Making a binding policy at ICANN takes about the same amount of time as gestating a human fetus, but only when the organization and community are working at their absolute fastest.
It’s much more often comparable to an elephant pregnancy.
That’s according to a timetable researched by ICANN senior policy director Marika Konings and circulated to the GNSO Council this week.
Konings found that the latest iteration of the GNSO’s Policy Development Process has to last for a bare minimum of 263 days, three days shorter than the average human pregnancy.
However, that deadline would only be met if ICANN staff were fully resourced, all community participants were firing on all cylinders, and there was full agreement about the policy from the outset.
That’s obviously a completely fanciful, largely theoretical scenario.
The more realistic estimated average time for a PDP to run to completion – from the GNSO Council kick-starting the process with a request for an Issue Report to the ICANN board voting to approve or reject the policy – is 620 days, Konings found.
That’s slightly slower than the gestation period of an Asian elephant.
In other words, if some hypothetical policy work were to start in the GNSO today, we could not reasonably expect to see an outcome one way or the other until February 3, 2014.
Konings’ findings were accompanied by an assessment of eight relatively recent PDPs, which took between 415 days and 1,073 days to reach a board vote. The median time was 639 days.
Some GNSO Councilors think ICANN needs a fast-track PDP for no-brainer policies. I tend to agree.