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[rpd] Cooperation re PDP update proposal

Dewole Ajao dewole at
Fri May 24 05:44:39 UTC 2019

Hi Komi,

Beyond requesting clarification where needed, I have generally stayed out of proposal discussions to avoid situations where my comments are misconstrued as being for or against a proposal. That being said, I will make some comments because it may be helpful in this case for the community to see things from the viewpoint of a co-chair. I am also happy to recuse myself from any determination regarding any/all PDP improvement proposals if that is perceived to be the best way forward. 

1. It is quite interesting that you state categorically that all we do as co-chairs is the bare minimum listed in the current PDP. Many of the things you mention as roles and responsibilities in the PDP-BIS proposal are already being done (even though we do them with expectations of maturity/cooperation within the group and without trying to micro-manage the process). If the PDP is updated to have specific phases, co-chairs must work with that. 

2. As you may have observed, my personal opinion is that censoring the few participants in a discussion does not serve to encourage participation. Some members are prone to taunting others while being barely civil and unfortunately their targets take the bait and allow emotions drive them to respond with insults/slander/attacks. We also have cases where members branch out from the policy discussion to sentimental issues that should have no bearing on policy. As co-chairs, we observe these distractions from time to time but we choose not to amplify them. I would rather allow common sense prevail since a mature mind should be able to sidestep any distraction and stay on the topic of policy development. I don't think there is a perfect solution as this is totally dependent on the maturity of discussants but perhaps we at AFRINIC could borrow a leaf from where a standing committee exists to assist with reviewing the course of action in the event of abuse. 

3. Co-chairs currently monitor remote chat during the PPM in addition to the assigned staff member monitoring remote participation. When the traffic is light, it is easy for co-chairs to cover both in-room and remote participation with no problem but there be situations where there is a lot of chatter in the chat as well as in the room. I believe the PDP should allow room for the assigned staff to bring any missed points from remote participation to the attention of the co-chairs.

4. The list of responsibilities you posted below has done nothing to help me understand what you mean by "uncontrolled email flow" or "unmoderated flow of mails". What specific actions would you suggest that we take, please?

5. Despite your attempts to hard-code specific responsibilities in the PDP-BIS, some of them are still subject to interpretation and it is quite possible that having them there does not achieve the desired results. What we need to do is tell ourselves the truth: people just need to become more mature. We need to try to see things from others' point of view and understand that we are not always the ones that know best what is best for everyone. We should also try to forget the wrongs we think have been done to us in the past and try to move forward.

My advice to authors of any policy proposals is this: Instead of saying "this is why I am right and you must support my policy proposal", you could try saying "section xyz of my proposal attempts to solve this problem by doing abc, what do you think?". As much as you seek to be understood, you should also seek to understand others' positions. People have short attention span and it is possible they do not fully understand what you are proposing; your manner of approach will determine if they take their scarce time to appreciate the issue or not. If on the other hand, their objections are out of ignorance, it will become obvious if you engage them in an accommodating manner. 

In the past twenty or so years, I have sold products or services in one form or the other and I have learnt that customers buy when the product/service being offered is easy to understand. I sell more when I take no more than two different products to them; when I take a larger array of products, their brains switch from buying mode and they usually end up not taking a decision. I think all policy proposers should think like salesmen trying to get their customers to make a buying decision. I understand that not everyone agrees with this approach but I just thought I should mention it.   


----- Original Message -----
From: "abel ELITCHA" <kmw.elitcha at>
To: "dewole" <dewole at>
Cc: "Arnaud AMELINA" <amelnaud at>, "Honest Ornella GANKPA" <honest1989 at>, "ALAIN AINA" <Alain.Aina at>, "rpd" <rpd at>, "jordi palet" <jordi.palet at>
Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2019 12:22:53 PM
Subject: Re: [rpd] Cooperation re PDP update proposal

Dear Dewole,

The current PDP as we read it in CPM at section 3.3[1] says :

 ‘The Policy Development Working Group has two Chairs to perform its administrative functions.

Cochairs role and responsibilities  are listed as follow [2]:

    • Determining whether there is consensus during open policy discussions.
    • Publishing minutes of the proceedings of public policy meetings.
    • Initiation and termination of final review of proposals (Last Call).
    • Sending a report on the outcomes of policy discussions at public policy meetings to the Board of Directors.


If PDP-BIS is adopted, cochairs role and responsibilities will be as follow:[3]


2.1.1 Before an AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting

    2.1.1 Before an AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting

• Introduce a policy proposal into the adoption phase
• Announce policy proposals to the policy discussion mailing list
• Discourages any behaviour that jeopardizes open participation to policy discussions, especially for newcomers.
• Monitors and moderate discussions held on AFRINIC policy discussion mailing list ( rpd at
• Announces the call for presentation of policy proposals for Public Policy Meetings on the policy discussion mailing list,
• Read submitted proposals
• Remain subscribed to AFRINIC RPD and member-discuss lists during his term.
• At the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting, read initiators' slides to familiarize themselves with the details and ensure it matches proposal text. In case of any difference, submission of an updated version of the proposal on rpd list to notify the working group is required, even if these changes will not be considered.
• Create agenda presentation slides for the meeting with the AFRINIC staff.
• Guide the consensus gauging process; announces the current phase of a policy proposal.
• Read AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting minutes and makes corrections as necessary
• Present the policy discussion working group report to the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting.

