2009)
      • Board approved permanent Charters for Non-Commercial and Commercial Stakeholder Groups (24 June 2011)
      • Board recognized the Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns (NPOC) Constituency in the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (June 2011). [Note: the first new Constituency approval since the GNSO was established.]
      • Board approved a new Process for Recognition of New GNSO Constituencies (24 June 2011)
    • GNSO/Council
      • Bicameral Council established with two voting Houses (Seoul, Q4 2009)
      • Substantially enhanced GNSO Operating Procedures (currently v2.4) including new voting remedies (proxy/abstentions), statements of interest, SG/Constituency operating principles and participation guidelines, Working Group guidelines (Annex 1), and a Policy Development Process manual (Annex 2). This enriched set of procedures was predominantly developed and managed by the GNSO Council Operations Work Team (GCOT) under the auspices of the Operations Steering Committee (OSC).
      • Approved the Charter for a new Standing Committee on Improvement Implementation (SCI) to review and assess the ongoing functioning of recommendations accepted by the two Steering Committees and the Council (7 April 2011).
  2. Revise the Policy Development Process

    Major accomplishments and milestones:

    • Board adopted revised Annex A and the new GNSO Policy Development Process (8 December 2011) containing 48 improvement recommendations crafted over the course of two years by the Policy Development Process Work Team (PDP-WT). A Policy Development Process Model has also been developed which documents the following major improvements:
      • Standardized Request for an Issue Report Template;
      • Introduction of a Preliminary Issues Report which shall be published for public comment prior to the creation of a Final Issues Report to be acted upon by the GNSO Council;
      • Requirement that each PDP Working Group operate under a Charter;
      • Bylaws amended such that upon initiation of a PDP, public comment periods are optional rather than mandatory, at the discretion of the PDP Working Group;
      • Public Comment timeframes include: (i) a required open period of no less than 30 days on a PDP Working Group's Initial Report; and (ii) a minimum of 21 days for any non-required Public Comment periods the PDP WG might choose to initiate at its discretion;
      • Requirement of PDP WG to produce both an Initial Report and Final Report, but giving the WG discretion to produce additional outputs;
      • Provision to allow the termination of a PDP prior to delivery of the Final Report;
      • New procedures on the delivery of recommendations to the Board including a requirement that all are reviewed by either the PDP Working Group or the GNSO Council and made publicly available; and
      • Use of Implementation Review Teams.
  3. Adopt a New Working Group Model

    Major accomplishments and milestones:

    • GNSO Council approved a new set of Working Group Guidelines (March 2011):
      • Developed by the Working Group Model Work Team (WG-WT) over the course of two years and approved by the Policy Process Steering Committee (PPSC), the new guidelines feature a thorough review of every aspect of the Working Group process from its first meeting through and including the final outputs of the group.
      • The new guidelines are incorporated within the GNSO Operating Procedures as Annex 1. At the Council's direction, Staff prepared a Summary of the new guidelines that is available for all current and future Working Group volunteers.
  4. Enhance and Support GNSO Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies

    Major accomplishments and milestones:

    • GNSO Council approved "Stakeholder Group/Constituency Operating Principles and Participation Guidelines." Developed by the Constituency and Stakeholder Group Operations Work Team (CSG-WT) over two years, the recommendations were approved by the Operations Steering Committee (OSC) and incorporated into the GNSO Operating Procedures as Chapter 7 by resolution of the GNSO Council (5 August 2010).
    • Global Outreach: The Constituency and Stakeholder Group Operations Work Team (CSG-WT), together with its Operations Steering Committee (OSC), has made significant progress in developing recommendations concerning outreach:
    • "Toolkit" of GNSO Services:
      • Utilizing the results of a GNSO Constituency Survey conducted by Staff in October 2008, the Constituency and Stakeholder Group Operations Work Team (CSG-WT) analyzed the results, conducted a follow-up survey, and recommended a prioritized list of eleven (11) services in its final report (25 October 2009).
      • The Operations Steering Committee (OSC) forwarded the recommendations to the GNSO Council (4 December 2009), which approved them by Resolution (17 December 2009) directing Staff to develop costs, funding, specifications, requirements, and procedures as well as notify the GNSO Communities of the "Toolkit" and the process for requesting services.
        • Seven (7) of the eleven (11) services are currently being provided to the GNSO community.
        • One service, #7-Provide Grants/Funding Directly to Constituencies, has been deferred.
        • Three (3) services are in varying states of analysis, development, and implementation (see Section 6 below).
  5. Improve Communications and Coordination with ICANN Structures

    Major accomplishments and milestones:

    • The Communications and Coordination Work Team (CCT) submitted its Final Consolidated Report to the Operations Steering Committee (OSC) and was approved by the GNSO Council (23 June 2010, Brussels), after a Public Comment period (23 April 2010 – 16 May 2010). The Council directed Staff to begin implementation focusing on the CCT's three major recommendations:
      • Developing new GNSO website requirements including document management and collaboration tools;
      • Improving the GNSO's ability to solicit meaningful feedback; and
      • Improving the GNSO's coordination with other ICANN structures.
    • Website Design and Development:
      • During September-October 2009, utilizing the CCT's foundational work, members of the ICANN Policy Staff and the CCT sub-team developed a framework/layout for a new GNSO website and conducted several presentations during the Seoul ICANN meeting to show various GNSO groups the "wireframes" and obtain feedback.
      • Two Requests for Proposals were published (February, April 2010) culminating in a contract award and delivery of a re-themed site in September 2010.
      • Extensive content development ensued in the intervening period and the new GNSO site became operational effective 24 May 2012:
        • Major improvements include: complete site reorganization and content presentation; implementation of taxonomy and extensive document tagging; conversion to database for improved efficiencies; new browse (library) and search capability; modern theming/navigation; and a focus on new user education (podcasts, webinars).