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Improving Internet Governance: Organizational Review of the ICANN ccNSO

Meridian conducted an innovative, community-driven evaluation of the County Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), a body that ensures the stable and secure operation of the internet.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) names and regulates the 1.6 billion websites on the internet. As a global multi-stakeholder organization, ICANN consists of sub-organizations that represent and manage different components of internet governance.  In 2018, Meridian began an organizational review of one of these subgroups, the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO). We conducted a community-driven evaluation that held a mirror to the ccNSO, reflecting back concerns and insights in the form of meaningful recommendations and suggestions.

The ccNSO’s members manage country top-level domain names, such as “.uk” or “.in.” Every five years, the ccNSO—and every ICANN sub-organization—undergoes an independent review of its continuing purpose, structure, operations, and accountability. As we began our review, we heard a desire from ccNSO members for meaningful participation in the continuous improvement process. We ultimately created an unprecedented degree of transparency and community involvement to the organizational review.

We started by interviewing 45 ccNSO members, leaders, and members of the broader ICANN community to gather reflections on the ccNSO’s strengths and challenges—and solicit suggestions for improvement. To collect feedback from a broader set of stakeholders, we also conducted an electronic survey. 

We presented our preliminary findings and recommendations during ICANN meetings and webinars, providing multiple opportunities for stakeholders to weigh in on accuracy and clarity. In addition to 14 actionable recommendations, we included a new section in our report outlining over 35 suggestions for continuous improvement, thereby sharing the numerous continuous improvement opportunities we heard. ICANN will publish our final report of the ccNSO Review in September 2019.

Project Team

Learn more about the team that led the Improving Internet Governance: Organizational Review of the ICANN ccNSO project.