[IGFmaglist] Final Proposal for Session Evaluation Process

Laura Watkins laura.watkins at nominet.uk
Fri Mar 3 05:31:43 EST 2017

Hi Mike,

I agree that testing the proposed new structure is a good idea.  How about using a sample of last year’s submissions so we have a “real” pool of sessions to pick from and we’d be able to see if any of the selections would have been different?


Laura Watkins
Policy Executive


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From: Igfmaglist [mailto:igfmaglist-bounces at intgovforum.org] On Behalf Of Michael R. Nelson
Sent: 03 March 2017 10:53
To: Dr. Rasha Abdulla <rasha at aucegypt.edu>; IGF Maglist <igfmaglist at intgovforum.org>
Subject: Re: [IGFmaglist] Final Proposal for Session Evaluation Process

A big thank you to Rasha and everyone who contributed to the proposal for a new ranking process.  I'm impressed with the creative ideas for fixing many of the old problems with the proposal evaluation process (e.g. one panelist in five sessions, many similar proposals, etc.)

But, as I shared with other virtual participants yesterday, I am PASSIONATELY opposed to forcing all the MAG members to weight the many criteria in the RFP in exactly the same way.  This will lead to very skewed and unfortunate consequences--especially because you are only going to consider moving up 5-10 proposals that were "just below" the cut-off line.  This would mean the most controversial proposals would never be considered.  Likewise, panels with mediocre rankings that could ONLY be done in Geneva because the proposed panelists would be very unlikely to travel to a remote site.  And at the end of the day, it will be very hard to explain the weightings used in the ranking process.

To test the proposed ranking mechanism, I would suggest we do an "alpha test" by considering a handful of hypothetical panel proposals and see how the system actually works.  Here are two:

Example 1:  “Who Makes Money in Cyberspace”

Panelists (all confirmed):

Bill Gates (USA), founder, Microsoft
Eric Schmidt (USA), Chairman, Alphabet and Google
Rex Tillerson (USA), US Secretary of State
President Xi (CHINA)

Moderator:  John Markoff (USA), legendary technology reporter (NY Times)

MY RANKING:  I suspect the ranking would be quite poor.  Old topic that really isn't central to Internet Governance.  Only two stakeholder groups.  TERRIBLE gender and geographic diversity

Example 2:  "How Can the United Nations Use the Internet Better?

Klaus Schwab (SWITZERLAND, in Geneva)  President, World Economic Forum
Panelists (all confirmed):

Filippo Grandi (ITALY but in Geneva) United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (ALGERIA but in Geneva), United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Francis Gurry (AUSTRALIA but in Geneva), Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
MY RANKING:  I think the ranking would be well below the "cut-off line".  The topic, while important, is about using the Internet not "governing" it.  There is NO geographic diversity and minimal stakeholder diversity.

How would others rank these proposals?  Any other hypothetical proposals we could use to test the ranking system?

Public Policy
Washington, DC
703-598-5187 cell
Twitter: @MikeNelson

On Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:07 PM, Dr. Rasha Abdulla <rasha at aucegypt.edu<mailto:rasha at aucegypt.edu>> wrote:

Dear colleagues,

Attached please find the final version of the proposal on the session evaluation process.

Thank you so much for your support, and for the constructive discussion that was carried on during our meetings today. Your feedback was incorporated within this final version, and only serves to make it better.

Once again, I want to thank the members of the working group for their diligent efforts.

All the best.

Rasha A. Abdulla, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Graduate Director
Journalism and Mass Communication
The American University in Cairo
Twitter: @RashaAbdulla

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