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Policy development Working Group Guidelines and Procedures v2

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1.0 Introduction

The Policy Development Working group (PDWG) provides an open public forum to discuss Internet numbers resource management policies and related topics of interest to AFRINIC and the Internet community in the AFRINIC service region. PDWG sessions are held at AFRINIC Public policy meetings. Between meetings, discussions continue via the Resource Policy discussions mailing list. The PDWG is open to all interested individuals.

This document serves as a guideline on how the working group shall operate. It defines clear roles and responsibilities for the chairs and clear procedures for the working group’s administration.

2.0 Chairs

The Policy Development Working Group is primarily administered by two chairs. The WG Chairs perform a vital role in managing the working group. The effectiveness of the PDWG is dependent on the active participation of the Chairs. PDWG Chairs undertake their work on a volunteer basis.

Both chairs coordinate the activities of the policy development-working group and are expected to attend all AFRINIC Public Policy Meetings. They must remain subscribed to the AFRINIC Policy Discussion mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for the duration of their term and must also be subscribed to the AFRINIC member-discuss mailing list during their term.

For each policy proposal, one chair must be appointed as the primary contact; both however shall actively participate to the consensus building. The leading chair for the proposal as described above shall guide the policy proposal through its different phases.

2.1 Responsibilities of PDWG Chairs

The responsibilities of the AFRINIC PDWG Chairs are listed below:

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
  • Discourage any behaviour that jeopardizes open participation to policy discussions, especially for newcomers.
  • Monitor and moderate discussions held on AFRINIC policy discussion mailing list ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • Announce 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 their term.
  • At the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting, read initiators' slides to familiarize themselves with the details and ensure they match 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 AFRINIC staff.
  • Guide the consensus building process; announce the current phase of a policy proposal.
  • Read AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting minutes and make corrections as necessary
  • Present the policy discussion working group report to the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting.
  • Assist Policy proposal presenters with travel assistance requests.

2.1.2 After a Public Policy Meeting

  • Send a report of the Public Policy Meeting to the community and policy discussion mailing lists including policy proposal discussion outcomes and open action items.
  • Monitor and moderate discussions 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 proposals gained enough support to move to the concluding phase.
  • Monitor remote chat-room discussions during the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting
  • Present the policy discussion working group report to the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting.

 

2.2. Electing Chairs

The AFRINIC community elects policy development working group chairs for two year terms. Both Chairs’ election occur in alternate years. The AFRINIC NomCom appoints the PDWG chairs using the following process:

AFRINIC Staff sends a call for nominations to the policy development mailing list ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The call will contain:

  • Details of the duties of the position.
  • The closing date for nominations; 30 days from the date of the call.
  • A request for a short biography and description of nominees.
  • A requirement that candidates for the Chair position should be active on the AFRINIC policy mailing list and must have attended at least two (2) AFRINIC Public Policy Meetings,
  • A requirement for candidates to confirm their ability and willingness to commit to the responsibilities associated with the Chair position.

If at least one nomination is received by closing date, an election must be held. The election must be held at the upcoming Public Policy Meeting as the first item on the agenda.

Candidates will be invited to give a short speech. Voting will take place by a count of a show of hands.

Only candidates who are present at the public policy meeting will be included in the vote.

 

2.3. Removing a Chair

If the PDWG Chair does not attend one in every two consecutive AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting, the Chair will be removed from their role. The process of electing a replacement will then begin. Anyone may request the recall of a Working Group Chair at any time, upon a written request with justification to the AFRINIC Board of Directors. The request must be supported by at least ten (10) other persons.The AFRINIC Board of Directors shall appoint a recall committee, excluding the persons requesting the recall and the Working Group Chair. The recall committee shall investigate the circumstances of the request for the recall and determine the outcome. If the outcome is that the WG Chair has to be recalled then the process of electing a replacement chair will begin.

2.4. Resignation of a Chair

If a PDWG Chair resigns, the remaining chair will assume the chairing role of the working group until the next Public Policy Meeting assisted by AFRINIC Staff. At least 30 days prior to the Public Policy Meeting, the AFRINIC NomCom will initiate procedures for electing the new Chair.
If both Chairs resign, The AFRINIC CEO shall lead the appointment by the working group of an interim Chair via the mailing list or at The Public Policy meeting. The Interim Chair will act up to the election of the new Chair and shall be assisted by AFRINIC staff.

