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ICANN Staff Response to the Review of
comments on the ICANN Strategic Plan

We are very grateful to the ICANN community for the time that members of the community have taken to provide feedback on the organization.s first strategic plan. The comments that were received have been incorporated into the redrafting of the plan as described below.

We were particularly pleased to see that so many members of the community see the development of a strategic plan as a step forward for ICANN. Long term strategic planning is important for the ICANN community and we look forward to working with the community in future planning cycles.

In this regard, we acknowledge the strong feedback from the community that there is a need to improve the consultation process and involve the community earlier. This will happen for the next planning cycle. At the same time, we hope that the community will understand that consultation is more than a formal response to document. The staff see every interaction with the community as a chance to learn more about the needs and perspectives of the constituencies.

We support the view that the plan should be a multi language document. The plan identified the need for multi language communication and we will work to present multi language versions in future planning cycles.

In preparing the next draft of the plan, we have taken on board community concerns about the broad nature of the document. In Mar del Plata we will be presenting a more concise and focused strategic plan with a three year horizon, and separately begin discussions regarding an annual operating plan and budget. If this meets the needs of the community we will adopt this format in future years.

The next draft of the plan will also contain amendments and changed language to reflect community concerns. In particular, we will seek to better reflect the differences between ccTLDs and gTLDs (particularly in the areas of education and compliance), and we will seek to be clearer about the different issues that are relevant to the names and numbers communities.

The revised strategic plan will also address community comments about the security and developing countries funding initiatives. ICANN management still believe that these are important issues. The new draft will outline a different approach to these needs with clearer accountability through the Board governance structures.

We were very pleased to see that members of the community share our concern to continue to improve the policy process. The drive for these improvements should come from the Advisory Committees and Supporting Organizations themselves through the review processes contained in the bylaws. In this regard we are looking forward to the presentation in Mar del Plata of the GNSO Council on their recent review. We support other constituencies undertaking similar work.

While we acknowledge the concern from some sections of the community about the growth in budget and staff, we continue to believe that the growth plan contained in the original plan is essential for the future health of the organization. Staff are currently overstretched. If we are to provide the additional services that members of the community require and expect, an increase in resources is absolutely necessary.

Finally, we will continue to work with the community to improve the planning process that has begun with this first strategic plan. In Mar del Plata we will consult with the community to design a process for the next planning cycle. The suggestion from members of the community that ICANN adopts a two phase planning process with the first six months dedicated to strategic planning and the second six months to operational planning and budgeting has much merit. We also support the view expressed in the external report that the consultation process needs to start with a focus on the challenges and opportunities that ICANN will be facing in the future and provide a forum for interactions about how the community can work together for the common good of ICANN as a whole.

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