18 November 2016

Request for Proposals for Consulting Services: Independent Review of the ICANN Address Supporting Organization

Independent review of the ICANN Address Supporting Organization (ASO)

Deadline for applications: 31 December 2016
Deadline announcement of the selected bid: 31 January 2017

Instructions to Bidders

1. Introduction

1. The Number Resource Organization (NRO) is the organization comprised of the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) which act collectively on matters relating to the interests of the RIRs and the Internet numbers community.

2. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation with a mission to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems. In service of this mission and as agreed with the NRO, ICANN provides registration services for IP addresses and related numeric Internet identifiers and ratifies global number policies.

3. The Address Supporting Organisation (ASO) is the body specified in the ICANN Bylaws which advises the ICANN Board with respect to policy issues relating to the operation, assignment and management of Internet addresses.

4. Under the ASO MoU signed between the ICANN and the NRO , the two organizations agree that the NRO fulfills the role, responsibilities and functions of the ASO as defined within the ICANN bylaws.. Under the terms of this MoU, the NRO shall provide a periodic review of the ASO’s effectiveness within ICANN.

5. The NRO is seeking to appoint an independent consultant to undertake a review of the ASO as detailed below.

2. Objective, timeline and estimated efforts

1. The objective of the review is to determine whether the ASO has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure, and if so, whether any change in structure or operations of the ASO is desirable to improve its effectiveness in the ICANN structure, and additionally whether the ASO is accountable to the Internet number community when carrying out its responsibilities.

2. The scope of the review shall include all functions undertaken by the ASO in support of ICANN, and in particular with regards to global number policy development and the appointment of individuals to various ICANN bodies including the ICANN Board. Additional known tasks undertaken by the ASO in support of ICANN should be included in the review (such as the development of procedures to make appointments to other ICANN bodies), any questions regarding scope of the review will be determined by the NRO Executive Committee (NRO EC).

3. The review is due to begin in 10 February 2017. While a full project timeline should be developed by applicants as an integral part of their bid, the following key milestones are anticipated:

      1. 10 February 2017. Beginning of operations. Initial briefing.
      2. 20 February – 2 March 2017. APNIC 43, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Interviews.
      3. 11-16 March 2017. ICANN 58 meeting, Copenhagen, Denmark. Interviews.
      4. 2 – 5 April 2017. ARIN 39, New Orleans, LA, USA. Interviews.
      5. 30 April 2017. Progress report.
      6. 8 – 12 May 2017. RIPE 74, Budapest, Hungary. Interviews.
      7. 22 – 26 May 2017. LACNIC 26, TBC, Brazil. Interviews.
      8. 21 May- 2 June 2017. AFRINIC 26, Nairobi, Kenya. Interviews
      9. 21 June 2017. Delivery of draft final report to the NRO EC
      10. 28 June 2017. Presentation of draft final report ICANN 59, Johannesburg South Africa
      11. 31 July 2017. Presentation of Final Report.

4. The review is expected to absorb between four and five working months over approximately six calendar months. Substantial deviations from this estimation are to be justified in the applicant’s bid.

3. Methodology of work

1. The ASO review is expected to be largely based on qualitative analysis, and to include a data gathering, a data analysis and validation, and a final reporting phase. Different approaches can be proposed by applicants, and should be adequately justified.

2. During data gathering the contractor to be selected will be required to undertake documental analysis and a significant series of individual interviews with members of the global ICANN and RIR communities. Targeted interviewees should include a wide range of stakeholders representing a diversity of interests, sectors, geographical locations, and economic and social conditions. In order to facilitate this evidence gathering phase, the consultant to be selected will be invited to attend a series of RIR and/or ICANN public meetings, where a large number of interested individuals tend to assemble, and can be interviewed face to face.

3. Further distance interviews would be directly organized by the contractor via electronic or remote means; and applicants are invited to specify in their offer the further mechanisms that they envisage to use to allow inputs during data gathering from the larger communities of interest.

4. Applicants are encouraged to propose the use of further data collection tools that they might consider appropriate as to integrate evidence, and suitable to reach a globally and culturally diverse and distributed set of stakeholders. Applicants are invited to describe in their offer the approach that they deem the most appropriate for data analysis and validation of findings and conclusions, and to describe the mechanisms that they plan to use as to involve the structure under review in validation of findings and conclusions.

4. Steering of the review and reporting

1. The contractor to be selected will report to the Chair of the NRO.

2. At the end of each calendar month the contractor to be selected will be required to produce a short report (one-two pages), underlining achievements against plans and, when available, early findings.

3. By the date indicated in 2.3.9 the contractor will issue a draft Final Report, containing description of findings and its full conclusions and recommendations.

4. No later than two weeks from the reception of this draft, the NRO EC will inform the contractor of its intention to either approve the report in this version, or will request it to address any specific concerns before its approval. In this last case, the contractor will be given not less than two weeks to address the concerns raised by the NRO EC.

