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Translations of the Executive Summary
Translations of the Recommendations
At-Large Regional Policy Engagement Program (ARPEP)
At-Large Review Implementation Plan Development
ALAC and RALO Elections, Selections, and Appointments
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Initial specific findings
- Bahrain ALS was never shows in the map as an active Member
- I am not quit sure if any interview have been taken place with anyone from the Gulf Countries so far to cover the this part of communities.
- Table 9: History for Travel support
My initial comments on the EMM (Empowered Membership Model)
I fully share the concerns and foundations expressed by Maureen and see the same consequences that she visualizes. Increased inequality and the digital divide, difficulties for end-users to participate, difficulties in teamwork at the grassroots level, to interest, integrate and adequately train new users. ALs are appropriate structures, which must be improved of course, but in terms of their operation, not in terms of structure.
With all due respect, I think that as Maureen says, the error is that it is assumed that all people are born equal and grow in an environment that invites their participation in discussions and decision-making. But reality is not that. It is millions of people for many of whom the language barrier is already a problem that generates exclusion, the socio-cultural barrier is another, the difficulties in accessing the Internet and the economic barrier that also counts in an important way. The community would be represented by an elite that represents only a privileged sector of it. There is a lot of previous work to be done to achieve that level of equality, even to the minimum necessary to participate properly. And that is a work that is done from the ALs, with training and coordinated effort through a general plan of action that is also adapted to each particular situation and idiosyncrasy of the inhabitants of places where it is sought to achieve greater participation.
We value the work of ITEMS, which shows us real problems that exist in the internal workings of ICANN especially in the RALOS, ALS, ALAC for which they worked out a possible solution. We agree that there are problems and it is necessary to make changes to solve them, for which we thank the contributions made by ITEMS for this purpose. We know that the ITEMM'teem have done a work "against the clock" limited by scarce time for the universe of their study. We too are compelled to work fast, given the deadlines. As this subject is so transcendent and complex, we think it would merit a greater dedication to the discussion of the same by the community.
It is also important to take into account not only the problems, but all the real facts and achievements that have been achieved within this current structure. Important example is the acceptance of the transition of the IANA functions to the Community by the US Government after two years of in-depth analysis of the whole system and the adjustments they indicated.
Most of those problems seen by ITEMs have long been in place and implemented measures that are in place. They require adjustments in procedures, not structure. We have with ITEMS some differences of appreciation of reality that lead to differences in the solutions proposed.
1. The problem is not of structure but of functioning. Therefore, within the same structure we seek a more efficient operation, through the effective fulfillment of the "accountability" as foreseen in the new Bylaws, which is already in the stage of implementation and execution.
2. Regarding to the solution proposed by ITEMS, we allow ourselves to disagree with the proposed solution, to modify the structure of ICANN, for what has been said before and for some elements that force us to question the success of the solution that they pose, Beyond positively assessing the effort we assume has involved its elaboration of its proposal.
A. First, the fundamental basis of fact-finding used by ITEMS, according to the draft report, is an Opinion Survey of some two hundred ICANN members, on the basis of which percentage data are derived from the situation Real and running ALS, ALAC and RALOS basically, which is the subject of your analysis. While we consider opinion polls, especially internal ones, to be valuable elements that allow us to appreciate a reality, they constitute a type of unstructured data, which must be analyzed with another type of more concrete data, based on facts and reality of the object in study.
B. There are other facts that have not been taken, probably due to lack of time, for example, regarding dissemination:
a). The number of broadcast events to the broader internet community, which have been carried out for some five years in different countries and places with the support of local LAs and other organizations.
b). The relationship with other institutions dedicated to related objectives (IGF, ISOC, LACNIC, RIR, etc.) with which even joint activities have been carried out.
c) The relationship with the Academic Sector and others of the society, with respect to which there already exists a work in that sense that even resulted in the last year to an Agreement between FIADI and ICANN. FIADI (Ibero-American Federation of Computer Law) which dates back around 40 years, brings together Iberoamerica's academic sector and holds annual congresses in different parts of the area.
c). ISOC is already part of ICANN and the community that comes from the report itself in which half of ICANN and community members also belong to ISOC and work in both organizations.
