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[AfriNIC-rpd] About the policy BOF

Vincent Ngundi vincent at
Tue May 8 06:35:05 UTC 2007

Hi Jordi et al,

Sorry for jumping in late.

For starters, let me say that I support the amendment of the current  

Lemmie now respond to Jordis' email before I raise my views:

On May 3, 2007, at 2:57 PM, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ wrote:

> I missed yesterday the Policy BOF because the clash with the IPv4  
> exhaustion
> one, so I wanted to raise my inputs here.
Yeah, it was a tough choice to make but it's good to know that all  
the BoF's went well after all.

> My feeling is that there is a need for a formal setup of a chairing
> committee. From what I see in other regions that I believe could  
> apply here
> will be having 3 co-chairs from the region, if possible coming from
> different sectors (ISPs, IX, education).
I also agree on this.

> I will suggest to change the co-chairs every 3 years or so, may be  
> for a
> maximum of 2 consecutive terms, and the first time do it in such  
> way that
> only one co-chair is replaced each year. At this way, you always  
> have two
> co-chairs aware of what is going on.
This is good especially to ensure continuity.

> The co-chairs should be able to follow, together with the staff,  
> the policy
> proposals on the PDP and help the authors understanding the process,
> editorial work, etc.
> If a co-chair becomes co-author of a proposal, he/she should  
> abstain in the
> consensus "measurement" when that proposal is voted and he must  
> clearly
> state when talking in the list and the meetings that he/she is  
> talking at
> that point as one of the authors, not as a co-chair. In general the
> co-chairs should also differentiate clearly all their comments when  
> they are
> done as participants versus co-chairs (those comments should be  
> typically
> restricted to possible PDP issues, legal aspects, etc., but not the  
> merits
> of the proposal itself).
This is good as well but will depend on how many members from the  
community contribute towards a specific proposal.

> I think it is needed to start each policy session with a very short  
> and
> concise reminder about the process.
I agree. Thereafter, it can act as a reminder to members who would  
like to get an overview of the PDP. I think we should include this  
"PDP reminder" as part of the "policy proposal template".

> I like very much the way this is handled
> in ARIN. Thinks like what happened this morning should be avoided.  
> Nobody
> has the right to interrupt the process (and even less when the  
> actual chair
> has already asked to raise the hands in order to seek if there is  
> consensus
> or not):
I don't think this is explicitly restricted anywhere in the current  
PDP. However, I think we should now focus on remedying the situation  
by making the PDP more precise and explicit.

> There is a time for discussion and if anyone raise valid/funded
> concerns it is ok, but not vague things or wrong statements about  
> objecting
> because whatever not being correct in those statements but is  
> misleading the
> people in the room. It is a clear distortion of the process and  
> should not
> be allowed.
> I also believe that the existing mail exploder is good enough and  
> no more
> mail exploders are needed.
I think the current mailinglist (resource policy development) is  
sufficient for now. I also think we should shelve SIG's for now but  
keep the idea at the back of our minds.

> Last, but not least, if the board, which is the last step in the  
> PDP, has
> the feeling that something is not good in a policy (already  
> accepted) or the
> situation has changed (example today, an IETF alternative usage for  
> a bit in
> a document), the board should have the power to return that policy  
> to the
> mailing list for a new turn around.
I agree. I also think we should explicitly define the purpose of the  
"Last Call".

> It should be also possible to discuss and check for consensus on  
> the list
> itself, without the need for a face-to-face meeting (for example a  
> topic
> that have no objections in the list).
I have suggested this before and I think it's something we should put  
some thought into. The only problem with taking this route will be  
the number of people who contribute towards the policy in question.  
IMHO, I don't think that 8 or so people should make a decision for  
the entire AfriNIC region.

Let's hope that the meeting we held in Abuja will bear fruit and that  
more people with join (and contribute) the policy mailing list. Let's  
all remember that the PDP is a bottom-up approach and that policies  
are meant to be made by the community. My opinion is that we should  
leave the online ratification of policies until a time when we shall  
have a *reasonable* number of members contributing in the mailing list.

My Views:

In addition to having co-chairs for facilitating and/or managing the  
PDP and online ratification of policy proposals:

(a) I also think that we should clearly *explain* policies when  
proposing them. I got the impression, and this is my opinion, that  
quite a number of members didn't understand the "Central-ULA"  
proposal that Jordi had submitted. It would be nice to explain the  
proposal and where possible give a history and/or effect(s) of the same.

(b) I also think we should come up with a more explicit  way of  
measuring consensus at the open public policy meetings. This is  
clearly important and is not well addressed in the current PDP.  
Should we measure consensus as a percentage, say 75%, of the total  
number of members who vote in favour of a certain policy proposal?  
Some registries, like APNIC, use a percentage to measure consensus  
and I think this would be a nice idea.



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