Click here to review the spreadsheet with the regional budget proposals.
Click here to visit the FY12 At-Large Budget Development Workspace
The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), on behalf of the At-Large community consisting of five Regional At-Large Organizations (RALOs) grouping more than 125 At-Large Structures (ALSes) worldwide, welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Framework for the FY12 Operating Plan and Budget.
Especially welcomed are the continuing improvements to the process which this year sees the introduction of a new template to be filled and included with every proposed project. Our thanks go to Akram Atallah and Juan Ojeda in explaining the new procedures and spending significant time both on conference calls with ALAC but also with our RALO communities, as well as in meetings taking place during the ICANN AGM in Cartagena, Colombia.
This submission by ALAC has been guided by the information gathered at those numerous meetings. Its input process has been extensively discussed at all levels, from ALS to RALO leadership, RALO to ALAC and ALAC to ALAC Executive Committee. It reflects the needs of the At-Large community whilst following the essential guidelines that:
- any project needs to link to a Strategic ICANN objective, either supporting it, or being directly related to it as a consequence of being linked to the Affirmation of Commitments, and
- Any project needs to show quantifiable benefits which can be assessed after its conclusion.
In line with a key strategic goal in At-Large, to implement a complete bottom-up input process, the bulk of the input to this document comes from extensive work performed at the RALO level. The ALAC has strived to perform the function of information collation, ordering into broad lines of similar project types, whilst taking care of not performing any kind of top-down filtering. We believe that grass-root input is key to our process because it warrants the need for ICANN to act locally, in line with:
- Section 2 of the affirmation of commitments (…empowering people around the globe… …decision making at local level…)
- Section 3 of the affirmation of commitments (…decisions made… …are accountable and transparent…)
- Section 4 of the affirmation of commitments (…bottom up decision process…)
In collating project proposals, we have also paid particular attention to the Accountability and Transparency Review Team’s (ATRT) Final Recommendations. We believe that there is full agreement with its findings and that some of the projects proposed by our RALOs stem directly from the aim to improve ICANN’s accountability and transparency.
The variety of projects proposed by RALOs is impressive. With each region having developed its plan separately from the other regions, it was surprising to see the commonality that existed in between regions.
In the interest of clarity, we have therefore opted to categorize them into seven (7) subject areas as follows:
- Regional General Assemblies (Regions GA)
- Representation at Regional and International Internet Events
- Capacity Building Events
- Outreach/In-Reach Material
- Other Outreach activities
In closing this introduction, a strong reminder: At-Large growth is a fundamental part of its success. A running budget with no provision of growth leads to anemic operation of At-Large, akin to running a corporation with no R&D and no capital investments. With ICANN’s capital being its volunteers, a lack of capital investment in At-Large beyond a conservative operating budget risks seeing this extraordinary resource dry up and it is only through a sustained campaign of in and out-reach that the core of ICANN’s bottom-up experiment will succeed.
Regional General Assemblies (Regions GA)
A local General Assembly (GA) is a physical meeting of all local At-Large Structures, organized by the RALO to be held in conjunction with either an ICANN meetings taking place in the region, or at another key Internet Stakeholder meeting within the region (e.g. APRICOT, LACNIC/LACTLD, IGF or regional IGF, INET, etc.)
A proposed timeline of RALO At-Large summits involves the conducting of a RALO GA in each of the five regions of the world at least every three years.
- AFRALO proposes a GA in 2011 to be held in Dakar (or the African venue of the 42nd ICANN meeting if different) (FY12) in conjunction with the capacity building program
- APRALO proposes a GA in 2011 to be held in Jordan, FY10/11 or FY11/12 if impossible immediately)
- EURALO proposes a GA in 2012 to be held in the region (FY11/12). According to EURALO bylaws, it needs to conduct one GA per year. In previous years, no funding was made available, with organization left to ALS volunteers (with ICANN staff support), and participants paying for their own travel/accommodation. This seriously thwarted the number of physical participants
- LACRALO proposes GAs for 2011/2012/2013/2014 focusing each year in a Strategic Focus Area:
- Y2011: Core Operations including IANA
- Y2012: Consumer Choice, Competition & Innovation
- Y2013: A Healthy Internet Eco-System
- Y2014: DNS Stability & Security
- NARALO proposes a GA in 2012 in October 2012 (FY11/12) at ICANN meeting #45
Our wish is to see communities thrive locally by bringing our ALSes together and generating synergies that are beneficial to ICANN as a whole. There is widespread evidence that a few days of F2F interaction gets matters completed in a significantly shorter time frame than via online communication.