C. Regarding RALOS, as expressed in the ITEMS report, they do not intend to eliminate them although it is an idea that is handled with pleasure in the ITEMS group in the report that has 90 pages and is in English. Because eliminating RALOS would require a Bylaws reform, ITEMS draws up a proposal that consists of two parts: on the one hand: reducing the role of RALOS to external diffusion and seeking greater participation of end users. On the other hand, create a new figure, the mentors, who are species of reporters in charge of fulfilling the role of communicators, towards the upper hierarchy, to the BOARD community affairs. This is an extremely delicate task for which a broad understanding of the problems of the community is required, as well as the adequate and timely transmission of the problems to be included in the decisions. It is essential to the functioning of the multi-stakeholder system and Community Empowerment, granted in accordance with the new Statutes. Leaving this task in the hands of individuals instead of a RALOS and ALAC representatives, has several problems. On the one hand, the relationship between the community and the mentors is not foreseen, nor their responsibility towards the community, since it is not indicated that the mentors are chosen by the community. On the other hand the accountability of these mentors to the community regarding their reports and actions. It is not an easy task for newcomers. In addition, with all due respect, we do not think that an individual can concentrate all the information necessary for an adequate rapporteur. Less is understandable at a time when the tendency is to work together, collective intelligence, participation in decisions, what is used even in companies to achieve better performance
D. Regarding the Working Groups, we understand that many of them work and have worked well, but in others cases there have been and there are difficulties. The solution is not to eliminate them but to improve their functioning because they are necessary. It is true that there are working groups that work better than others, that some have sometimes spent time without activity, or that their activity has not produced positive or positive results, or have sometimes been delayed for more or less well-founded reasons. The solution of this problem happens through the effective application ÿ the anticipated control of the "accountability"
E. The proposed solution of these mentors and the reform of RALOS and ALAC seems to be an original idea of the ITEMS team. There is no mention of other applications of the model with which we could compare and visualize the effectiveness of miso as well as knowing more about the details of implementation and requirements of mentors. We are aware of cases where these types of solutions are being used, but rather for the diffusion of certain knowledge to the public on more complex issues, which approach the community through a simplified question and answer method. But not just to communicate to the higher hierarchical sector internally the issues that are in themselves complex and diverse, from the different communities of Internet users. Much knowledge and training is required for this task, as the purpose is to keep informed and influence resolutions based on what the community understands and proposes in defense of the interest of all Internet end users. We understand that for such wide and diverse communities, the meeting of the different RALOS and their authorities in ALAC is a complex organization that adapts to the complexity for which it must respond and work. The system is used successfully in various organizations, although in other cases there may be a problem of bureaucratization, we understand that the strengthening of accountability and control of operation are the appropriate measures to resolve this point.
F. There is an issue that clearly shows the distance between the intentions and the reality of this procedure of reporting and consultation to the community. Language. And this is not an issue that should be awarded to ITEMS, nor an accusation to be born. I understand that it may be a matter of budget and time. But in order to be honest in what we say it is necessary to say it. With all due respect it seems to us a clear sign that there is great difficulty in understanding what is really the community, not a sector or an elite of it. If we talk about Community Empowerment, we need to know that the community understands what is being told, what it means and what it has to do with that power that is given to it. But agree that while a summary and recommendations are translated, that answers an explanation and is a summary and result of foundations expressed in 90 pages that are in English. This is a basic incoherence that we try to overcome. But that should be avoided at least in future situations. With that, in the case will try to do your best to make everything work well and improve. But it would be necessary to articulate what was expressed by ITEMS, with real and de facto elements that we highlight. All with the common goal of Empowering the Community and improving the current system.
