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[AfriNIC-rpd] Policy Development in the AfriNIC Service Region Proposal (AFPUB-2009-GEN-001)

sm+afrinic at sm+afrinic at
Mon Jan 18 18:35:32 UTC 2010

Hi Borg Knight,
At 06:00 18-01-10, Borg Knight wrote:
>I came across this proposal on the Afrinic website 
>( and 
>here is an excerpt
>The objective of this proposal is to create a policy development 
>process in the AfriNIC service region based on three principles: 
>openness, transparency and fairness.
>The procedures described in this document are designed to be fair, 
>open and objective and are intended to:
>(i) provide ample opportunity for participation and comment by all 
>interested parties;
>(ii) establish widespread community consensus.
>These procedures adopt generally accepted practices and provide the 
>flexibility to adapt to a variety of circumstances that can occur in a process.
>My questions are:
>1. Isn't there already a policy development process at Afrinic?

Yes, there is already a policy development process.

>  ( And 
> according to the Afrinic factsheets, it is also based on the same principles.

The proposal starts by outlining the principles.  The original 
version of the document that was posted did not have the Incentive 
section.  I encourage you to read the other sections as they are more 

Could you please point me to a URL for the Afrinic factsheets you are 
referring to?

>2. In that case shouldn't the proposal be an amendment to correct 
>any weaknesses in the existing policy?

That is the aim of the proposal.  It lists which policy is 
affected.  I suggest that you ask the PDP Moderator Group whether 
that is the correct way to do an amendment.

According to the Incentive sections of the existing policy and the proposal:


  "Now that AfriNIC has been well established, it is being proposed to revise
   the policy development process to increase participation from the community
   in the process."


  "The objective of this proposal is to create a policy development process in
   the AfriNIC service region based on three principles: openness, transparency
   and fairness."

It is better to make the amendments by coming up with a comprehensive 
document which defines what the process is about and how it should work.

>3. Could the author clarify the difference between PDWG and the 
>exisint PDP-MG? as well as bw PDML and rpd? Frankly these don't make 
>any sense.... giving a dog a new name makes it better?

Quoting the proposal:

   "The Policy Development Working Group (PDWG) discusses about the proposals.
    Anyone may participate via the Internet or in person."

And AFPUB-2008-GEN-001:

   "A PDP Moderator Group (MG) will be set-up to moderate and coordinate the
    policy development process and discussions. It will consist of three(3)
    members of the community. One AfriNIC staff will also be providing
    support to the MG."

You are part of the Policy Development Working Group.  You are not 
part of the existing PDP Moderator Group.  For a proposal to be 
adopted, it requires the consensus of the Policy Development Working 
Group.  The name is just a name and a way to refer to the group.  I 
could have called it Dog Group.  I doubt the community would approve 
of such a name.  The name PDML is already used in the existing policy 
(AFPUB-2008-GEN-001).  There is no change as such between the 
existing policy and the proposal.

You asked about weaknesses in one of your questions.  The existing 
policy does not define how the PDP Moderator Group can be 
fired.  Let's take a hypothetical case where the members of the PDP 
Moderator Group cannot be reached.  If we follow the existing policy, 
the community would be unable to define new policies in such a 
case.  The proposal provides a means to recall the Chairs (see 
Conflict Resolution Section).

The existing policy does not discussion about conflict 
resolution.  For example, if you disagree with the decision of the 
PDP Moderator Group, you have no recourse.  That is discussed in the 
first paragraph of the Conflict Resolution Section in the proposal.

Currently, a policy can only be implemented after it has been adopted 
at the open policy meeting.  As these meetings are held twice yearly, 
the minimum time for a proposal to be adopted is six months if the 
proposal is submitted after a meeting.  This proposal takes into 
account that there can be emergencies where it is not sensible to 
wait for the next open policy meeting.  You have to justify the urgency though.

One minor fix in the proposal is the change from AfriNIC Board of 
Trustees to AfriNIC Board of Directors.

The proposal specifies that all aspects of the process and the 
procedures that are developed to implement a policy are documented 
and publicly available.  When things are transparent, you do not have 
to deal with arbitrary rules or resort to guesswork to determine what 
the requirements are.

S. Moonesamy 

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