Representation at Regional and International Internet Events
Part of ICANN’s core strategic objectives is to raise its profile internationally. One of the key ways of achieving such potential is to take part in regional and international Internet Events outside ICANN meetings. So far, this has been done by individuals in ALSes around the world, sometimes wearing more than one hat, and not necessarily wearing an ICANN At-Large hat. RALOs all propose a presence in their own area – and the cost/return potential of this participation is further improved thanks to the ability of RALOs to call upon their local ALSes to reduce costs and maximize impact.
- APRALO recommends a presence at regional Asia-Pacific IGFs and AP* Events, including representation by APRALO officers, secretariat or volunteers.
- AFRALO suggests attendance at the forthcoming IGF in Nairobi. In 2010, it organized a very successful workshop at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2010 in Vilnius with no funding whatsoever from ICANN. The workshop was very well attended, even by senior ICANN staff. In light of the benefit to ICANN’s image and considering its success it is unfair to expect volunteers and ALSes to sustain a repeat proposal without funding in FY11/12. The organizing of a workshop which is part of the core IGF schedule has the potential to raise APRALO’s profile, and through this, ICANN’s profile in a considerable manner.
- EURALO proposes a presence of up to five (5) of its members at the European Dialogue for Internet Governance, EURODIG 2012 (FY11/12 or FY12/13), Europe’s premier Internet Governance yearly conference, organized by the Council of Europe and many partners, several of which are ALSes.
- LACRALO recommends involvement at LACNIC and LACTLD meetings, a representation by LACRALO president, secretariat and two (2) ALAC members. A sustained involvement with these organizations directly supports ICANN’s strategy of regional engagement and strategic alliances
- NARALO supports a sustained presence at several regional meetings including:
o ICANN At-Large Presence at three (3) major international consumer-focused IT conferences. For the first trial, this program proposes three initial events: CES (USA), CEBIT (Germany), Computex (Taiwan). This proposal is directly linked to ICANN’s international image building outside of its own circle. At-Large Structures have what is required locally to produce high Return on Investment (ROI)
o Attendance at the Pacific Community Networks Association Conference (representation by regional members) – this association is extensively involved with facilitating education of the public about the Internet in local communities
Capacity Building Events
As mentioned earlier in this document, a thriving At-Large is only possible through constant international growth. Capacity building is a key constituent at the heart of At-Large and is possible locally thanks to the local knowledge held by ALSes. Attendance at some local events promotes capacity building with a manner exceeding efforts made by possible high-level ICANN initiatives because it involves the grassroots. RALOs are therefore very keen to be involved in such initiatives.
- AFRALO proposes a program of capacity building and outreach for the AFRALO ALSes during the forthcoming 42nd ICANN meeting purported to take place in Dakar. It consists of two modules, one being an AFRALO showcase and the other being a capacity building set of training sessions (see project outline).
- AFRALO also suggests a regional media campaign and workshops at IGF 2012 and e-learning Africa 2012, to mobilize local support for new gTLDs. Note that both of these proposals could also fall under the category of “representation at regional and international internet events” but are filed under capacity building due to their education-specific role.
- LACRALO has designed a set of “LACRALO Technology Fest” meetings for FY11/12, FY12/13, FY13/14 and FY14/15, spanning the years 2011 to 2014. These are comprised of an Annual Virtual Meeting with at least one delegate for each LACRALO ALS participating and contributing on various relevant ICANN topics. The topics are directly aligned with ICANN’s strategic objectives.
- NARALO proposes to establish a presence at smaller ICANN meetings involving the contracted parties in order to establish a dialogue between supplier and customer at an earlier stage, so as to harmonize relationships with the industry (link)
Outreach / In-reach Material
One of ICANN’s marked lag with regards to its functions, has been recognized to be the lack of easily understood material for the consumption of the general user and non-industry participants. Some may call this outreach and in-reach material, whilst other would call it marketing. At-Large Structures being ICANN’s face with the public, have suffered from this lack of material, or from material which was ill-suited to the audiences they were addressing. As a result, it is possible to see a spontaneous call for documentation and other material to be produced in plain language, whether English or otherwise. Whilst it is understood that an initiative is underway in ICANN’s Publicity and Marketing Department, At-Large Structures’ suggestions as to the most needed frontline material are shown below.
