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Update on ICANN Strategic Plan Process (7 March 2005)

The response to ICANN’s first Strategic Plan draft has been very impressive. The recent public comment forum generated more than twenty-five substantive responses to the forum directly, and several comments submitted through other channels. Additionally, some members of ICANN’s Supporting Organisations joined together for a brief meeting to identify shared interests in the Plan and proposals for moving forward. In parallel with these efforts, ICANN conducted a series of conference calls with interested constituencies to solicit feedback. The community has responded to the draft Strategic Plan in ways that show the deep commitment many feel towards ICANN and its future.

ICANN staff, in consultation with the ICANN community, has developed a process for finalising the initiating version of the Strategic Plan, and for determining the best process as we move into preparing an annually updated Strategic Plan.

In the comment forum, two issues were identified as key by the majority of respondents:

  1. This first, initiating version of the Strategic Plan was addressed to many audiences, and that future versions would benefit from being more directly focused towards ICANN’s community, with consultative involvement of the community in as early a stage as feasible for producing an effective Plan.

  2. There was an intermingling of strategic, operational, and financial objectives in the Strategic Plan that should be clarified in future versions of the Plan. One proposal supported by many was to rearrange the draft into two parts: a strategic overview and a separate operational document (which in 2004-05 would be in coordination with the Budget preparation documents). Further, the proposal calls for a future ICANN Strategic Overview development cycle to be concluded in the first half of the fiscal year, to then inform a following ICANN Operational Plan and Budget planning cycle. This would mean having strategic goals identified early enough to shape annual budget proposals, and would also involve a review of strategic and operational goals at the conclusion of the cycle to inform the next round of planning.

In order to accommodate the preferred structure in this first cycle of Strategic Plan and Budget planning, ICANN staff will prepare a revised version of the Strategic Plan that focuses on strategic objectives, and identifies the activities that are already underway, and whether they are elements of ICANN’s Memorandum of Understanding with the US Department of Commerce. This revised version will also note where strategic objectives were initially discussed during the 2004-5 budget planning cycle. This revision will be posted to the ICANN website on 28 March 2005, prior to the upcoming ICANN meeting in Mar del Plata, Argentina. A public comment forum will be opened to allow for further consultation.

During the Mar del Plata meeting there will be a public discussion session for the community to share their feedback with ICANN Staff and the ICANN Board on this document. From this session, and the public comment forum, a final version of the first-year Strategic Overview will be prepared for presentation to the Board.

A second session in the Mar del Plata meeting will address future consultation processes as we enter the next planning cycle for the 2005-6 Budget and 2006-7 Strategic Plan. Once a process is drafted, it will be posted for public comment.

Click here to view comments on the draft Strategic Plan

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