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[rpd] impact analysis for policies

Sun Jun 23 10:55:11 UTC 2019

Hi Sylvain,


Again thanks for your inputs. Comments below in-line.








El 22/6/19 11:16, "Sylvain BAYA" <abscoco at> escribió:


Hi all,

...please see below (inline).


Le 6/20/2019 à 11:38 PM, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ via RPD a écrit :

Hi Sylvain,


Responding below, in-line.








El 20/6/19 22:31, "Sylvain BAYA" <abscoco at> escribió:


Hi all, 


I agree with the concern raised by Jordi below.

We must try to fix it together.

It sound like a policy issue :-/


...other comments, inline, below please.


Le jeudi 20 juin 2019, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ via RPD <rpd at> a écrit :


I will like to ask the staff to complete *ASAP* their impact analysis in the policy proposal 


Jordi, even if it's desirable, to have such an impact analysis at time, you can not (policily speaking) ask for it this way (contact the staff privately or propose a suitable process with a reasonable timing ?) :-)


You probably missed this before, but we already discussed in the list the need to have on-time an impact analysis for all the policies. because i was, hiddenly, following this [1] thread ;-) and what i said was extracted from there :-)


It is part of the process (no something new that I’m trying to impose). 


I wasn't thinking it :-)

But i was just trying to, silently, recall the process as provisioned by the CPM section 3.4.1.


CPM section 3.4.1 : «[...]The Working Group Chair(s) may request AFRINIC to provide an analysis (technical, financial, legal or other), of the impact of the draft policy proposal.[...]»

...i think we must follow our rules or change them if they appear to be broken somewhere. Right ?

There are two things here. One is the policy manual and the other one is the internal AFRINIC operational procedures.

If you read the message from Dewole on the thread you referred to ( it clearly stated that this is the procedure:
“For a while now, the procedure (as part of lessons learnt) has been for 
staff to provide their analysis of draft proposals once they are 

received so it's not really on the author. Co-chairs and staff have long 

agreed that this makes sense.”


I fully agree with the rest of the text, that mentions that if a new version is sent, for example one week before the meeting, it may not be feasible. However, my point is that, proposals that have been received several weeks before the meeting AND had already a previous impact analysis, AND the authors just updated the proposal to comply with the impact analysis, in my opinion, results in a few hours (not to say minutes) to rework the previous impact analysis.


Chairs and staff know, that at least in my case, if I get an email from them with questions about my proposal version or impact analysis, I do my best to respond in a matter of few hours, often during the next hour or so, unless it falls during the time I’m traveling or sleeping, but most of the time I respond within the same day. I don’t break during the weekends, don’t do holidays or take days off, and average sleep 5 hours per day, so it is difficult to believe that I’m not responding “quickly”, unless by chance an email is classified as spam and filtered (I don’t recall it happened with emails from staff and co-chairs, but just in case).


Also take the considerations from SM about the existence of similar policies and impact analysis in other RIRs, which may be at least a starting point (


So, if we analyze *all* the policy proposals on the table (so no just “defending” my own position, but also other authors of proposals):
AFPUB-2019-GEN-001-DRAFT01: published on 17th May. This is the only proposal, which is quite complex, that I agree may take longer than 4 weeks for the impact analysis, even if there is already an existing impact analysis in other RIRs.
AFPUB-2019-IPv4-001-DRAFT01 and AFPUB-2019-IPv4-002-DRAFT01: published on 13th May. However, those proposals *share* the same impact analysis as the one already done for AFPUB-2018-GEN-003-DRAFT01 (1st November 2018) and they are *simpler* than that one, take only on IPv4 (instead of IPv4+IPv6+ASN), impact analysis already available also from other RIRs.
AFPUB-2019-V6-001-DRAFT01: published on 14th May. Impact analysis already published for the previous version. It is true that this policy proposal is a bit more complex than the previous versions, but I think it was clear in the meeting (where it reached consensus), that the staff don’t have any “impacting” considerations, so what they said in the meeting, could had been published before.
AFPUB-2019-ASN-DRAFT02: published on 11th April. My god! How come we can’t have in more than 2 months an impact analysis, which was already published for the previous version, while this version is actually precisely, much simpler, considered the impact analysis to correct all the points, and *reached consensus* during the discussion in the list? I’m tempted to appeal the chairs decisions on it (no-consensus), because if we had the impact analysis and the chairs, really considered the list, there was overwhelming support and, in my opinion, none of the comments in the meeting was actually sufficiently substantiated as something *against* the arguments in favor. I’m not going to do so, because I support the previous co-chairs decisions, and unfortunately (and this is BIG BIG BIG issue), some of the inputs of the people in the room where from folks that either a) they are not in the mailing list (I already suggested them to join and participate), b) some folks, which are in the list, which are *actual* authors of other policy proposals, didn’t brought their inputs in the list, they have actually brought them in the meeting, just for the *insane sake of overthrow this proposal* and exclusively for their own interest (as I’m not supporting their own policy proposals. I those co-authors of other policy proposals are really looking for the well of the community, they *MUST* participate in the list *not only* to defend their own policy proposals, but also to improve the ones from other authors (as I do). If they provided those inputs in the list, then I could have made a new version in time for resolving their issues and reaching consensus.
AFPUB-2018-GEN-004-DRAFT02: published on 18th April. Received substantial inputs in the list, but it was withdrawn for author personal reasons (I know the details, but I will suggest him to explain to the list ASAP). However, despite having a previous impact analysis, we got nothing this time. How come?
AFPUB-2016-GEN-001-DRAFT08: published on 7th June. There was a previous version impact analysis. The proposal didn’t change so much that that impact analysis could have been reviewed, at least in draft, to have “something” before the meeting. So again, why not we had something?
AFPUB-2018-GEN-001-DRAFT03: published on 5th June. Again, there was a previous version impact analysis, and the changes were to accommodate to them, making the proposal much simpler, and ensuring that those details on the impact analysis are resolved. So how come we didn’t have one at least in draft? This one also has been adopted in other regions, and of course, we have impact analysis in others.
AFPUB-2018-v4-001-DRAFT-01: published on 28th October (2018), is the only one that had an impact analysis. Is this meaning that staff needs 8 months to complete an impact analysis? *by the way* I don’t know when it was completed, because a) I can’t find any message announcing it to the list, b) the impact analysis doesn’t say the date! Is that right?
AFPUB-2017-GEN-002-DRAFT-05: published on 9th June. There is a previous version impact analysis, and again, there are minor changes, so I could have expected at least a draft impact analysis considering those minor changes.
Note that sometimes the publication is delayed several days, so the staff has got in fact *more* days to start the impact analysis.

