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Report from the Chair of the At-Large Advisory Committee to the 37th Meeting of ICANN in Nairobi, Kenya

12 March 2010

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Current situation

During the 37th ICANN Meeting that took place March 7-12 in Nairobi, Kenya, the At-Large Community was represented by a total of 25 members from all five At-Large regions. These representatives included Members of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), officers of the five Regional At-Large Organizations (RALOs), representatives of At-Large Structures (ALSes), At-Large liaisons, At-Large delegates to the Nominating Committee (NomCom), and representatives of the At-Large Community.

Formal At-Large Meetings that took place during the 37th ICANN Meeting in Nairobi included:

In addition, several informal RALO and Working Group meetings took place including:  

  • A meeting of the New gTLD Working Group: Informal Meeting with
    Interested Members of the GAC
  • An Informal LACRALO Meeting
  • An ABSdt Meeting
  • A New gTLD Working Group Meeting
  • An ALAC and Regional Leaders Meeting to discuss AoC Review Team Endorsement Criteria.

The At-Large members that participated in the 37th ICANN Meeting actively took part in non-At-Large meetings as well. They prepared reports of these sessions, which provided summaries of the sessions as well as highlighting issues of importance to the At-Large Community. 

At-Large Activities since the 36th Meeting of ICANN in Seoul

 The At-Large community, consisting of the ALAC, five RALOs and 121 At-Large Structures, continued to significantly increase its policy-making and outreach activities between the 36th ICANN Meeting held in Seoul, South Korea in October 2009 and the 37th ICANN Meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2010.

 During this time-period, the ALAC submitted 13 policy statements to the Board.  In this 5 month period, ALAC submitted more policy statements than in the entire 12 months of 2008.

 Members of the ALAC, the Regions and our ALSes have been engaged directly with policy development and ICANN processes being conducted within or with other parts of ICANN these include but are not limited to:

·      Two (2) members of At-Large in the High Security Top Level Domain Verification Program Advisory Group

·      Two (2) Members in the Geographic Regions Review Working Group

·      Four (4) Members in the RAA Sub Team A: Registrant Rights Charter Group

·      Three (3) Members in the RAA Sub Team B: Additional Amendments Group

·      Four (4) Members in the Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery WG

·      One (1) Member in the Policy Process Steering Committee (PPSC) Policy Development Process Team (PDP)

·      One Member in the Policy Process Steering Committee (PPSC) Working Group Team (WG)

·      Two (2) Members in the ccNSO IDN PDP Working Group 1

·      One (1) Member in the Registration Abuse Policies Working Group

 Topics of the ALAC policy statements were as follows:

The period also included ALAC’s first-ever public consultation. On 5 February, 2010, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), in collaboration with the At-Large Community, posted its first-ever public consultation by opening a 30 day public comment period on a White Paper for how At-Large should select a voting member of the ICANN Board. The comments received from this public consultation will be analyzed shortly.

ALAC provided the impetus for the development of a “Non-Lawyer’s Guide to the May 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement” published on 15 February 2010. On 1 October 2009, the Chair of the ALAC made a request to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Dengate Thrush, for the production of a non-lawyer’s guide to ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).  The document is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. 

The 5 RALOs have been exceptionally busy between the 36th and 37th ICANN Meetings. Their reports on their activities are available at:

 In terms of outreach, four new ALSes were accredited by At-Large since the 35th ICANN meeting. These ALSes are:

  • ISOC Liberia (AFRALO)
  • Pakistan ICT Policy Monitor  (APRALO) 
  • Internet Society Pakistan Chapter (APRALO)       
  • NEXTi - Organização das Executivas de Tecnologia da Informação e Comumicação  (LACRALO)

 An updated At-Large brochure was produced during this period. These brochures include a description of At-Large activities, how At-Large works, the benefits provided to organizations working on Internet-related issues that join At-Large, and what types of organizations are eligible for membership. This new brochure is available in the 6 UN languages. These brochures are being used for purposes of outreach and awareness-raising by At-Large members.

 A diagram of the At-Large Community structure, including the interaction and membership of the At-Large Structures, the Regional At-Large Organizations, the ALAC and how it relationship to the Board was produced in February 2010. This diagram, which incorporates the colors of the ALAC and Regional At-Large Organizations, will be used for awareness-raising both within the ICANN community as well as the broader public. 