 

3.0 Operations Working Group (PDWG)

3.1 Moderation of Working group discussions and sessions

The challenge of managing the policy development working group sessions is to balance the need for open and fair consideration of the issues against the need to make forward progress. The working group, as a whole, has the final responsibility for striking this balance. The Working Group Chairs have the responsibility for overseeing the process.
To facilitate making forward progress, the Working Group Chairs may wish to decide to reject or defer the input from an individual, based upon the following criteria:

Old:
The input pertains to a topic that already has been resolved and is redundant with information previously available;

Minor:
The input is new and pertains to a topic that has already been resolved, but it is felt to be of minor import to the existing decision;

Timing:
The input pertains to a topic that the working group has not yet opened for discussion;

Scope:
The input is outside the scope of the working group.

 

3.2 Individual behaviors

Occasionally one or more individuals may engage in behaviour on a mailing list that, in the opinion of the WG Chair, is disruptive to the WG process. Unless the disruptive behaviour is severe enough that it must be stopped immediately, the WG Chair should attempt to discourage the disruptive behaviour by communicating directly with the offending individual. If the behaviour persists, the WG Chair should send at least one public warning on the RPD mailing list. 

As a last resort and typically after one or more explicit warnings, the WG Chair may suspend the mailing list posting privileges of the disruptive individual for a period of not more than 30 days. Even while posting privileges are suspended, the individual must not be prevented from receiving messages posted to the list. Like all other WG Chair decisions, any suspension of posting privileges is subject to appeal.

 

3.3. Public Policy Meeting

A Public Policy Meeting is a meeting open to the community wherein proposals for policies are discussed within the framework of the Policy Development Process (PDP)

The agenda of the meeting shall be announced by the Chairs of the PDWG on the Resource Policy Discussion mailing list at least two weeks prior to the meeting. No change can be made to a policy proposal within one week of the meeting. This is so that a stable version of the policy proposal can be considered at the meeting.

The WG Chairs determine whether rough consensus has been achieved during the Public Policy Meeting.

When a policy proposal has reached the Review Phase, it is placed on the agenda of an open public policy meeting.

If one chair can’t participate in meeting, the second chair will lead the meeting assisted by AFRINIC staff.

If both chairs can’t participate the meetings, the working group shall appoint one (1) person assisted by one AFRINIC staff to lead the session.

While open discussion and contribution is essential to working group success, chairs are responsible for ensuring forward progress. When acceptable to the WG, chairs may call for restricted participation (but not restricted attendance!) at Public Policy meetings for the purpose of achieving progress.The Working Group chairs then have the responsibility to refuse to grant the floor to any individual who is unprepared or otherwise covering inappropriate material, or who, in the opinion of the chairs is disrupting the WG process.

 

3.4 Consensus

The Working makes decisions by consensus as defined in the PDP

 

4.0 Appeals

Suspension of posting privileges

Anyone whose privileges of posting to the Resources Policy Discussion mailing list have been suspended by the Working Group chairs may file an appeal against the decision to the appeal committee defined in the PDP. The appeal committee shall investigate the circumstances of the justification as prescribed and determine the outcome in 15 days after the appeal is recorded. The appeal committee decision is final.

 

5.0 Travel support to policy initiators or presenters

If chairs determine that a policy proposal author requires assistance with travel to attend Public Policy Meeting, chairs may raise the issue with AFRINIC Board Chair who may pose a request to the AFRINIC CEO. The CEO decides at his own discretion if assistance can be provided and in which format.

 

6.0 Revision History

09/11/2017: Version 1.0 submitted with version 2 of the PDP-BIS proposal

09/06/2019: Version 2.0 submitted with version 5 of the PDP-BIS proposal

 

 

Old version (1)

New version (2)

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 ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • 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.

2.1.1 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • 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.
  • Assist Policy proposal presenter with travel assistance request.

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.

2.1.3 During a Public Policy Meeting

  • Chair the Public Policy meeting and moderate the discussions
  • Determine whether proposals gained enough support to move to the concluding phase.
  • Monitor remote chat-room discussions during the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting
  • Present the policy discussion working group report to the AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting.
 

5.0 Travel support to policy initiators or presenters

If chairs determine that a policy proposal speaker require assistance with travel to attend Public Policy Meeting, chairs may raise the issue with AAFRINIC BoD ‘s chair who may pose a request to AFRINIC CEO. CEO decides at his own discretion if assistance can be provided and in which format.

 

 

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