- APRALO is in need of materials and promotional support for outreach and policy work in their region. This includes the translation and printing of material (brochures etc.) in local languages suitable for India, Hong Kong, China, and other Asian countries.
- LACRALO requires supporting documentation on application, involvement, structure, technical jargon on gTLDs and gTLD funding applications, IDNs, etc. in English and Spanish
- NARALO proposes two projects under the same outreach banner with an audio-visual extension (see next section):
Other Outreach Activities
This section expands on the outreach/in-reach material to be developed, to reach further than using classical printing matter. The aim of further outreach is to really make use of today’s technology and of today’s Internet to enter the realm of active outreach through campaigning and viral marketing.
- NARALO proposes the designing and creation of an outreach video for YouTube, Blip TV and other fora (equivalent to “other outreach activities) as part of its outreach/in-reach material creation project described in the previous section. The material should be accessible in English, French and Spanish.
- LACRALO suggests two initiatives that it would take part in:
- The designing and creation of an outreach Radio, Television and Podcast content on ICANN, At-Large, LACRALO for public dissemination with particular focus on Spanish, Portuguese and French languages – a proposal similar to NARALO’s one but ongoing from FY11/12 to FY14/15
- Outreach conference calls aimed at non-member organizations for countries where no ALS and no At-Large representation exists (link to project), designed to present ICANN, At-Large and LACRALO for organizations considering joining. These calls would require up to two simultaneous translation services (a choice of English, Portuguese, French or Spanish) depending on the country, but also standard Adobe online conferencing and staff support
Ongoing work is required to translate key policy documents, briefing materials, presentations and transcripts into Spanish, French or Portuguese. LACRALO suggests making a budget available for documents to be translated on demand (http://) provided a threshold interest is shown from ALSes. This goes in-line with ICANN’s enhanced translation strategy within its internationalization program.
One specific project proposed by NARALO, involves the reduction of Economics, Ownership and Trust barriers to policy-critical data through the establishment of an advisory working group which will produce one or more documents with the help of legal and technical experts. This could then be used by lawmakers, stakeholders, and decision makers to base their decisions on asset of first hand facts.
Key At-Large and ALAC Priorities
As mentioned in the ALAC 2011-2014 Strategic Plan statement, a key ongoing project remains the organization of a second ICANN At-Large Summit. The first At-Large Summit held in Mexico City in March 2009 having yielded such benefits as to motivate At-Large Structures to work together, to produce a flurry of useful material, in-reach momentum can only be kept through regular Summits.
This project requiring careful planning, it is expected that activity in the period FY11-FY13 will be stimulated through the Regional General Assemblies (GAs) described earlier in this document. An At-Large Summit requiring a substantial investment both in cash and in resources, the ALAC recommends that this process be given a budget of its own through a sinking fund to be topped up yearly, in time for a summit to take place at a suitable time in the FY13-16 period.
Confirming last year’s ALAC FY11 Budget Proposal, this Project should be undertaken in conjunction with outreach and participation activities with other SOs and ACs, in particular, the GAC, the ccNSO, and possibly the Stakeholder Groups of the Non-Contracted House of the GNSO, and with the full support of ICANN’s Global Partnerships department. The ALAC is actively searching for a synergy with those partners aiming at increasing and improving Public Participation and the development of a healthy Internet Eco-system.
The ALAC is aware that a special challenge for a second Summit has materialized in setting its agenda to coincide with the key lines of the ICANN Strategy. With the help of SOs and ACs, we aim to be able to strengthen the ability of the ALAC, with its unique RALO and ALS configuration, to serve as an integral asset which is able to better contribute to achieve the strategic goals of ICANN.
It aims to reach this achievement entirely through a grassroots-based bottom-up process.
The above proposals were prepared in good faith by all five (5) Regional At-Large Organization (RALO) regions, following the new format and procedures which were presented during conference calls and the face to face meeting in Cartagena.
Historically, both ALAC and RALOs have seen their hard work in making a thoughtful proposal, disappear into a “black box” and have received no feedback whatsoever from their failed applications.
Whilst the ALAC believes that all of the above projects are worthy of serious consideration, it would appreciate a comprehensive explanation from the ICANN Financial Planning Department for projects that are not retained this year. Lack of feedback would only serve to kill enthusiasm and thwart the ALAC into carrying out its mission to expand worldwide.
We trust that the new atmosphere of enhanced collaboration and transparency between ALAC and ICANN makes “black boxes” a thing of the past.