At-Large Improvements – Status and Next Steps

 Since ICANN’s 36th Meeting in Seoul, a number of milestones have been accomplished as part of the implementation of the At-Large Improvements, including:

  • The publication of regional brochures, in the relevant languages, by AFRALO, LACRALO and EURALO. Brochures for APRALO and NARALO are currently in production.  These brochures are being used as part of a new education, outreach, and recruitment strategy.
  • A review of the information flow between the At-Large ALS-RALO-ALAC structure and individual Internet users has begun.
  • The public-comment period, the first for ALAC, on a proposed selection process for the At-Large Board member has closed.
  • Draft revisions to the ICANN Bylaws, more clearly defining the At-Large role and contribution, are underway. 
  • The hiring of At-Large Improvements project manager, Seth Greene.

 For a comprehensive list of implementation deliverables completed to date, please see the attached Simplified At-Large Improvements Outline.

In the months immediately following ICANN’s 37th Meeting, the At-Large Community will commence its next steps toward implementing those At-Large Improvement tasks considered to be near- and medium-term priorities.  These priorities were determined by the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and Regional Leaders during ICANN’s 36th Meeting in Seoul in October 2009. 

In the months following Nairobi, the At-Large Community, working with the At-Large Improvements Project Manager and other At-Large staff, will execute the following broad steps toward the implementation of the At-Large Improvements:

  • The creation of a project plan, including an accurate budget (to be submitted to the Structural Improvements Committee by its May 2010 meeting);
  • The strengthening of the At-Large Working Groups, which will be responsible for much of the work implementing the At-Large Improvements; and
  • The allocation of specific implementation tasks to individual Working Groups, committees, and relevant ICANN staff.

Supporting the At-Large Community in this endeavor will be the newly hired At-Large Improvements Project Manager and other At-Large staff. 

 The immediate form and goals of this support are described below. 

 Project plan and budget

The creation of an At-Large Improvements project plan, including a budget, will be based on the staff’s At-Large Improvements Implementation Outline presented to the Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) on 24 October 2009.  Once drafted, the project plan will require review and approval by the At-Large Community.  Following this approval, it will be submitted to the SIC by the committee’s May 2010 meeting.

Strengthening of At-Large Working Groups

Supported by the At-Large Improvements Project Manager and other At-Large staff, the At-Large Community’s activities to strengthen its Working Groups  (WGs) will begin immediately following Nairobi.

There are two reasons strengthening the WGs is deemed necessary.  First, it was decided that the implementation of the At-Large Improvements would be carried out by the WGs (community call on ALAC Improvements, December 2009).  Second, in the months following the At-Large Summit (March 2009), the WGs have been relatively inactive for various reasons, including the At-Large staff’s prior lack of capacity to support them. 

As a first step toward reinvigorating the At-Large WGs, ideas for doing so will be discussed on a mid-March conference call for Working Group Chairs, Vice-Chairs, and ALAC Focal Point personnel, assisted by the At-Large Improvements Project Manager.  Topics of this call will include:

·      The WGs’ mandate as the primary implementation agents of the recommendations delineated in the ALAC Review Working Group’s Final Report;

·      The process for allocating, among the WGs, the discrete recommendation tasks listed in the At-Large Improvements Implementation Outline;

·      The process of further dividing these tasks into manageable action items;

·      The process for monitoring the WGs’ progress on these action items; and

·      A review of the steps required to repopulate the WGs with new members. 

Allocation of Improvement tasks to Working Groups

The At-Large WGs, with the support of the At-Large Improvements Project Manager and other At-Large staff, will be responsible for allocating among themselves the At-Large Improvement tasks.  After this process is discussed by the Working Group Chairs, Vice-Chairs, and ALAC Focal Point personnel in mid-March (see above), the At-Large Project Manager will suggest a method for determining which Improvement tasks go to which WG. 

Once these tasks are allocated, the WGs will be responsible for further dividing each into manageable action items, monitoring their progress, and meeting the completion deadlines.  Again, the At-Large Improvements Project Manager and other At-Large staff will support the WGs throughout this process.

A Note of Thanks

The members of the ALAC and Regional leaders would like to extend their sincere thanks, appreciation, and recognition to the ICANN staff that support us, Heidi Ullrich, Matthias Langenegger, Seth Greene, and Gisella Gruber-White for providing 24/7 support to all parts of the At-Large Community. We also wish to congratulate Nick Ashton-Hart, the former Director of At-Large, on his new position as Senior Director of Participation and Engagement at ICANN and look forward to continuing working with him in this new role. We would also like to thank the members of ICANN staff that provided exceptional briefings and engaged in stimulating discussion with us during the 37th ICANN meeting. Finally, we wish to thank the ICANN Meetings staff that have worked tirelessly to ensure that our meeting rooms and accommodation were as convenient as possible during our stay in Nairobi.