Tag Archives: Westlake Consulting

Independent Examiner Issues Final Report of Their Review of the GNSO

ICANN logoWestlake Governance Limited (“Westlake Governance”), the independent examiner for the review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (“GNSO“) has issued its final report. This marks an important milestone in ICANN‘s commitment to continuous improvement, accountability and transparency. After extensive consultation with the GNSO and the broader ICANN community, including a formal public comment process and ongoing engagement and participation of the GNSO Review Working Party, Westlake Governance formulated their conclusions.

Westlake determined that the GNSO has made good progress in implementing a Working Group model as the foundation for consensus work, in restructuring the GNSO Council and in improving communications and coordination with the ICANN Board and other structures, among other improvements. Recognizing that organizational effectiveness is a process of continuous improvement, Westlake offers 36 recommendations in the areas of: participation & representation, continuous development, transparency and alignment with ICANN’s future.

In preparation for the eventual implementation of Board-approved recommendations, the GNSO Review Working Party will provide their input on feasibility, focusing on prioritization of recommendations and alignment of implementation with other improvements already planned or underway. The ICANN Board is expected to take action on the findings and recommendations in the early part of 2016, after consideration of all community input.

Final Report of Review of the GNSO is available here; it can be accessed from the recently updated GNSO Review web page.

What is the significance of the GNSO Review?

The GNSO serves an important function – it is responsible for developing and recommending to the ICANN Board substantive policies relating to generic top-level domains.

Based on direction from the Board, the purpose of the Review was to evaluate organizational effectiveness of the GNSO in accordance with the ICANN-provided objective and quantifiable criteria; acknowledge areas that are working well, identify areas that need improvement and propose needed changes. This review, like reviews of other structures within ICANN, is mandated by ICANN‘s Bylaws. The Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the Board (previously the Structural Improvements Committee) is responsible for review and oversight of policies relating to ICANN’s ongoing organizational review process.

“This Review is significant for a number of reasons. The process piloted several improvements, offering important lessons that will be incorporated into upcoming Reviews. The Final Report comes at a time of pivotal change and transformation at ICANN. The Community’s views along with the examiner’s insights will inform and contribute to enhanced organizational effectiveness of ICANN structures and ICANN as a whole,” commented Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Chair of the Organizational Effectiveness Committee.

How is the GNSO Community involved?

During the course of the last 14 months, Westlake Governance conducted research, analyzed data and evaluated effectiveness of prior review recommendations working closely with the GNSO Review Working Party. The 20-member GNSO Review Working Party representing the diversity of the GNSO Community was designated by the GNSO Council as a liaison between the GNSO, the Independent Examiner and the ICANN Board. Under the leadership of Jen Wolfe, this group has represented the voice of the GNSO community throughout the Review, in an effort that introduced several important Review process improvements.

What does “continuous improvement” mean?

With Reviews as a tool to inspire a culture of continuous improvement, the GNSO Review Working Party will have a pivotal role in helping prioritize recommendations and ensuring a shared understanding of what an “effective” or “successful” implementation would look like. The independent review process fostered diverse views on how GNSO should be structured for the future and these discussions are expected to provide useful input into GNSO’s implementation work. Whether structural changes are needed and when such changes should be considered will be topics for discussion after the conclusion of the Review process, possibly during the implementation planning.

GNSO Review by the Numbers

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This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2-2015-09-15-en

ICANN: EXTENDED: Draft Report: Review of the GNSO

ICANN logoThe Public Comment period for the Draft Report: Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization has been extended by an additional week. In view of the current community workload and the impact the recommendations will have on the workload of the community and staff, the comment period has been extended to 31 July 2015 23:59 UTC at the request from the members of the GNSO Review Working Party.

The purpose of the Public Comment posting is to request community feedback on the Draft Report issued by Westlake Governance Limited (Westlake) on the Review of Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). As the Independent Examiner, Westlake has drafted their report after conducting extensive work, including but not limited to online surveys (178 responses), 40 one-on-one interviews (considerably more than originally anticipated in the scope of work), review and analysis of documents and direct observations of GNSO proceedings at three ICANN meetings. In addition, Westlake has been engaged in consultations with representatives from the GNSO and other community members.

