ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>


  • To: "atrt-questions-2010@xxxxxxxxx" <atrt-questions-2010@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Metrics
  • From: Jonathan Zuck <jzuck@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 20:38:08 +0000

My name is Jonathan Zuck and I would like to thank the Accountability and 
Transparency Review Team for giving me the opportunity to submit these comments 
on behalf of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), which represents 
nearly 4,000 small and midsized technology firms worldwide.  As a longtime 
advocate for improved accountability mechanisms for ICANN, I commend the 
efforts of this panel and look forward to reading its review and 

I will confine my comment to one area in which ICANN has not followed through 
on community recommendations and has not been adequately transparent and 
accountable to its constituency.

For the past three years, I have called upon ICANN to establish concrete 
metrics by which to measure its progress toward achieving the stated goals of 
improved accountability, transparency and ³institutional confidence.² While I 
am well aware that I am just one stakeholder, my recommendation on this matter 
met with widespread agreement and was echoed in many comments submitted during 
the Improving Institutional Confidence (IIC) process, the JPA reviews and the 
discussion over the Affirmation of Commitments.

ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush, who sits on this review team, publicly 
agreed that ³what gets measured, gets done,² and called on the organization to 
develop metrics to advance the goal of improving institutional confidence and 
strengthening accountability.

Two years and an accountability process later, and I remain extremely concerned 
that there exist no real metrics by which to measure ICANN¹s improvements in 
the areas of accountability, transparency and redress.

The review team took a critical and valuable step by adopting a working 
³definition of accountability² but the challenge now is to establish tools to 
measure the extent to which ICANN is living up to that definition.

Accountability is not a binary concept. ICANN is not now ³unaccountable² nor 
will it at some point become ³perfectly accountable.² If accountability exists 
along a continuum, the challenge is to determine where ICANN falls along that 
continuum, and whether it is moving in the right direction. The only way to 
achieve this is with clear, effective metrics.

The issue of metrics also calls into question the extent to which ICANN is 
effectively capturing, reviewing and acting on the interventions offered by 
members of the community during public comment periods. The public forum held 
on the penultimate day of each ICANN meeting is intended to be a functioning 
part of the bottom-up governance process, not merely a community venting 
session. When members of the community offer substantive recommendations for 
policy developments and improvements, ICANN staff should be capturing those 
recommendations and passing them along to the appropriate committees and 
supporting organizations.

Members of the community must have a way to know how and whether their 
recommendations were considered by staff.  And we especially need to understand 
why staff would recommend policy that departs significantly from what the 
community asked for.

In short, the question of metrics presents both an operational and 
philosophical quandary for the review team. In the immediate term, I would urge 
the review team to devote significant effort toward establishing concrete 
accountability metrics for ICANN. And as the review process unfolds I would add 
my voice to the chorus of those calling on ICANN to be more transparent about 
how community contributions factor into the bottom-up decision-making process.

Jonathan Zuck | President | Association for Competitive Technology
202-331-2130x101 | 202-331-2139 (fax) | 

Check out : www.Innovators-Network.org<http://www.innovators-network.org/>

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy