[Capacity-Building-WG] Policy writing/ public comment course

Maureen Hilyard maureen.hilyard at gmail.com
Sun Apr 5 05:47:24 UTC 2020

Dear Team

Has anyone looked at the current ICANN Learn Policy writing course which
was developed by NCUC? It definitely highlighted an approach that was quite
different from our own. I was quite disappointed because I don't think that
it is useful in addressing the more inclusive fact-gathering, consensus
model of developing a statement that we use in At-Large and particularly by
the CPWG.  This process would be appropriate for a policy or a non-policy

But there was a good section that explained the purpose of the Public

>From an At-Large point of view, I wondered if our CB team could ensure that
an At-Large "public comment" course might focus more on the methodology
that is used by the CPWG where much time is spent on:

* participants from across the array of backgrounds within At-Large
offering their views after analysing the purpose of the request and the
resource material around the topic to sort out how a particular policy is
relevant to our section of ICANN - end-users

* herding the discussions in a way that gathers information while at the
same time tries to balance the various end-user perspectives into a
cohesive argument - this is an important task requiring some major skills,
for example:

1) great moderation skills which are demonstrated well by Jonathan and
Olivier  esp keeping participant contributions focused, relevant and

2) seeking views from within the group from people who have the appropriate
level of knowledge and can articulate their views in such a way that others
can support or add further perspectives which might capture a more directed
approach to a statement that fits the enduser point of view

3)  From among the many articulated views which have been captured by an
initial penholder or penholders, a small group may start moulding the
various perspectives  into a logical argument that will form the basis of a
consensus end-user viewpoint

4) The draft statement is then presented to the CPWG for further discussion
and fine-tuning, to create a final statement. Several iterations of this
process may be required before the statement is complete.

* While developing the course it might be appropriate to offer some
examples of what each stage might entail, during the process of information
gathering, putting it into a presentation (or a series of presentations) to
collate all the different ideas and perspectives, then finalising the
statement. .

5) One constraint on this process is the restrictive timeframe given by the
requestors with regards to the time allowed for this important discussion,
especially if it is of greater importance to the end-user community. This
has required single topic sessions on top of the already assigned weekly
sessions. This is a big commitment for volunteers.

6) ICANN staff complete the statement document in preparation for its
delivery to the requestors of the comments, before ratification by the ALAC.

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