Designing a Human Rights Impact Assessment for ICANN’s Policy Development Processes

The CCWP-HR’s efforts to begin developing HRIA models and methodologies tailored for ICANN policy development processes kicked off in late 2017 as work on the HR-FOI was coming to an end. The challenge of designing an operational approach to upholding ICANN’s Human Rights Core Value was seen as an opportunity for constructive innovation and drew widespread engagement from the ICANN community and beyond. The resulting iterative process produced several new HRIA models, which were volunteer-tested within the ICANN community to varying degrees of success between March 2018 and March 2019.

This final report presents an overview of the research, development, and trial of these new HRIA models designed specifically for ICANN policy development processes, focusing on successes and lessons learned. Overall, the final “Comprehensive Model” showed solid potential as a tool not only for assessing impacts, but also for engineering evidence-based interventions and fostering newcomer engagement. This initiative represents a significant milestone toward the operationalization of ICANN’s Human Rights Core Value, and will provide an excellent baseline for further developments when Work Stream 2 implementation kicks off in earnest.

Download the paper by clicking the image below:

October 2019

ICANN64 Kobe

Approval of the CCWG-Acc WS2 Recommendations — and subsequent enaction of ICANN’s Human Rights Core Value — is taking longer than expected. Nonetheless, progress toward operationalizing the Core Value has advanced significantly in recent months. Here are some highlights from ICANN64, held 10-14 March in Kobe, Japan:

  • Preliminary outcomes of the trial HRIA for the Subsequent Procedures (“Sub Pros”) PDP shared with working group members during their F2F meetings. Many of the observations fed into substantive policy discussions and were well received by members. — Link to Sub Pros Trial HRIA
  • PDP HRIA model presented and discussed during the CCWP-HR working session. Participants made suggestions on the rights of indigenous and disabled peoples, inclusion of additional international resolutions / principles, and addition of an “Explainer” tab including normative criteria for evaluation. — CCWP-HR ICANN64 presentation and transcript
  • GAC Human Rights International Law Working Group presented results from a member survey on options for GAC implementation of the Core Value. One of these options provided for the participation of the GAC in HRIAs or similar procedural steps established for PDPs. — GAC HRIL session video (starts at 58:30)
  • ICANN Org has completed its HRIA and will share results in the coming weeks.

Next steps for operationalizing the Human Rights Core Value include finalizing the Sub Pros Trial HRIA, making the suggested revisions to the HRIA model, and determining the next PDP for trial. This ongoing work and a couple new project ideas coming out of Kobe will be the subject of the next CCWP-HR meeting in late April.

To receive updates on this and other work, subscribe to our mailing list.

-Collin Kurre, CCWP-HR Chair

March 2019

Implementation at the Speed of ICANN

The ICANN Board held an Open Session on WS2 implementation during its most recent meeting on 27 January 2019. The basic goals of the session were to clarify when the Board will make a decision on approving the package of recommendations, on what basis, and how the community will be consulted.

As a reminder, only one of the 112 recommendations put forth in the CCWG-Acc WS2 Final Report pertained to human rights. This was the recommendation that the board adopt the proposed Framework of Interpretation, thereby effecting ICANN’s dormant Human Rights Bylaw.

The WS2 recommendations were sent to the ICANN Board for approval on 8 November 2018. In theory, the Board should make their decision within 6 months. That timeline doesn’t seem to be binding, however, and there are a few things that need to happen first:

  • A small Implementation Team of WS2 Co-Chairs / Rapporteurs will be assembled to assist and provide advice as needed;
  • The Board will convene an internal “Caucus Group” to follow WS2 Implementation and report back on progress; and
  • ICANN Org will produce an Implementation Assessment Report to help Board consider report and feasibility of adopting recommendations as a package.

This Implementation Assessment Report will only provide high-level information on timing, costs, and dependencies to help set expectations. Any tradeoffs that may be needed with other policies, programs, or services will have to be consulted with the ICANN Community, though it’s not yet clear how or when that will happen. Until then, resources for WS2 Implementation have only been allocated as a contingency in ICANN’s draft budget for 2020.

Find more information about CCWG-Acc and WS2 here, and subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates on developments.

-Collin Kurre, CCWP-HR Chair

February 2019