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[rpd] Gauging concensus for PDWG meetings

Dr Paulos Nyirenda paulos at
Thu Dec 3 09:44:30 UTC 2015

On 3 Dec 2015 at 10:00, Mwendwa Kivuva <Kivuva at> wrote:

> There was an interesting debate yesterday at the floor of the Policy discussion
> meeting on how the co-chairs should phrase questions when gauging consensus for
> policies. There were those who felt that the co-chairs did not ask the right questions
> which would help the policy author determine the actions needed to take the policy
> forward. 
> Is there a standard way to phrase consensus questions or are the co-chairs required to
> use their experience and discretion? 

There is no standard way and the AFRINIC PDP does not define any such standard, I think it 
should not. Gauging consensus is a debate that takes place very often among PDP 
Co-chairs and it should.

It needs to be realised that the Co-chairs do not have to ask questions to gauge consensous.

In the past few sessions of of AFRINIC policy sessions, Co-chairs have badly tended to take 
what has been looked at as a vote including a show of hands. Consensus on the PDP is not 
a vote - should not be a vote - and indeed such assessment has led to unnecessary 
complication on various policy drafts in the AFRINIC policy process.

Consensus determination by Co-chairs needs to be authoritative, so authoritative in fact that 
the PDP lays out an appeal, complaint or Co-chair recall process if any member of the 
PDWG makes a successful challenge of the decision by the Co-chairs.

And by the way, Co-chairs do not report to the Board at any time or process including tenure 
except when a policy has reached maturity through the PDP for approval by the Board.


Dr Paulos B Nyirenda
NIC.MW & .mw ccTLD

> Regards
> ______________________
> Mwendwa Kivuva, Nairobi, Kenya
> "There are some men who lift the age they inhabit, till all men walk on higher ground in that lifetime." - Maxwell Anderson
> --
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