2.1.2 After a Public Policy Meeting

• Send report of Public Policy Meeting to the community and policy discussion mailing lists including policy proposal discussion outcomes and open action items.
• Monitor and moderate discussion during the concluding phase for comments period.
• Summarize discussions and, following the end of the call for comments, post the decision regarding whether the proposal has reached rough consensus or not.

2.1.3 During a Public Policy Meeting

• Chair the Public Policy meeting and moderate the discussions
• Determine whether rough consensus has been achieved during the Public Policy Meeting
• Monitor remote chat-room discussions during the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting
• Present the policy discussion working group report to the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting.



Hope this answers your questions 

[3] Chairs roles and responsibilities in a separate document named ‘pdwg guidelines and procedures’. Unfortunately the link pointing to this document attached to the proposal, is broken : see section 3.3 at

> Le 22 mai 2019 à 13:50, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ <jordi.palet at> a écrit :
> Hi Komi, all,
> El 22/5/19 10:30, "Komi Elitcha" <kmw.elitcha at> escribió:
>    Hi Jordi,
>>    On 20/05/2019 10:09, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Sorry, for some reason this email was not in the right folder, so didn't saw it before. Responding now, below in-line.
>    Hmm. missed this important exchange... very strange, but it 
>    happens....
> Well I agree, it happens, I recall when before the Dakar meeting some proposal authors didn't responded to previous emails (and they never did). See below regarding this, because it is expected that authors respond, it MUST NOT BE expected that community do.
>    This is another motivation  to update  the PDP to better organize the 
>    discussions and  our work on  proposals with active moderation of the 
>    cochairs...
> I don't agree, but may be if there is a way we need to understand what it means "active moderation". I think the bigger problem with have in the Internet communities (even in IETF for example), is that people don't have time, or just don't pay attention, or don't want to pay attention. But if you are in that side of the playground, then you need to realize that you can't complain when rules (in our case policies), get adopted.
>    Many got lost and confused easily in the unmoderated  flow of mails.
> Big disagreement here. A PDP, by definition is an open and NOT MODERATED PROCESS AT ALL. It must be dynamic, and if some people don't participate, is not good, but that should not preclude the moderation of those that actually participate.
>> El 18/2/19 12:39, "Komi Elitcha" <kmw.elitcha at> escribió:
>>     Dear co-chairs,
>>       As you know, PDP update discussions  at Afrinic-29  were rich and  led
>>     to the abandonment of the competing  proposal.
>> This is incorrect. I voluntarily decided to withdraw my proposal, under the expectation that you will consider the community inputs (including those from me), to improve your proposal.
>    We heard you and made calls to the community to comment. I hope your 
>    last search in the archives  shows you the current situation.
> Please, realize that if I send an email to a given policy authors in November, it should not be needed that I resend the email 6 months after to get responses. If you volunteer to author a proposal, you commit to advance it according to the community discussion and respond timely to emails. This is not necessarily true for community participants, they can decide NOT to respond to authors emails.
>>     PDP-BIS authors will not support  a complete rewrite  of the proposal
>>     under discussion, especially from author of the withdrawn proposal, who
>>     changed  his  mind after supporting the proposal at Afrinic 28
>> You're saying it all. You don't want to cooperate with the community,
>    Since the inception of the proposal and as you can see in the archives 
>    and through the revision  history, community consensual inputs have 
>    been  driving the proposal.
>    As for the collaboration with you, we have called for cochairs 
>    mediation  to ease things.
>    On the other hand, "collaboration " does not mean  one party’s view 
>    automatically overweigh  the other party’s views.
> Fully agree, but finding consensus means conceding to the community when it is clear that authors are wrong in something. Otherwise, consensus can't be declared.
>>  which is the expected behavior according to the PDP, to improve the proposal. I was generous withdrawing my proposal just to avoid and endless discussion, but if you have this position, I should resubmit my proposal and the community can decide which one is better.
>    You are free to do what you want and we will  see how things evolve. It 
>    is interesting that this working group is incapable of working out a 
>    consensual  PDP when we are talking about lack of participation
> Just want to make sure that you think if your complex process is simplifying the increase of community participation. I think is not the case, others may disagree, but at least, we have now discussed concrete pieces that may be reworded to get them right.
>>     The current version of PDP-BIS proposal is the fruit of community inputs
>>     and raise of multiple concerns. We welcome new areas of *essential*
>>     improvement if we have not dealt with yet.
>> That's wrong. The PDP is  about improvements not just "essential" ones.
>    Was it not you who  said " such work, cannot be perfect from 1st version"?
>    I am sure if we focus on the essential ones, we will agree to live with 
>    the rest.
> Of course, but both things are compatible. I usually don't expect that a 1st version of a policy proposal is right, but if you don't keep improving it along new version, it will not happen.
>>     Please, lead this process to conclusion.
>>     Thank you.
>>     On behalf of PDP-BIS Authors
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