5. Format of the offers

1. Interested consultants and consulting firms are invited to submit their offer for the present ASO review. In order to allow comparison of the different offers that will be received, the NRO invites applicants to structure their bid as follows:

      Section 1 – Understanding of the assignment. Applicants are invited to describe their own comprehension of the work to be carried out, including their understanding of the Internet numbers community, ICANN’s function in supporting the Internet numbers community, and the ASO role and responsibilities within ICANN.
      Section 2 – Qualification of the bidding organization and of the key experts proposed to conduct the assignment. Applicants are requested to describe their qualification to carry out the ASO review, providing precise description and reference to their experience in assessing effectiveness and performances of national and international organizations; in reviewing structures and processes involving a globally diverse and distributed set of stakeholders; and in offering advice to guide processes of organizational change. Relevant research conducted and publications, if any, should also be included;
      Section 3 – Methodology of work and tools. The applicants will describe in this section their methodological approach to the review of ASO, with indication of selected tools and expected efforts (in working days) per each phase of the review. A detailed time plan will ideally complete the section.
      Section 4 – Financial offer. Criteria for the formulation of the financial offer can be found in following section 7
      Annex: full CVs of key staff / consultants proposed to conduct the Review, proving the suitability for the proposed work of all the selected experts (max length of each CV: 3 pages). Role to be played by each individual expert has to be specified.

2. Bids for this assignment may be submitted by consulting firms, networks of individual consultants and consortia of consulting firms. Bids submitted by networks of individual consultants, and consortia of consulting firms shall clearly identify a consortium leader, holding all responsibilities towards the NRO EC for the correct fulfillment of all the contractual obligations resulting in the eventuality of a contract awarding.

6. Contract Compliance

Applicants should warrant that they are willing to operate under a nondisclosure agreement.

7. Formulation of the financial offer

1. Financial figures shall be expressed in US Dollars.

2. The financial offer is to be formulated as an overall lump sum of the consulting fees requested for the carrying out of the full assignment. An approximate estimation of the working days needed to conduct the assignment shall be provided, as well. Consulting fees shall include direct costs such as communication, consumables, use of computer equipment and other minor expenses.

3. The NRO will furthermore reimburse the contractor the following costs, which are not to be included in the applicants’ financial offer:

  • Return travels of two members of the consulting team to participate in defined meetings, as approved; planned travels shall be taken in economy class.
  • Hotel (pre-paid by the NRO) and full meal costs for the participation to the meetings.
  • Further reasonable travel expenses, if deemed necessary for the fulfillment of the assignment, provided that they will be approved in advance in writing by the NRO EC.

8. Requests for clarification and contacts during the bidding period

1. Requests for clarification can be addressed until 31 December, 2016 only to the Chair of the NRO (chair [at] nro [dot] net). Requests for clarification and their answers will be made anonymous and published at the NRO webpage [www.nro.net] in order to ensure equal treatment of all bidders.

2. Any other direct contact with RIRs or ICANN staff during the bidding period, related to the present Request for Proposal is strongly and expressly discouraged, will not be answered and might lead to disqualification of the bidder.

9. Proposal assessment – awarding of the contract

1. Proposals will be assessed by the NRO EC with the use of the assessment grid enclosed as Annex-1 to the present document.

2. Each members of the NRO EC will score each proposal received, and a final average grid will be produced for each proposal, accompanied by a note resuming verified references of the three bidders scoring with the highest marks.

3. At the end of the evaluation process the NRO EC will publish the proposal of the winner bid and the names of all bidders.

4. Deadline for selection of the winner bid is 31 January 2017.

10. Deadline for the submission of the offers and their validity

1. In order to be considered valid, offers shall be sent by 31 December 2016 to the chair of the NRO at chair [at] nro [dot] net in Adobe pdf format. A confirmation email will be sent for each proposal received before the expiring of the deadline.

2. Offers sent in observance of the present Request for Proposals shall remain valid for a period of six months after the deadline mentioned in previous Chapter

ANNEX-1: Proposal Assessment Grid


Name of proposal evaluator:
Max score [M]
Evaluator’s score [S]
Minimum threshold [T]

Understanding of the assignment [M=25] [S=0] [T=15]
– Understanding of the Review Objective 15
– Understanding of the NRO, the ASO and ICANN and their mandates 10

Qualification of bidder [M=40] [S=0] [T=25]
– Previous similar activities for national / local organizations 5
– Previous similar activities for other international organizations 10
– Previous similar activities carried out within ICANN or the NRO 5
– Geographic and cultural diversity, multilingualism, gender balance 10
– Suitability of proposed CVs 10

Proposed methodology and tools [M=55] [S=0] [T=30]
– Suitability of timetable 10
– Work organization and methodological approach 15
– Suitability of proposed data gathering tools 15
– Suitability of proposed data analysis / validation methods 15

Financial offer [M=20] [S=0] [T=10]
– Max efforts respected or acceptably justified in case of deviations? 10
– Overall value for money? 10

OVERALL SCORE [M=140] [S=0] [T=75]

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