Email Sent on 26 May 2015...
Dear At-Large RALO and GNSO Constituency Leaders:
We are pleased to report that the Community Regional Outreach Pilot Program (CROPP) has been approved and funded for its third successive fiscal year (1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016). This note provides a brief overview of the FY15 program, announces some important new program aspects for the FY16 CROPP that you’ll need to focus on, and offers further opportunities for dialogue and information sharing before during and after the ICANN Public Meeting in Buenos Aires.
A. CROPP FY15 Recap
The pilot program for FY15 formally closed to new trip proposals as of 19 May 2015. The use of the program increased substantially in FY15 during its second (and first full) year. The unofficial results for this past fiscal cycle are shown in the table below:
Pct of Total
The CROPP Wiki space for FY15 will remain open and accessible until all Trip Assessments have been approved after which time it will be archived.
B. CROPP Overview for FY16
There will be several significant changes in the FY16 program that you need to be aware of as they may impact the availability of travel opportunities.
- Important New Feature #1 -- Need For a Community Outreach Strategy
For FY16, eligibility for the CROPP program will depend on the ability of each participating ICANN structure (i.e., RALO, GNSO Constituency) to create a brief, but clear, Outreach Strategic Plan explaining its FY16 outreach goals and planned expectations so that any selected CROPP activities can be coordinated with the appropriate ICANN Regional Engagement teams.
We are developing a new Wiki template to facilitate the development and publication of each community plan that will be made available before the ICANN Public Meeting Buenos Aires.
Communities interested in participating in the FY16 program will have until 30 September 2015 to complete this strategy document.
Please note that program features and deliverables (i.e., proposed trips and outreach events) will not be able to be authorized and booked until the Outreach Strategic Plan has been approved by each community’s leadership, delivered to the appropriate Regional Engagement Vice-President and published on the CROPP FY16 Community Wiki workspace.
- Important New Feature #2— Limited Pilot Option To Choose Travel Or An Outreach Event
As was the case last year, CROPP provides a framework in which each of the At-Large RALOs and GNSO Constituencies will be allocated 5 regional (3-day) outreach trips. In recognition that an outreach plan can potentially involve more than travel by individuals, a modified pilot is being introduced on an experimental basis in FY16 for GNSO Constituencies. On a pilot basis, those five communities will have the option to select either (a) the five standard CROPP travel authorizations or (b) to host, co-host, or sponsor a targeted community Outreach/Engagement Event at one point during the fiscal year ($10,000 target support limit).
If this FY16 experiment is successful, we are hopeful that FY17 resources can be made available so that similar flexibility can be introduced to more community groups in the future.
[Note: Due to the extensive Staff support and logistical planning associated with events, this latter option will require advanced scheduling and reservations to ensure that (a) only one such event occurs at the same time, and (b) there are no overlaps with other scheduled events such as ICANN Public Meetings. The specific processes and guidelines concerning these new Outreach/Engagement Events are being developed and will be communicated to the impacted communities.]
C. CROPP FY16 Program Features
Other than improvements needed to accommodate the specific changes noted above, the FY16 program administration will be similar to last year.
- Traditional Operational Components Remain In-Place
For all RALOs and those GNSO Constituencies electing to participate in the individual travel component of CROPP, the following elements will continue as they have in past cycles:
- Specific pre-trip approval standards flexibly administered by your community leadership and ICANN Stakeholder Engagement Vice-Presidents;
- The need to submit travel proposals a full 6 weeks before a planned activity
- Post-trip reviews and assessments submitted shortly after return from each trip; and
- An overall spirit of transparency by which all interested ICANN community members can observe the implementation of the program.
- Policies and Procedures
Support for certain fees (e.g., conference registration) will be continued and travelers will be reimbursed for any Visa fees (up to $200 USD) consistent with the most current ICANN Travel Summary (see https://community.icann.org/display/trvlconstit/Travel+Guidelines).
The exception decision-making protocol introduced last year will continue such that, if a proposal includes elements that are outside the program’s parameters, the designated Pilot Program Coordinator (PPC) will alert one of the Staff Program Administrators and request that the circumstances be reviewed. The Staff Program Administrators, Community Leaders, and the appropriate ICANN Stakeholder Engagement VP(s) will consider the situation and render advice on how to resolve the matter.
An updated Outreach Pilot Processing Flow Diagram will be published with the opening of the CROPP Wiki space.
- Community Workspaces
A new template is being created within each Community Workspace for the new Outreach Strategic Plan (details forthcoming).
Multiple DRAFT templates for both Trip Proposals and Trip Assessments can be created by anyone in each eligible ICANN structure and vetted by community leadership within the Wiki environment. (Note: Confluence Wiki login credentials are required).
Once a DRAFT Trip Proposal is approved by an organization's leadership, the PPC will notify a CROPP Program Administrator. The proposal will then be transferred to an Approved CROPP Forms location for continued processing and tracking.
- Pilot Program Coordinator (PPC) Roles
As was true last year, PPCs will supervise form completion, ensure process integrity, and communicate with Staff on behalf of each eligible ICANN community.
D. Briefing Opportunities
Since CROPP is being extended into FY16 with only a few changes, we are not planning to organize any formal community introductory sessions. If any of you would like us to conduct an overview of the program (including the Wiki implementation), we would be pleased to accommodate such requests as they are received to chat by telephone or in-person at the upcoming ICANN Public Meeting in Buenos Aires.
For those GNSO Constituencies opting for the Outreach/Engagement Event in lieu of the five individual trips, there will be one-on-one Staff assistance provided given that this will be an experimental year with that concept implemented.
E. Please Confirm PPC Contacts
In April of this year, we sent out an invitation to update the Pilot Program Coordinators (PPCs) and a few changes were recorded. The currently registered PPCs can be found on the CROPP Contacts page. If any of these designations need to change for FY16, please let us know. Our working assumption is that the currently designated PPCs will continue in their roles unless otherwise amended.
Your continued feedback now and throughout the course of the pilot program will help us identify areas of improvement, flag issues we may not have anticipated, and demonstrate that this type of program can continue to meet its objectives.
A CROPP FY16 Community Wiki Space is being prepared and is expected to be ready for business on or before 1 June 2015. We will send out a separate announcement at that time containing the links to the Wiki space and specific instructions related to program changes identified in this announcement letter.
We look forward to partnering with you to deliver CROPP resources effectively to your communities in FY16, and welcome any questions you may have regarding the FY16 CROPP program changes. We hope that the FY16 program operations will justify the move to a core budget classification in future budget years.
Rob Hoggarth and Janice Douma Lange