Re: [ga] policy-making options
At 09.04.2002 12:17, Joop Teernstra wrote:
>>open working group model
>> - may result in too large groups
>> - working group (and its proposals) may be dismissed as self-selected
>> + little risk of excluding concerned groups or individuals
>> + workload can be distributed well
>Dismissing a WG for being self-selected is not necessarily justified. In many cases self-selection is more legitimate than selection.
My point was that it is easy for an oversight body
(or intermediate body) to dismiss the results of an
open working group process by calling it self-selected
and then to replace the working group policy
recommendation by their own.
>Large groups are a plus, not a minus, as long as their energy can be organized and distributed.
>- Minus is that an open WG that works with a mailing list, may be hindered by individuals with a mission to be contentious. Remedies are moderation and/or the use of web based ("pull" rather than "push") discussion mechanisms.
It's not only a question of the tools -- it would even
be more difficult if everyone was in the same room.
(Let alone teleconference.) It's always a trade-off: Either
the group is sufficiently large to include all concerned
parties or it is sufficiently small to work efficiently.
I believe the active outreach mechanisms must be improved
significantly (and I believe the At Large could be a useful
tool for significant outreach), but the group (maybe
"limited working group" is an appropriate label) has to
be built in a way that it can actually achieve results
and arrive at a policy recommendation. If it doesn't, it's
only a discussion forum and the policy will again be made
My personal impression is that the maximum size for such a
group is somewhere at 15 or 20 persons, regardless of the
tools used. If that is so (and that's obviously open for
debate), the question is how they are selected so that
(a) all groups concerned feel sure that their input will
not be ignored,
(b) the group members fulfill the given task and produce
a report or even a policy recommendation in a reasonable
amount of time and
(c) the composition and results of the groups are so
compelling that bodies higher up in the process do not
ignore or completely change its findings.
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