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AFRIK-IT  April 2001

AFRIK-IT April 2001




Clement Dzidonu <[log in to unmask]>


[log in to unmask]


Tue, 24 Apr 2001 19:25:47 +0000





text/plain (284 lines)

Hello All!!

For those of you following the ICANN process it will be great to have
your views as per below...

Million Thanks


Pls kindly send response directly to me at

      Re: The ICANN 'At-Large Membership' Study


Last year,  the "At-Large" membership [] of ICANN (the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers [])
numbering over 70,000, elected five new Directors. The election of these
Directors and the public's role in that process - has been a subject of
great debate.

ICANN has recently initiated a process aimed at finding
ways to forge a consensus on the best method for representing the
world's Internet users as individuals ("At-Large Members") within the
ICANN process, structure and governance system.

To this end, ICANN is conducting a comprehensive study
[] on how to appropriately provide for input and
influence into ICANN policy deliberations and actions by the general
Internet community.

The study is structured so as to allow and encourage the participation
of organizations and groups worldwide. One such group contributing to
the study effort is the NAIS (NGO and Academic ICANN Study) Group -an
independent international team of researchers with membership from all
the continents []

The NAIS Study initiative is divided into regional studies and this
questionnaire is aimed at obtaining views from key members of the
African Internet community for input into the Africa Regional NAIS
study, which I am conducting as a member of the NAIS team. I would
therefore be very glad if you could kindly take some time to give me
your views on some of the following issues.  Thanks….

Please kindly send your response directly to me at: [log in to unmask]

                        The questionnaire

Issues relating to the 'At-Large-Membership (ALM)' Recruitment Drive and
the Subsequent Election  of the ALM Directors.

As part of the effort to examine and  review issues relating to the
'At-Large-Membership' (ALM) recruitment drive and outreach programme as
well as the subsequent election of the ALM Directors will it be possible
to comment on the followings?.

[Note: Q1 & Q2 is aimed at those actually involved in the ALM
recruitment drive and outreach programme; for example members of the
Membership Implementation Task Force (MITF) for Africa]

1. From your point of view what problems were encountered during the
actual recruitment drive as per the Africa region.

2. In view of the problems encountered during recruitment drive, what
will you consider as the lessons learnt from the exercise.

3. Any views in relation to the Candidate Nomination Process? Do you
think the procedure was fair and transparent?

4. Any views on the campaigning process itself? Specifically….

(i) Do you think the electorate had enough chance to know who the
candidates were?

(ii) Do you think the online dialog phase designed to facilitate
interaction with the candidates during the campaign process was

5. Any comments on the election process itself? Specifically….

(i) Do you think people understood the rules and procedures governing
the election process including applying for membership, membership
activation to qualify for cast your vote and the voting process itself?

(ii) Do you think the Web-based membership application procedure did not
exclude those without Web-access from the process?

(iii) Do you think the membership activating procedure did not exclude
some people from further participation in the process?

(iv) Do you think the voter education exercise prior to the actual
election was adequate and informative?

(v) Do you think the on-line voting exercise was conducted in a fair,
transparent and in an 'all-inclusive' manner?

(vi) Do you think the Web-based voting process excluded some eligible
voters without Web-access from participation in the voting process?
(Note: of the 315 eligible voters from the Africa region only 130 cast
their vote)

(vii) Any other comments or observations in relation to the election

(viii) Any recommendations, or suggestions for the future…?

6. Africa has the lowest activated 'At-large-Membership' count (i.e. 315
out of the total of 76,183 worldwide). [The membership percentages are:
0.4%(Africa), 50.2% (Asia & Pacific); 30.8% (Europe); 4.7% (Latin
America & Caribbean); 14% (North America)].

From your perspective, what do you think are the reasons for this level
of 'under-representation' (lack of interest/participation) in the ICANN
process within the African region.

7. Do  you think the 'under-representation' problem will have a negative
impact on Africa's involvement in the ICANN process, structure and
governance in the future?