In the following paragraph of the ITEMS Preliminary Report for public comments:
"Conceived as a holistic model, the EMM will enable end users around the world to actively participate by incorporating them into specific policy processes. The model merges the ALAC and RALO leadership functions, introduces a path for upward (and external) mobility with strict boundaries in mandates, and introduces new roles as Liaison Coordinator and Rapporteur in order to expand the group of Talents in At-Large. "
The implementation of a holistic model is cited. Holism is a Doctrine that advocates the conception of each reality as a distinct whole, of the sum of the parts that compose it.
That is, an attempt is being made to apply a model of conception opposed to the current one of the ecosystem of ICANN.
In the multi-stakeholder model, the result is the interaction and the sum of the multiple stakeholders that compose it.
My query: Will ALAC-AT LARGE be the only component of the ICANN ecosystem that will have functionality that is opposed to the rest of the multiple stakeholders?
I kindly allow myself to disagree with Alberto about the holistic model. I agree with the holistic model, in the sense that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. For that very reason, at that point, I agree with ITEMS that we should aspire to have a holistic model. However, with all due respect, I understand that ITEMS has a contradiction, since the 90-pages report mentions that working groups should be eliminated, which would welcome the elimination of RALOS, that participation should be promoted Individual and the activity of the mentors. These two concrete proposals, from my modest point of view, are radically opposed to the holistic model currently applied in At Large. At Large promotes and stimulates the creation of work groups because in them the individual works as a team and produces a collective knowledge, which is more than the sum of the parts. In other words, it gives better results than individual intelligence. RALOS are the work in group to the regions.. ALAC also. This is also the current trend in all areas of knowledge and its applications. (Science, technology, companies and all kinds of activities, whether or not for profit.)
I appreciate the work of ITEMS and the limited time they have had to do it, in volume ratio and the entity of the organization. Their work helps us in a joint critical analysis, to improve our work. The problems ITEMS detected skilfully, we had seen them, and we are being working them some time ago.
In relation to their methodology we can observe that they first conducted an opinion poll to some people within ICANN. From the opinions obtained in this survey the ITEMS team extracted some primary data. With this primary data they produced a preliminary report with some primary solutions and they put them to the community's consideration. Thus, ITEMS gained new opinions from the rest of the community and there emerged also new facts that had not been obtained in the primary survey.
This new information that we provide, comes from our perceptions and tasks and work that we perform in the verifiable facts. Then, I think ITEMS will complement the perceptions they received before, with the information received as a feedback now, that allow them to have a more accurate view of reality, in a new definitive inform.
With regard to the commentary on Recommendation 3 and related issues, I would like to clarify that in my modest opinion: I agree that the problem exists to some extent. But I understand that it is not a problem of the structure but it is the functioning. And consequently it is the operation that we need improvement. I understand that the problem of ALS, and of working groups, are problems of how some of them are working. But it's not the type of organization
In conclussion, as a solutions I think that the problems have the following solutions: 1. Capacity buildings in At large community. 2.diffusion to the community and users. 3. Metrics about behaviors to the members of the community and 4. Accountability taking in account the metrics.
The EMM tears the Web of Trust concept on which the At Large structures have been designed, without enough compensating benefits.
The concept in this design was brought up historically against significant, observed failures of the direct-participation model for some key decisions. The fundamental design of an election is to take a voter pool and split it in fracitons according to preference; the model until the ALAC-ALS-RaLO design privleged those actors who could carry their voters into the pool at the same time as it was going to be divided into parts.
While improvable, the present concept allows all parties to know to some extent who they are talking to, whether a small technical organization or a large one, whether loosely occupied with the issues or tightly woven, with experience, focus, training and influence. The EMM "as is" should not be accepted. Improvements in the direction of broader participation can be made and some are already in place.
Further evolution of the At Large does require more two-ways accountability demanded from the ALS, including their competence, focus, and ability to transmit users' values, principles and interests. There is less or very limited need for structural change and much more for operational choices. The present system's incentives favor some un productive conducts that can be curtailed, mostly by an operational adjustment of the incentives and their effects.