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

Borg Knight virtual.borg at
Tue Jan 19 07:13:51 UTC 2010

The Dark Knight of the Borg
"Common sense tells us the world is flat"

>   ( 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 interesting.
> Could you please point me to a URL for the Afrinic factsheets you are
> referring to?

The factsheets I refer to are those handed out at meetings and other
training events. They are not available online (at least I haven't found
them online)

>  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:
> AFPUB-2008-GEN-001:
>  "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."
> AFPUB-2009-GEN-001:
>  "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."
My concern here is this " create a policy development process ..."
implies there is none in existence. I think it will be more effective if the
new proposal makes it explicitly clear that it is trying to build and modify
an existing policy. Sometimes, a structure is so bad the only remedy is to
tear it down and rebuild it, but this is not one of those situations.

> 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.

And linking them to what specific parts of the existing policy are being

>  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.

Quite clair enough. You mean instead of the entire community discussing
policy through the rpd mailing list, it will now be up to the PDWG? ....
that doesn't sound bottom up and open to me. ;-)

>  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.
These are the specifics I like to see, and better still if you could quote
the relevant parts of the new proposal that addresses these weaknessis.

> 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.
> Regards,
> S. Moonesamy
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