8. Any specific suggestions as to how  the 'under-representation'
problem can be addressed.

Issues relating to general institutional framework and the future role
and purpose of the ALM  as per the ICANN structure and governance
(including accountability, transparency and legitimacy)

9. From your point or view, to what degree should the general Internet
community be involved in ICANN?

10 Should the ALM have a role in the ICANN process up-and-above electing
the ALM Directors?

11. Should there be membership requirements, and if so what should they

12. What processes and structures do you think should be established
within ICANN for At Large Member involvement?

13. Is the ALM the best way to ensure 'public participation' in the
ICANN process?

14. Would you regard the election of the ALM Directors as the best way
to ensure 'public representation' in the ICANN structure and  process?

15. Is the ALM the best way to ensure 'public interest' in the ICANN

16. Which of the following roles (or combination of roles) do you think
the ALM should play within the ICANN structure and process

- Outreach: - to inform the Internet community about ICANN's activities
and to channel public opinion regarding them.

- Electorate: - to choose (in an as-yet unspecified manner) Board
members capable of representing the public interest effectively.

- Agenda-setting: - similar to the Government Advisory Committee (GAC),
a public voice to identify issues of concern and appropriately direct
them into ICANN's policy infrastructure.

- Policy advice: - participate in substantive debate over policies,
either within or outside of existing ICANN Supporting Organizations

- Watchdog: - to monitor and review activities of the Board and the SOs,
and protect against false consensus, policies against the public
interest, or inappropriate expansion of ICANN's mission.

- Legitimating body: - enhance the legitimacy of ICANN's activities,
further insulating ICANN from the hegemony of the American government,
or from inappropriate influence by entrenched interests.

17. Could you rank these roles in other of importance. For example will
you regard the agenda-setting role of the ALM more important than its
watchdog role of the ALM if it is considered as the best form of
facilitating the process of public 'representation', 'participation',
'interest' in the ICANN structure and process.

You may decide to do the rankings below (with '1', the highest rank, '2'
the second highest rank and so on)

[  ] Outreach role
[  ] Electorate role:
[  ] Agenda-setting role:
[  ] Policy advisory:
[  ] Watchdog role:
[  ] Legitimating body:

18. Which  other ALM  roles will you recommend  up-and-above those
identified above

Issues relating to the  possible ways by which various stakeholders in
the region could provide input and participate in ICANN's deliberations
relating to future ALM elections and the structure of its Board.

19. Relating to the question of how best to ensure public representation
within the ICANN structure, which of the following 'public
representational' model will you regard as most appropriate to
facilitate the identified roles of the ALM within the ICANN structure:
(Note: You are free to suggest a combination of these models - provided
they are complimentary or reinforcing)

- Nine Board seats, directly elected by a large At-Large Membership (the
status quo)

- Board seats allocated on a purely global basis, on a regional basis,
or a mix of the two (this last being the status quo)

- Board seats allocated along some objective, non-geographic metric

- Nine Board seats, directly elected by a more limited ALM (e.g.,
At-Large Members would have to meet more stringent criteria for
participation, such as ownership of a domain name or demonstration of

- An At-Large Council, directly elected by an ALM, that selects Board
members from its own ranks (parliamentary model)

- A sub-option would be to organize the At-Large Council along purely
national lines - one member from each country of the world.

- An At-Large Council, directly elected by an ALM, that selects Board
members from outside (indirect election)

- Elimination of the At-Large Membership and Board seats, devolving its
responsibilities to the existing SO (Supporting Organization)

- Reduction/Elimination of the At-Large Membership and Board seats,
coupled with the creation of a user- or consumer-based SO (with three SO
Board seats)

- Separation of the Address and Protocol SOs from ICANN, since the
policy issues they raise are more limited than those of the DNSO (Domain
Name Supporting Organization).

- An At-Large Advisory Committee, along the lines of the Government
Advisory Committee (GAC), that would not have Board seats but would have
some other oversight of ICANN's activities (i.e., veto power,
reconsideration authority, etc.)

- Other possible 'public representation' models of the ALM or other
public entities within the ICANN organizational structure.

Again Thanks for taking the time to participate in the process of
're-looking' at ICAAN.

Please kindly send your response directly to me at: [log in to unmask]

Prof. Clement Dzidonu
President & CEO
International Institute for
Information Technology (INIIT)
P.O Box AN-19782
Accra-North, Ghana

Tel. 233-21-246200
Mobile: 024-280079
Fax  233-21-763062

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