Note also, that in some cases, if an impact analysis can’t be completed in time, it is good enough to have the same “draft” inputs that the staff is providing in the meeting, *but* authors need that *before* the meeting, so we can work out a clearer explanation in case of discrepancies.

I may agree that if a proposal has been submitted only 10 days before the meeting, it may be difficult to make it in time, but not for a “new” version of an existing proposal, which already had the analysis impact.


Ok if it's unpractical, we should try to modify the CPM, at section 3.4.2, to fix|ameliorate what seems to be broken... 


CPM section 3.4.2 : «[...]No change can be made to a draft policy within one week of the meeting. This is so that a stable version of the draft policy can be considered at the meeting.[...]» 


As my analysis above shows, I don’t think anything is broken. We can always improve the PDP, but if something is already part of the operational process, it is just a clarification, and there are more important policy proposals in the table than sending on for just resolving a non-problem. I will be in favor of this if we have 2 days policy-day next time!

*** Chairs and staff must agree on how much an impact analysis may take in every policy proposal case. Some proposals may take hours. Very few may take weeks or even more than a month. However, it may be a *management* or even *board* problem to ensure that the staff has available “human resources” to do their work timely. May be the folks in the staff that are responsible for making the impact analysis (I know it implies different departments and even CEO approval), need to prioritize, up-front of a meeting, what of their tasks are more important for a successful policy-day.


And of course, I’ve asked the staff several times for it, during the last weeks. Co-chairs were copied. 


Ok, i personaly think that it is legitimate to want to move things forward ; but i also understand (policily speaking) that the staff was in their rights to not considere your *direct* request as a legitimate one. Even though i guess they were just busy :-) 

Agree (see previous comment), but one of the *most* important things that a RIR must do is PDP! This is top priority.

Precisely, most of the newer versions, at least in the case of my proposals, where to address the points raised in the impact analysis. So, it should be easy to get the previous impact analysis, compare the differences of the old and new versions of the policy proposal, against the impact analysis, and raise if something is missing.


:-) i'm sure that at least one of them (policy liaison?) might be reading...

Do you think we should also (policily speaking) ask one of them (say the same staff member i mentioned above) to follow|read the discussions and react when we need|seek their expertise ? :-D

I know by the fact, they are reading, that’s why I post those messages here when private ones didn’t work as expected! Again, not blaming them, just makes sure we improve things.


Staff and chairs know very well that I send them emails any time I can offer suggestions, ideas to improve participation, requests for anything which is good for them and for the community. I always try my best, because when you contribute, you discover issues to resolve. Nobody is perfect, this is about *collaboration from all*.


For example, I discovered a few weeks ago, that the numbering system of the policy proposal is flawed so suggested it to get changed and don’t differentiate them, just “year-number-version”. The point is that because the policy proposals get “classified” as “general, IPv4, IPv6 or ASN”, if during the discussion, the policy proposal change its scope, which happens sometimes, then you need to withdraw the policy proposal and re-start it. This was the reason instead of just updating my last year Intra-RIR policy proposal (which was “GEN”), turned into a new one.


Hopefully this is considered by the staff soon and we remove this classification soon, and we get all the policy proposal in the table renumbered to the “new” system.

Believe me, in most of the proposals, this is a matter of few hours of dedication. My only concern is if staff is overbooked, which is something that should be evaluated by the organization (not authors). 


