ICANN Consultation: Enhancing Accountability – Recommendations for Diversity

Brief Overview


ICANN logoThis Public Comment seeks community input on the CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 (WS2) draft recommendations to Improve Diversity. These draft recommendations were developed by the CCWG-Accountability as required by Annex 12 of the final report of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Work Stream 1 (CCWG-Accountability, WS1).


Current Status:

The CCWG-Accountability reviewed these draft recommendations at its 27 September and 11 October 2017 plenary meetings and approved their publication to gather public comments.

Note: Implementation of Diversity within ICANN – During discussions it emerged that a majority of the members of the diversity sub-group agreed that the implementation of the recommendations should be left to the ICANN organization to determine appropriate mechanisms and structures. A number of CCWG-Accountability-WS2 diversity sub-group members thought this insufficient and believe it is essential to establish an Office of Diversity. The role of this office would be to independently support, record and keep track of issues including complaints from the community on diversity issues within the organization. The proposed office being a very specific structural adjustment to the organization it did not receive consensus from either the diversity group or the CCWG plenary.  However further input and comments on this matter from the wider community is welcomed.

Next Steps:

Following the public comment period the inputs will be analyzed by the CCWG-Accountability WS2 who will consider amending the recommendations in light of the comments received and will publish a report on the results of the public consultation. If significant changes are required as a result of the public consultation the CCWG-Accountability WS2 may decide to not include these recommendations in its final report given it must complete its work by June 2018. If there are no significant changes required, the CCWG-Accountability WS2 will include these in its final report and forward it to its Chartering Organizations for approval and then to the ICANN Board for consideration and adoption.

Section I: Description and Explanation

The CCWG-Accountability-WS2 Diversity project obtains its mandate and scope from ICANN bylaws and the CCWG-Accountability, WS1 Final report which included Recommendation 12 the following:

As part of Work Stream 2, the CCWG-Accountability proposes that further enhancements be made to a number of designated mechanisms:

  • Considering improvements to ICANN‘s standards for diversity at all levels.

Annex 12, which details Recommendation 12, also included the following recommendations with regards to diversity:

Comments received on the Second Draft Proposal revealed that incorporating the diversity component into Accountability and Transparency reviews may overburden Review Teams. Therefore, the CCWG-Accountability recommends the following actions with the view to further enhancing ICANN‘s effectiveness in promoting diversity:

  • Including diversity as an important element for the creation of any new structure, such as the Independent Review Process (IRP) (for diversity requirements for the panel) and the ICANN Community Forum.
  • Adding Accountability, Transparency, and Diversity reviews of SOs and ACs to structural reviews as part of Work Stream 2.
  • Performing, as part of Work Stream 2, a more detailed review to establish a full inventory of the existing mechanisms related to diversity for each and every ICANN group (including Stakeholder Groups, Constituencies, Regional At-Large Organizations, the Fellowship program, and other ICANN outreach programs). After an initial review of the current documents, it became clear that they do not address the full concerns raised by the wider community on the issue of diversity.
  • Identifying the possible structures that could follow, promote, and support the strengthening of diversity within ICANN.
  • Carrying out a detailed working plan on enhancing ICANN diversity as part of Work Stream 2.
  • Strengthening commitments to outreach and engagement in order to create a more diverse pool of ICANN participants, so that diversity is better reflected in the overall community and thus more naturally reflected in ICANN structures and leadership positions.

Section II: Background

The Diversity sub-group focused on requirements 3, 4 and 5 for its work. This report presents a discussion of diversity at ICANN and identifies a number of diversity elements by which diversity may be characterized, measured and reported.  It provides a summary of diversity provisions in the new ICANN Bylaws, and is informed by feedback from ICANN Supporting Organization (SO)/Advisory Committee (AC)/groups through a Diversity Questionnaire. Finally, it proposes a number of recommendations by which ICANN may define, measure, report, support and promote diversity.

Section III: Relevant Resources

Open Date: 26 Oct 2017 23:59 UTC

Close Date: 15 Dec 2017 23:59 UTC

Staff Report Due: 30 Jan 2018 23:59 UTC

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