No.RecommendationRecipientThematic Group SourceAssigneesStatus
26Current policy management processes within ICANN are insufficient. ICANN must implement  a workable Policy Management Process System, available for use across the SO/ACs, in order to:
• enhance Knowledge Management,
• improve the effectiveness of all ICANN volunteer communities,
• improve cross-community policy-specific activity,
• enhance policy development metrics,
• facilitate multilingual engagement,
• create a taxonomy of policy categories,
• provide policy development history as an aid for newcomers.
ICANN Policy Staff; ICANN BoardTG5
  • Social Media
  • Technology Taskforce
  • Capacity Building



Implementation Details 

Progress has been made incrementally to address parts of the recommendation, especially as reflected in the At-Large website revamp.

Regarding taxonomy development, the new At-Large website has implemented a taxonomy of 18 policy topics to automatically tag, organize, enable the search, and improve the navigation of ALAC policy advice statements and other At-Large documents. This taxonomy list expands on the taxonomy used to categorize ICANN public comment proceedings. The GAC has referenced the At-Large taxonomy and adopted a similar list to categorize the GAC Advice in their new website, which is under construction. Furthermore, ICANN has hired a new library and information sciences specialist to review all types of documentation within ICANN and develop a harmonized taxonomy strategy conducive to the document management efforts of all SOs/ACs.

To aid newcomers in ICANN’s policy activities, the new At-Large website has dedicated topic detail pages (example) that explain the history and background of 18 policy issues, their relevance to end users, contributions from At-Large to those issues, and ways to get involved. Those pages also automatically curate ALAC advice in the chronological order, as well as news and further learning resources. Specifically, to help newcomers take part in ICANN public comment, the At-Large website is integrated with the public comment page on and automatically pulls in new proceedings (example). This function eliminates the manual work from ICANN Staff to publicize these proceedings among At-Large members. Furthermore, visitors can track deadlines and development status of an ALAC advice and know when to provide input. There are also information pages that explain the ALAC procedure to develop advice. Lastly, the website has a responsive design so that users can review and search policy work via mobile devices.

The various improvements of the public comment page on fulfill some of the requirements in this recommendation. An user can click on the ‘Follow Update’ button to track changes to a public comment proceeding and get notifications. To facilitate multilingual engagement, more and more public comment materials have become available in 6 UN languages and Portuguese in a timely manner. The new Upcoming Public Comment Proceedings section is helpful for early engagement planning. The public comment page on will soon go through an overhaul to become more user friendly.

To improve the cross community policy activities, the ICANN IT department, Productive Team, and the Policy Development Support team have been coordinating with the ICANN Community to develop and test out working group membership management tools. As a result of this effort, the Global Enrollment Portal will soon be launched to facilitate the signup process of working groups across SOs/ACs.  

It still remains a challenge to identify the ultimate Policy Management Process System that meets all the requirements in the recommendation. To search for such system or tool, the At-Large Technology Taskforce invited LANIC representatives to present their customized web tools that support policy development. More testing of tools are being planned, including the eXo Platform.

Next Step 

The At-Large Community will continue collaborating with relevant ICANN Staff departments in the search for and development of the Policy Management Process System. ICANN Staff are encouraged to actively reach out to At-Large to solicit input on existing projects and efforts that tackle the recommendation requirements.  



  • Chairs of these 3 WGs (Dev Anand Teelucksingh, Tijani Ben Jemaa, Leon Sanchez, Glenn McKnight, Judith Hellerstein) to discuss how to tackle this task
  • Capacity Building Working Group to work with Social Media Working Group & Technology Taskforce to assess the knowledge management and the policy development system

  • ALAC to follow-up depending on the status update on the SOs/ACs Chairs & ICANN Leadership Meeting on Friday 6 Feb 2015 
  • Social Media WG to help generate the taxonomy of the policy categories and make sure the taxonomy are more accessible to newcomers/curious outsiders
  • ICANN Board to help make the policy development process easily sharable via social media

    • After the ICANN 54 meeting, SMWG to hold a call and review the taxonomy used on the new At-Large website and help review and revise the topic/organization tags on statements and news articles 

    • Ariel Liang to circulate the taxonomy list on the SMWG mailing list 
  • :
    • Mark Segall to explore eXo platform and report back to TTF in terms of testing results


  • A project that overhauls ICANN’s information management system
  • The Technology Taskforce Chair is following up with relevant ICANN Staff 
    • Technology Taskforce has discussed the tool Kavi with ICANN IT, as Kavi was tried out in GNSO. ICANN IT is unlikely to continue promoting or implementing Kavi as it does not appear to sustain the needs of GNSO (e.g. not mobile friendly, do not support multilingual work). Nonetheless, the discussion on Kavi is still useful for At-Large to understand the user profile of policy management process tools and to guide At-Large on understanding what users want/don't want. 

