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The Policy Development Process (PDP) is a common set of practices used in the creation or change of policies related to ICANN and its constituencies.

Short overview

The policy development process entails the steps and actions of an organization such as the RIR (Regional Internet Registry). By means of the policy development process, these institutions are able to fulfill their objectives and actions.

ICANN is an organization which has always been focused on policy development by means of consensus. This is the best way to attract support and generate compliance throughout the entire global Internet community.[1]

The creation of PDP

The policy development process is proposed by a policy working group from various organizations and members of an RIR. Based on the PDP, various policies are discussed within a specific community and ratified by the RIR Board after consensus has been reached.

The specific stages involved in PDP ratification are:

  1. The policy development process is proposed (by any member).
  2. It is further analyzed by the appropriate RIR via mailing lists. Anyone can join such discussions.
  3. After a period of 30 days, the PDP is brought to an open public meeting for further discussion and the possibility of consensus.
  4. If consensus is achieved, then the next step will be applied. If consensus is not achieved, another period of 30 days will be allowed for more discussion and debate, until consensus is achieved. If consensus is still not achieved, the PDP may be abandoned.
  5. If consensus is achieved, another period of 15 days will be given for anyone from the community to provide new observations and suggestions for final changes.
  6. The policy is ratified by the Board of Trustees and the policy is adopted for use.[2]

PDP working groups

The working groups that propose such policy development processes consist of volunteer members, who can be either individuals or representatives from an organization. In order to ratify the PDP there is a need for consensus. Due to the fact that working groups consist of volunteers, various problems can occur such as:

  • If the number of members within a working group is too small, then the development process is slowed down and achievements are more difficult to be achieved;
  • If the number of members within a working group is too large, then a consensus is more difficult to be reached due to different opinion and the development process can be delayed;
  • The lack of experience and knowledge of some members can complicate the development process.



The GPDP is an acronym used for "Generic Policy Development Process" and represents a tool used to improve the quality of regulatory interventions by providing explicit but generic processes for clear and effective regulatory development.[3]