MIP39c2-SP3: Governance Core Unit - GOV-001
MIP39c2-SP#: 3 Author(s): @LongForWisdom Contributors: N/A Status: RFC Date Applied: 2021-02-03 Date Ratified: <yyyy-mm-dd>
I am proposing this Core Unit because MakerDAO requires a consistent and well-run governance process managed by elected facilitators in order to remain stable and secure as it grows.
Core Unit Name
Neutrality is essential if GovAlpha is to maintain its position as a credible facilitator of governance within MakerDAO. Ultimately GovAlpha has this mandate because it is trusted by governance participants to fulfill it without bias towards outcomes. Lack of neutrality undermines this trust, however, GovAlpha must also maintain and improve the governance structures and processes within MakerDAO and this is impossible to do without expressing opinions on these structures and processes. Therefore, the Facilitators of GovAlpha commit to neutrality in areas unrelated to the governance of MakerDAO.
- Facilitators within GovAlpha are required to remain neutral and objective on issues outside of the governance domain and focus on the facilitation of governance processes.
- Facilitators within GovAlpha must voice opinions on issues related to the structure and processes of governance within MakerDAO.
- GovAlpha must aim to onboard and maintain at least three Core Unit Facilitators at all times while prioritizing candidates from unrepresented geographic regions.
2. Facilitation of Governance
The governance processes of an organization like MakerDAO will not operate consistently and clearly without facilitation. GovAlpha fulfills the role of officials in traditional systems of governance, leaving those involved in governance able to spend more time on decision-making and discussion.
- GovAlpha is responsible for managing governance processes as directed by relevant Accepted MIPs or MIP sets.
- GovAlpha must ensure that appropriate consensus gathering methods take place once debate on an issue has come to a natural end.
- GovAlpha is responsible for creating on-chain polls on the ‘official’ voting frontend as directed by governance processes defined in relevant Accepted MIPs or MIP sets.
- GovAlpha is responsible for the documentation part of executive proposal creation which conveys the contents of each executive proposal and the reasons for each item’s inclusion.
- GovAlpha is responsible for determining and communicating clear lines of action in the event of ambiguity within governance processes.
- GovAlpha is responsible for operating emergency voting processes to protect the Maker Protocol in the event of an emergency.
- GovAlpha must look for opportunities to streamline governance processes without sacrificing governance integrity.
3. Effectiveness of Governance
The strength of the MakerDAO governance system relates directly to the participation levels in both on-chain and off-chain governance. The expression of will by individuals interested in the Protocol’s success can only be as well-rounded and well-defined as the number of Governance participants. Similarly, a decision is only as durable as the consensus surrounding it. For these reasons, it is GovAlpha’s mandate to strive for participation and consensus which are crucial for the preservation and improvement of governance within MakerDAO.
- GovAlpha should aim to promote and increase engagement by stakeholders in all aspects of the governance processes.
- GovAlpha should ensure that new members of Maker Governance have access to the resources necessary to bring them up to speed on the Maker Protocol.
- GovAlpha must encourage Maker Governance to explore the least objectionable option(s) in governance decisions rather than treating decision-making as a competition where a subset must end up disappointed in the outcome.
- GovAlpha must encourage Maker Governance to come together on divisive topics and to prevent political polarization and demagoguery.
4. Communication and Moderation
Moderation and communication fulfill a supporting role in relation to the other items of the mandate. It is difficult to facilitate effective governance if high-quality communication platforms and norms do not exist. Additionally, GovAlpha should be accessible to the MakerDAO community and the MakerDAO mandated actors and attempt to bridge these two groups of stakeholders in cases of disagreement.
- GovAlpha is responsible for scheduling, running, and moderating a weekly governance and risk meeting.
- GovAlpha is responsible for ensuring the health and integrity of the communication channels that are used for communication within MakerDAO. These tasks include moderation duties, establishing processes and social norms, and defending the channels from trolling and Sybil attacks.
- GovAlpha should aim to foster a culture of openness, receptiveness, and reasoned discussion within the community.
- GovAlpha must be accessible to Maker Governance on all commonly used communication channels within MakerDAO.
- GovAlpha is responsible for raising governance issues to other Core Units and ensuring appropriate follow-up for Governance.
GovAlpha will function as a two-level hierarchy, consisting of facilitators and contributors. The key difference between facilitators and contributors is that contributors are not required to manage GovAlpha’s budget and that they are not directly answerable to Maker Governance for failing to fulfill GovAlpha’s mandate.
This difference in accountability means that decision-making power must lie in the hands of the facilitators rather than the contributors, and is the reason for this explicit hierarchy.
In practice, it is expected that the facilitators and contributors within GovAlpha will be relatively tight-knit and will operate and communicate on an equal footing in most matters. The facilitators of GovAlpha will always consult and seek input from contributors when making decisions that concern the future of GovAlpha, including drafting budget proposals.
The facilitators of GovAlpha will endeavor to provide contributors with fair remuneration and the opportunity for as much responsibility as they wish to take on.
As mentioned in the mandate, GovAlpha will always aim to have at least three Facilitators, who should be considered equal in terms of budgetary control, powers, and authority. There are three main reasons why three facilitators are the target number.
- Redundancy - With at least three facilitators the Core Unit can recover from any two facilitators leaving the Unit unexpectedly. This also facilitates time-off and more forgiving working practices.
- Measured Decision-Making - Given that the Facilitators of GovAlpha will be required to determine lines of action in the face of ambiguity in governance processes, they must be able to discuss the issues privately with others in the same position.
- Representation - MakerDAO is aimed to be a global organization. As far as possible, participants within Maker Governance should feel represented within GovAlpha by a Facilitator from their area of the world.
GovAlpha’s Facilitators are responsible for ensuring that GovAlpha fulfills its mandate.
Disagreements between facilitators of GovAlpha regarding ambiguities in the governance process, or regarding the use of GovAlpha’s budget will first be discussed privately with other facilitators with the aim of coming to a consensus decision. The facilitators will aim to put forward a united position whenever there is time to do so. In emergency situations, whichever facilitators are present are empowered to make decisions on behalf of GovAlpha.