ICANN Strategic Planning Process for the July 2007 - June 2010 Strategic Plan
Issues identified during the initial consultation process
8 September 2006
The ICANN Strategic Plan is a three year plan that is reviewed and updated annually. The ICANN planning calendar is divided into separate, two month segments. Strategic planning occurs during the first six months of the fiscal year and operating planning and budgeting occurs during the second six months. The present strategic and operating plans can be found at http://www.icann.org/announcements/strategic-plan-22jun06.htm and http://www.icann.org/announcements/operating-plan-22jun06.htm , respectively.
At the ICANN meeting in Marrakech, the consultation process for the July 2007 - June 2010 Strategic Plan was launched. Consultation sessions were conducted in English, Spanish, French and Arabic. Questions were also posted on an online forum to allow members of the ICANN community who were not able to attend the Marrakech meeting to contribute to the consultation process.
As might be expected in the annual review of a three year plan, there are many issues that were noted in the July 2006 - June 2009 Strategic Plan that remain relevant. In addition, given that the plan only commenced operation in July, the impact of initiatives identified in the plan has yet to be seen. There is, therefore, significant overlap between the issues in the July 2006 - June 2009 Strategic Plan and the issues raised for the July 2007 - June 2010 Strategic Plan. This issues paper acknowledges that overlap by combining the challenges and opportunities identified for the July 2006 - June 2009 Strategic Plan with material generated by the recent consultation. Members of the community who were involved in the Strategic Planning process in 2006 will see many common themes and a continuation of the ideas developed in last year's planning process.
Key challenges and opportunities for ICANN
Although some aspects of the ICANN environment move "at Internet speed", many of the major drivers are more constant and remain relevant over many years. This list of challenges and opportunities builds on issues identified last year and includes comments from the recent round of consultation.
Major issues that need to be considered in the July 2007 - June 2010 Strategic Plan
This section is a synthesis of the community's views on the issues that need to be discussed in order to establish strategic priorities for ICANN for the period of the July 2007 - June 2010 plan.
I. Internationalization remains an important issue for the ICANN community. The continued growth of the Internet as a truly global means of communication will place a number of demands on ICANN:
II. Closely linked to the issue of internationalization is the challenge of effective participation for all stakeholders. While the comments above about translation and meetings are certainly relevant here, the issue goes deeper than that. Some members of the community believed that the convergence of technologies that is leading to increased reliance on the infrastructure of the Internet means that there may be new stakeholder groups who need to be included in the ICANN community. ICANN may need to consider new (or enlarged or realigned) constituency groups for formal inclusion in the ICANN policy process. In addition, many believed there was a need to broaden and strengthen the membership of constituency groups, and to increase participation in ICANN policy processes.
III. Excellence in operations remains an important theme in the consultations. There is an acknowledgement that improvements have been made. A number of projects to improve operations and service have been identified in the 2006-07 Operating Plan. However, there is a need for ongoing improvement. In particular, many members of the community were keen to see clear measures and targets for operational deliverables included in this year's operating plan. The issue of risk management was also raised, with some concerned that ICANN be better prepared to deal with failure of a registry or registrar. (Projects to address this have been included in the 2006-07 Operating Plan)
IV. Excellence in policy development also remains a significant issue. Of particular concern is the development of processes to deal with policy issues that cut across current SO/AC boundaries or require significant input from more than one of these groups. The other issue that was raised was the need to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the policy process by improving the skills of members of the ICANN community involved in policy work.
V. In particular, there were three significant projects or undertakings that involve major areas of operations and policy development that were identified for the July 2007 - June 2010 Strategic Plan. While significant work is ongoing in these areas, their completion remains of paramount importance:
This issues document will be sent to the Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) so that they can review the issues raised by the community and make whatever comments they feel are useful in the context of preparing the strategic plan.
In addition, the document will be posted on the ICANN website in English, French, Spanish and Arabic and members of the community will be encouraged to make comments through the on-line forum.
Based on the feedback that is received from the SOs, ACs and other members of the community, a key priorities document will be prepared. This will be a short document that sets out the proposed major areas of strategic focus for ICANN over the next three years. The key priorities document will be distributed to the SOs and ACs and published on the ICANN website. Subject to comments from the SOs, ACs and members of the community, these priorities will form the basis of the strategic plan to be prepared and distributed in November for comment. A final version of the plan will be prepared for the Sao Paulo meeting. It is hoped that the strategic plan can be approved by the Board at the Sao Paulo meeting.