    • Technology Taskforce has recommended a few other solutions to IT that can be considered as alternative tools, and will explore other tools in the future. 

    • Knowledge management is still a challenge in the community. Keeping track of action items and what is happening in the Working Group is difficult.  
    • Confluence has capability to include consolidated task lists for certain wiki parent pages and their respective child pages. 
    • To keep a concise summary / table of hot topics and key activities in working groups may help address knowledge management issue 
    • Staff-created weekly policy update (that includes the activities and topics in the working groups) can serve as a template for such summary/table - explore potential to publish them on the new At-Large website? 
    • Need to build an one-stop shop of working group/RALO/liaison reports: 

Input from Social Media: 

  • : SMWG to give feedback on the taxonomy used on the new At-Large website (tagging of news articles and policy advice Statements). 
  • : TTF has tested an open source software *** (Dev to provide the link)

Input from Technology Taskforce: 

  • The At-Large Website Redesign has been completed - part of the website design attempts to provide a policy background on policy issues as well as to create a taxonomy of policy categories and highlight policy metrics. The new website can be viewed at The website redesign effort has significantly reduced the manual work in publicizing public comment work in At-Large, and this has been demonstrated during ICANN 53. 
  • The TTF will be reviewing the Policy Development Processes at the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) to see what could be adapted for At-Large Policy Development; conference call will likely happen in the end of September 2015. 
  • Suggested Implementation Strategy

    • Assemble cross sectoral technology team to determine the full scope of the project 
    • Allocate adequate budget for completion
    • Create realistic timelines
    • Roll out a beta test with assigned volunteers in each sector to test and provide feedback 
    • Need to provide a recommendation of best practices

  • :

    • TTF will investigate eXo Platform: It can create different work rooms to facilitate policy discussions and communications, etc. Learn more about eXo here: 

    • Comment from Carlton Samuels: what we need is a competent librarian to do the curating.  THis morning for example there was a call on the Subsequent Procedures WG for output from all communities that pronounced on the new GTLD process.
    • A librarian has been hired in ICANN to look into issues mentioned in the recommendation. So far the librarian has been working on the taxonomy and search strategy with the language service team. 
  • :

What do we want in a Policy Management Process System?

  1. To quickly find historical information on a policy issue
    For example, find policy history on “new gTLDs” and get a report in chronological order.
    Such searches could be further refined (e.g show history in past 4 years) or show the submissions made by a particular AC/SO on a policy issue. Such searches could be visualized using a timeline (e.g A system would have the policy history stored in a manner to allow for such queries.
  2. To subscribe to policy updates/notifications by interest
    For a person who has a keen interest in certain policy issues (e.g IDNs), persons should be able to subscribe to receive updates on specific policy issues with links to where the discussions are happening for that AC/SO.

    This is where a taxonomy of policy categories to be defined for past, current and future/upcoming policies. Furthermore, a policy system could track past user interactions, so that if a person commented on a particular policy issue (e.g WHOIS), they could be notified of new, related policy issues for their review.

  3. Track deadlines for responding to policy comments
    With multiple policy comment periods happening simultaneously at different stages, a system should update a calendar or other system for the AC/SO to track and manage deadlines.

  4. The ability to read policy issues and updates in your language
    Comment Periods on Policies posted for review are posted in English with translated policy  documents being uploaded at a later time. Persons should be able to subscribe to notifications when policies are available in their language to review.

  5. Having the policy review process more accessible to mobile users.
    With more and more users using mobile devices, the policy review process should be made accessible to such users to engage in the policy process.

  6. Reduce the manual duplication to disseminate information.
    AC/SOs expend a lot of effort to manually copying and pasting text in order to disseminate policy information to the communities and to the wider public (wiki pages, emails, sharing on social media). A system should offer sharing mechanisms so that persons wanting to get the word out can do so more easily.

  7. What do you want in a Policy Management Process System?

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1 Comment

  1. I would suggest the TTF develop a full requirement specifications and put it to the Policy Support VP for its care and feeding. I really do believe we are way too far down in the value chain at the ICANN IT level.

    If the Policy Support Unit is going to be useful, it must be to enable provisioning of the tools that drive a policy development engagement that is less burdensome and one that makes better use of volunteer time.

    The back and forth with ICANN IT looks way too much like a negotiation in my humble opinion.


    -Carlton Samuels