We would like to propose a new process to be used within the GÉANT Community Programme to complement the existing SIGs, TFs, Workshops and other structures. The introduction of NREN Principles would provide a vehicle to align thinking within NRENs and to carry out targeted activities as a community in a way which does not fit any of the current formats. 

Principles will be created when there is a strategic agenda in a specific space on which it would be beneficial for NRENs to align.  They will create not only a shared understanding of our position on a specific topic, but allow us to focus on specific joint actions to move forward within that space as a community. Areas where this approach may be beneficial include gender equality, open source, green actions, and other actions related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

We are trialling this approach with the Gender Equality Principles and the Open Source Principles discussions.

1. Objectives

The objectives of a NREN Principles activity would to:

  1. Identify a strategic area where it would be beneficial for NRENs and the wider R&E community to have a shared understanding of direction and actions.
  2. Create a short list of principles associated with that area that describe the intentions and beliefs of our community in relation to that area.
  3. Invite NRENs to openly endorse / sign-up to the principles when finalised. This support will be publicly maintained and promoted.
  4. Create spaces to discuss and exchange ideas related to the principles through mailing lists, slack channels and online discussions.
  5. Work on very focused campaigns around specific principles that have been identified as a priority for NRENs (for example via infoshares, trainings, invited speakers etc).

Unlike traditional Task Forces or SIGs, the NREN Principles activities will not be expected to have regular meeting scheduled and are encourage to mostly meet online.  Progress will be reported against NRENs endorsing the prinicples, progress reports from NRENs on the specific area and through the defined campaigns for the principle areas.

The principles are not intended to be binding, but rather guidelines to support a shared understanding of our values and approaches in relation to a given topic.

2. Initiation

Any member of the GÉANT Community can propose the development of a set of NREN Principles based on the following conditions and steps:

  • At least 3 NRENs or other organisations support the creation and are willing to actively participate.
  • An outline of the proposed principles and the direction of work is created by those volunteers. 
  • The group inform the GÉANT Community Committee that they would like to form an activity to support the creation of NREN Principles for a specific topic area.
  • The proposal is sent to the GCC for approval.

3. Resources and Support

If approved, GÉANT will provide support from the GÉANT Community Programme following the usual process for allocating work to activity coordinators.  As appropriate, GÉANT can support:

  • human resource in the form of a community coordinator.
  • mailing list(s) and public web archive(s) under the geant.org domain;
  • maintenance of wiki page(s);
  • website - on request and as decided to be appropriate by GÉANT;
  • online survey tools;
  • social media, news, and annual report coverage on request and as decided to be appropriate by GÉANT.

Funding for specific community activities - such as invited speakers, trainings etc. can be made to the GÉANT Community Programme Coordinator. 

4. Termination

All GÉANT Community Activities are reviewed by the GCC on an annual basis.  The GCC may decide to shut-down an NREN Principles activity under the following circumstances:

  • The activity has less than 3 active NRENs or other organisations involved in the work.
  • The Principles do not receive any endorsement from NRENs.
  • The yearly assessment does not show any progress within the areas.
  • The community actively requests that the activity be shutdown.

Closure of an activity does not necessarily represent failure; an activity may be deemed to be complete or to have reached a natural stop.  NREN Principles can still be maintained as guiding documents without an active work being supported by the GCC.

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