No.RecommendationRecipientThematic Group SourceAssigneesStatus
31ICANN and the ALAC should investigate the use of simple tools and methods to facilitate participation in public comments, and the use of crowdsourcing.ALAC; ICANN GSE StaffTG5
  • Social Media
  • Technology Taskforce
  • RALO Chairs

Implementation Details

The At-Large Community is exemplary in the ICANN Community for its ongoing effort to research, test, and analyze tools and methods to facilitate end users’ participation in ICANN Public Comment proceedings.

The At-Large Advisory Committee and Regional At-Large Organization, particularly the Latin America and the Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization, held a number of capacity building webinars and briefings specifically about ICANN Public Comment proceedings and invited subject-matter experts among staff and community members to explain their significance to end users. The new At-Large website clarifies the development pipeline of ALAC advice in response to Public Comment, makes it easy for users to find and provide input on draft ALAC advice, and enables keyword search and taxonomy-based sorting to help users research past ALAC advice. In addition, beginner-friendly information regarding the ALAC advice development process is published on the website to encourage end users to get involved. The At-Large Technology Taskforce has investigated a variety of communications platforms and collaboration tools, such as SLACK, Lumio, Liquid Feedback, Ahocracy, and Kialo, with the aim to find a Skype alternative that is superior in tracking and archiving discussions related to Public Comment proceedings and ICANN policy issues.

As a result of these efforts, the At-Large Community has been prolific in the submission of Statements in response to ICANN Public Comment proceedings. Receiving substantive input across the entire At-Large Community, these submissions have contributed valuable end-user perspectives to the development of ICANN policy issues.

Next Step

In collaboration with relevant ICANN staff departments, the At-Large Technology Taskforce will continue their search for a Skype alternative and provide a final recommendation for an effective communication, collaboration tool that can facilitate policy activities. 



    • Social Media WG and Technology Taskforce to continue their investigation of better tools 

    • RALO leaders to use the policy section on the new website and provide feedback on how it could help ALSes to participate in the policy advice development process 

    • Technology Taskforce to discuss Rec 31 during its next teleconference 
    • After social media WG and TTF complete testing of lumio, liquidfeedback, trello, and other tools, report on the testing results and mark this recommendation complete 


  • Fatima Cambronero to email Dev Anand Teelucksingh about the tool for Statement drafting collaboration
  •  (secretariat meeting) 
    • SLACK is one of the tools for investigation 
    • Technology Taskforce will provide a summary of their investigation so far and what does and what does to be published on a wiki
  •  (secretariat meeting)
    • Potential public comment period needs to be made aware to RALOs, as public comment period may be brief and RALO members cannot engage in time; ALAC members need to closely collaborate with RALO members with regard to this process; capacity building of public comment proceedings is also needed 
    • ALS Criteria and Expectations Taskforce has been working on figuring out a suitable way that ALAC and Staff to feed ALSes information of policy. RALOs need to take the initiative to confirm interests in obtaining such information. 
    • It may be useful for subject matter experts to provide an overview of public comment, instead of just stating the procedure related matters, during RALO calls. 
    • LACRALO has worked with GSE and ALAC members and invited speakers to educate ALSes about certain public comment topics during teleconferences. 
  •   (secretariat meeting - ICANN55) 
    • Siranush Vardanyan: The Document Development Program may encourage ALSes to participate in policy development and to participate in public comment process and comment on those policy developments we need. Whenever there is a policy up for comment, we would need some one-page, simple language, non-technical, just explanation – what is this policy, how it can influence to end users – to be sent to us and to share with our ALSs and encourage them to come and comment. 
    • Glenn McKnight: TTF has been testing different tools, such as SLACK and Buffer. Besides these, TTF is addressing accessibility issues concerning people who are using Linux or people who have problems using Flash; Judith Hellerstein: TTF also works to make sure which tools meet the standards of W3C on web accessibility.
    • Ariel Liang: the new At-Large website includes beginner-friendly information about public comment and ALAC advice development process; this may be helpful for the ALS to participate in the policy activities 
    • Alberto Soto: Short public comment period is a challenge. Longer public comment period, such as the one on the Final Report Recommendations of the Geographic Regions Review Working Group, allows RALOs to identify penholders and draft response, as well as to invite subject matter expert to provide further information on the topic. 

    • Technology Taskforce has been exploring different tools (e.g. Lumio) and will continue this ongoing effort, as the mandate of the TTF is to evaluate and review Information and Communication Technologies that can help the ICANN At-Large Community (including the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)) better able to accomplish their role in ICANN activities.
    • Crowdsourcing is a non-starter as it is not the way that At-Large works. 

    • Lumio has been tested but it does not satisfy this recommendation 
    • Several discussion tools need to be tested, such as Liquid Feedback, Trello, SLACK, etc. 
    • Jimmy Schulz has recommended and he has been using it for discussions. He has also used Liquid Feedback and Ahocracy ( but they are not very intuitive compared to kialo and have a lot more features than needed. 

Input from Social Media Working Group: 

  • Dev Anand Teelucksingh to list the tools investigated:

    • The challenge for social media is that can we have a conversation on policy via social media? Current policy conversation is taking place on Skype, mailing list, and calls/meetings. 
    • It would be useful to monitor different social networks to see what has been said about certain policy topics/reports. 
    • ICANN should task certain staff members in following social media conversations about policy topics. 
    • This recommendation is also related to Outreach & Engagement Subcommittee. It talks how to get people engaged in public comment periods, etc. 
    • Social Media Working Group can ask question to get people involved in public comment. 
    • Break down the questions and encourage people to answer questions in small bits. 
    • Use particular hashtag to group the conversations around certain policy topic. 
    • Task an At-Large Working Group to experiment with this method and ask/answer questions about policy topics. 

Input from Technology Taskforce: 

  • The TTF is to review tools such as Liquid Feedback ( )
  • The TTF is currently evaluating Loomio ( an online tool for collaborative decision-making
  • : A guest speaker demonstrated Kialo ( to the TTF and showcased its capability that allows a group of people to discuss and debate on various issues. TTF has concluded that Kialo may be good for the Community to form broader positions on potential Statements in response to ICANN public comment proceedings than doing detailed document editing work. TTF would suggest the ALAC to trial this tool and see how it would be used to form the arguments in ALAC Statements. 

This page attempts to capture the various tools used to fulfill ATLAS II Recommendation 31:
"ICANN and the ALAC should investigate the use of simple tools and methods to facilitate participation in public comments, and the use of crowdsourcing."



Loomio is an open source app for collaborative decision-making.


Kavi Workspace

Confluence Questions 


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1 Comment

  1. Comment from Olivier Crepin-Leblond:


    It is worth noting that in a recent call with ICANN IT we were told that they are unlikely to continue promoting KAVI as it does not appear to sustain the needs of other SOs/ACs hence it would be probably inappropriate to use KAVI.

    My understanding is that at the moment, ICANN is also still searching for the right tools