First, have we already tried to fix the problem with our means (the policy) ?

As said before, there are two parts. PDP (policies) and procedures. Not all requires policies. If we micro-manage, it becomes cumbersome. In my thinking, we should use policies only when procedures don’t improve by themselves (or the community radically disagree with the procedures), or don’t exist at all. PDP is heavy, its slow, it requires a lot of community effort, which sometimes is not needed if just improving procedures is sufficient. Just consider the time it requires to have 10 policy proposals presented in the meeting. How if we try to present 15 or 20?


Secondly, is it possible ?

We know that the staff has their job description (within SLC - Service Level Commitment) and if something is not clearly included into their duties, it could be difficult to get them to do it, at time, even if they are not busiest...


I agree that *one* of my proposals, sent 1 months in advance to the meeting, may require “more than a month” to do the analysis impact, but not all the other ones.


If publicly, i think you should ask it to the new Co-chairs (Moses & Abdulkarim), with the appropriate Policy provision for them to act kickly accordingly. 


Poor Moses and Abdulkarim, you want me to stress them the first day? Just joking. 


...have you read the mail of Abdulkarim ? I think, at least that guy is ready for the task :-)


I’m pretty sure I have briefly talked about this with at least one of them.


Note that I’ve sent the email to the list as suggested by some talks with community folks. Is not to blame anyone from the staff, is to make sure that we avoid repeating it in the future.


...because it's important to the best of the PDWG (Policy Development Working Group), let's try to *rule* it inside the PDP [2] (Policy Development Process).



Hope you will not have to realise such an impact analysis by yourself as suggested by some participants ; if i recall well :'-(


Don’t recall that comment, unless you refer to those that asked me to have the numbers, which is something I can’t have, is the staff to provide. I’ve actually asked for that for my presentation, but didn’t got a response. Just used to it.


Of course, if I can help doing the impact analysis, I’m always happy. 


Good to know. It gives me an idea...


However, I think it is much more coherent that is done by staff, as probably will be more objective and they can discover issues that I can read my own text 100 times and not see them. 


You are right !


This is the normal process:

1)      Authors submit the proposal

2)      Proposal is published (sometimes it takes too long) and discussion starts

3)      Staff do the impact analysis

4)      Staff and authors review impact analysis in case something was misunderstood, etc., for example this may happen when English is not your native language and you try to write something in a way that staff can’t read the same way you do and it may be so broken that it changes key aspects of the proposal

5)      Staff publish impact analysis

6)      At some point, authors looking at list discussion and impact analysis, submit a new version, so we are back at the start point. 


Thanks for your support. I really appreciate.

...for point 3, i agree that if you only considere this [3] old chart, you will be right ; but the useful rules are at CPM section 3.4.1 ; also pasted above.

I think that this [3] chart could also be ameliorated...because imho it can misguide.


that didn't reached consensus, so the authors can publish new versions immediately and have more time to discuss before the next meeting.

I've submitted some proposals that are new version of existing ones some of them even 2 months before the meeting, and the impact analysis has not been updated.

I think this is actually an extreme delay for such impact analysis update, and this doesn't help the authors to correct mistakes and consequently makes more difficult for the community to take a decision.


...this seems to prove a need for a new version of the PDP (Policy Development Process) :-/

A candidate rule to update ?


There is a process already for that, simply is not being followed timely. seems as there is something to fix :-)

Considering what i have said above, do you admit that, as it is, the process is flaw ?

Please, consider my point about the difference between operational procedures and policies. Micro-management is not good, even if sometimes is needed.


The impact for this is really big. Right now, we have 8 policy proposals that didn't reached consensus and only considering new proposal that I've in mind to submit (5), it means that for the next meeting we will have *at least* 13 policy proposals in the table.


...other might also propose drafts for new policy proposals :'-(


I hope so, more people contributing, and yes, that’s why I said “at least” :-)


:-) but please withdraw one of your two similar policy proposals about out of AFRINIC region resource (IPv4) transfers. That action could diminish the number of policy proposals ;-)


Remember that I presented them jointly, with the same time for two proposals, that for a single one, so actually that’s not taking time.  Anyway, if we can have a “clear” decision in the list from now to the next meeting, I’m happy to withdraw one of them, but this is only going to work if we have 200 voices in the list supporting one of those. Otherwise, I can withdraw the wrong one and then in the meeting, the participants decision withdraws the other one, so we have nothing. You see the point? you don't want to take the *risk* (i don't actualy see a risk, though) ? :-)


I may change my mind on this depending on how the discussion goes in the next weeks … Let’t talk that in the relevant thread!

Thanks again!


[1]: Thread about Impact Analysis -

[2]: PDP -

[3]: PDP Chart 2011 -









So either we have a "2 days" policy day, or we find the way for every participant to read in advance all the policies and provide inputs, or it is impossible to be able to really have a presentation that is making sense for the people to determine their opinion in each policy proposal.

Sylvain B.
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