Westlake will issue their Final Report at the end of August 2015 after considering community feedback via Public Comment process, in-person meetings at ICANN53 and ongoing interaction with the GNSO Review Working Party. The final report, along with public comments, will be considered by the Board. After the Board takes action and accepts the report, the implementation phase will begin.

The Report Summary (Section 1, pages 4-20) offers a brief overview of Westlake’s work and outlines 36 proposed recommendations, classified into four topical themes: Participation and Representation; Continuous Development; Transparency; and Alignment with ICANN’s Future. Please refer to the specific recommendation and relevant section of the Draft Report for additional details and context about each recommendation.

Word [DOCX, 65 KB] and PDF [PDF, 283 KB] templates have been developed to facilitate input to this Public Comment.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2015-07-24-en

ICANN: Draft Report: Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization

ICANN logoDraft Report: Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization
Purpose (Brief): The purpose of this Public Comment posting is to request community feedback on the Draft Report issued by Westlake Governance Limited (Westlake) on the Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO).

As the Independent Examiner, Westlake has drafted their report after conducting extensive work and consultation with representatives from the GNSO and other community members. The report will be updated to reflect public comments and published in its final form at the end of August 2015. The final report, along with public comments, will be considered by the Board. After the Board takes action and accepts the report, the implementation phase will begin.

The Report Summary (Section 1) offers a brief overview of Westlake’s work and outlines 36 proposed recommendations, classified into four topical themes: Participation and Representation; Continuous Development; Transparency; and Alignment with ICANN’s Future. Please refer to the specific recommendation and relevant section of the Draft Report for additional details and context about each recommendation. Word and pdf templates have been developed to facilitate input to this Public Comment. Additionally, several consultations and briefings will be held during ICANN53 in Buenos Aires.

Public Comment Box Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/gnso-review-draft-2015-06-01-en

Comment Period Opens on 1 June

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2015-06-01-en

ICANN: Westlake Governance Appointed to Conduct Independent Review of the GNSO

ICANN logoICANN has appointed Westlake Governance Limited (“Westlake Governance”) to conduct an independent review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (“GNSO“). This review is part of ICANN‘s commitment to continuous improvement, accountability and transparency.

The GNSO serves an important function – it is responsible for developing and recommending to the ICANN Board substantive policies relating to generic top-level domains.

The purpose of the review is to evaluate organizational effectiveness of the GNSO, acknowledge areas that are working well, identify areas that need improvement and propose needed changes. This review, like reviews of other structures within ICANN, is mandated by ICANN‘s Bylaws.

The GNSO Review addresses the new, improved approach to conducting reviews. The GNSO will be a protagonist in this inclusive process: in keeping with ICANN‘s bottom-up, multistakeholder approach, this review process will incorporate a “self-review” by the GNSO community and its direct involvement. An online survey will collect feedback from other ICANN structures and community members, the Board and staff. Westlake will collect both quantitative and qualitative data through various work methods to develop a sufficient basis for formulating findings and recommendations. The review will begin immediately and is expected to conclude in January 2015.

The selection of an independent examiner is done in accordance with the process defined in SIC Systematization of Organizational Reviews Processes [PDF, 671 KB] and involves Organizational Review staff and the Structural Improvements Committee of the Board (“SIC“). Seven proposals were carefully evaluated and the evaluation results and scores were presented for consideration and action by the ICANN Board Structural Improvements Committee. The selection criteria included: Knowledge and Expertise (including knowledge of ICANN), Qualifications of the Professional Team Assigned (including ability to act independently, without conflict of interest); Proposed Methodology; Ability to Deliver High Quality, Useful Report and Recommendations; and Costs.

Westlake Governance is a globally-focused, New Zealand-based consulting firm, serving clients from a wide cross-section of not-for-profit, commercial and government-owned sectors. The firm has performed reviews of ICANN‘s At-Large Advisory Committee (“ALAC“) and the Root Server System Advisory Committee (“RSSAC”).

Additional information:

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-3-2014-06-23-en